“The Cloud”. One of the most over-used, all encapsulating IT buzz words since Y2K. In the context of this blog, I am referring to cloud as being either hybrid or public cloud. Organisations adopting Cloud based services is definitely increasing and those that have not adopted are certainly having discussions about the relative merits. In the beginning, convincing organisations of the benefits of moving to the cloud was one of the highest hurdles for managed service providers and SAAS vendors. Now however, the marketing budgets behind companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft have increased the focus with the market now associating brands such as AWS, Google Cloud and Azure with Cloud. Organisations no longer need convincing of the move to Cloud; what they now require is the guidance on developing the best cloud strategy for their business. This shift presents the IT channel with some new challenges and opportunities as the cloud evolves through its next stage of maturity.
A couple of related trends I am seeing as we move into a new financial year are specifically related to Cloud Transformation Consulting and Mail Migrations.
Cloud Transformation Consultancy
At Insentra we define the Cloud as “someone else’s computer”. One thing for certain is that the Cloud is here to stay; at least for now. Organisations are asking themselves these fundamental questions
What workloads can we move to the Cloud?
Which Cloud provider should we select?
How are we going to get to the Cloud in the most seamless manner?
How do we get out of there once we are in?
The answers to these questions and other similar ones are fuelling a new market around Cloud Transformation consultancy – assisting organisations in the creation of a strategy to determine what workloads, if any, should be moved to which Cloud provider/service and then the most difficult part – How?. The smaller the organisation, the larger this issue becomes. The market is definitely crying out for some independent analysis and recommendations to assist them in making their decisions.
Mail migrations to the Cloud
As Company Boards around the country push their IT departments to reduce cost and move workloads to the Cloud, e-mail seems to be the first cab off the rank given the relative ease with which it can be moved. Email migrations seem to be the “toe in the water” for a lot of companies. Office365 and Google mail are very clearly becoming more prevalent in our market, with the adoption of private cloud provided email also picking up.
We anticipate that his area of the market will continue to grow rapidly as organisations test the use of outsourced or cloud providers as a simple start to their Cloud Transformation. We have seen a significant increase in demand for the move of mail and the related archives into cloud targets however the ROI of moving historical mail proves to be a continued bottleneck to organisations deciding what to move.
In the absence of legislation enforcing data retention in the majority of industries, organisations do not always know what needs to be moved and why. Organisations need to decide what data needs to be migrated basing their decision around business relevance of that data– why move data that you are not going to use or need?
Albeit the Cloud is with us and is not going away, there is still a lot of hesitation in the market with companies trying to work out what makes most sense for their organisations. Without doubt, this space will continue to explode, with an entirely new market coming soon… Inter Cloud Migrations. Remember how hard it was to change your mobile phone provider? That became easy… and so too will it become easier and an expectation to be able to move workloads Inter Cloud.