How to take back control of your tech with sustainable cloud migration

Migration to the cloud is nothing new. The concept of cloud-based software solutions for a company’s documents, data, and information has long been hailed as a more reliable and streamlined option. From increased reliability and mobility to unlimited storage potential, the cloud has many benefits for businesses today.

The pandemic has only compounded this trend, with many companies moving to virtual-only to adapt and evolve by focusing on the delivery of digital services. Companies such as Splunk have announced their cloud-based business operations will surpass 50%, doubling since the start of the pandemic. In fact, in 2022, global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion, growing from $396 billion this year.

However, this influx of investment in digital transformation has led to many corporates being held to ransom over expensive software. As a result, service providers often make more money than the business that licenses the technology to help them overcome challenges and scale operations. Those companies must take back control by migrating to the cloud to avoid any further impacts on their bottom line. But that’s easier said than done with the digital skills shortage impacting the amount of talent available to help bring this capability in-house.

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Outsourcing: embracing the cloud

Cloud migration is no longer a nice to have, but an integral part of future business operations. Support for software not hosted on the cloud has already begun to slowly disappear as most vendors have realised maintaining multiple versions of the same software is simply too expensive. While basic functionality will be kept up to date under existing agreements, businesses will miss out on new features and innovations as compatibility becomes an increasing issue.

In fact, any business not on the cloud within the next five years will simply cease to function. In the same way that in the 90s when e-business began opening up B2B functions offering exponential growth opportunities, early adopters thrived, many followed, and those who didn’t inevitably folded. No matter your business type, managing procurement to payroll, and everything in between the complex ecosystems and supply chains that make up your business will become unachievable without a move to the cloud.

In-housing: navigating the digital skills gap

By moving away from outsourcing, companies can take back control while future-proofing their business operations. However, the skills shortage could stop this in its tracks if not also addressed.

These migrations to the cloud must be sustainable and to do that, a business has to have talent with the right skills in place to manage the transition, ensure systems are initially integrated correctly, maintain usability, and troubleshoot in line with the day-to-day business needs. Simply put, software adoption cannot be allowed to scale at this continuously increasing rate without a growing contribution from people and skills. If the right balance isn’t struck, the consequences will be detrimental.

To address the knowledge gaps in most businesses, the solution is enablement programmes that offer both direction and purpose. This means ensuring your digital talent management strategy is coordinated with a clear set of objectives and plan of action that accounts for recruitment and training, while also offering continuing professional development (CPD). Following this strategy not only tackles today’s challenges of finding those with the right skill sets to transfer and run your business in the cloud, but also provides your company with the opportunity to future-proof the business. There will always be a digital skills gap to navigate; where there’s innovation it is inevitable, so it’s about finding sustainable and repeatable processes that can be maintained for future business success.

Ultimately, to ensure your business remains competitive for years to come, cloud migration, where possible, should be taken in-house to mitigate against the future cost of ownership. The pandemic has accelerated this need, with many businesses hurrying through digital transformation strategies. With an unknown deadline on the horizon amplifying the consequences of falling behind, now is the time for cloud-based action.

Written by Tony Lysak, founder and CEO of The Software Institute

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