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Blog December 19, 2019

The Race to the Cloud is On!

By 2021, 94% of workloads are expected to be housed in the cloud. A data point like that might make one think cloud migrations are becoming a thing of the past. After all, what’s left to migrate if everything’s in the cloud already?

Plenty. Many of today’s workloads are still housed in private, on-premises cloud environments, managed and maintained by the organization. While that may seem like the best of both worlds, especially for legacy applications that aren’t architected for the cloud, on-prem cloud environments don’t let the organization take advantage of all that the cloud has to offer.

The business is still paying for hardware, including the initial capital outlay and ongoing maintenance. They’re still paying facility costs, such as HVAC, physical security, personnel, and other overhead. And, the organization is typically staffing IT (or trying to) with the personnel necessary to keep systems online and secure.

Chart Your Course to the Cloud

Cloud computing has helped organizations achieve all kinds of business objectives, from cutting costs, to improving the customer experience, to strengthening security and achieving compliance. But, while the business objectives are often similar, no two organizations follow the same path to the cloud.

For example, we helped a manufacturer that was housing their Epicor ERP system on IBM i systems on-premises and had no interest in giving up their platform of choice just to migrate to the cloud. However, finding qualified IBM system administration talent was getting difficult, and what staff they did have was better suited for other areas, such as managing the ERP system.

Instead of leaping to the cloud right away, this organization decided to leave their IBM i systems in-house and contract with us to manage them remotely. This way, they were able to lower headcount and improve system governance while keeping their systems where they could see them. (For a variety of reason, many of our customers like to be able to see and touch their IT systems. Others just have relatively new hardware that they haven’t completely amortized.)

But eventually, this organization, like many others we work with, got tired of the high cost of hardware refreshes and maintenance, so they decided to migrate their on-premises workloads to a private, hosted cloud on IBM equipment in Connectria’s data centers. They chose the Dallas data center as the main site because it was close to their customers in Mexico and selected one of the St. Louis data centers for disaster recovery.

When this company did a cost/benefit analysis, they estimated they were saving over $800K a year. As you might expect, the greatest savings were in hardware capital expenses and ongoing maintenance, but they also were able to reduce headcount through attrition and create a disaster recovery solution at a lower cost and a better RTO and RPO than their previous method.

This is just the path one organization took to the cloud. Your path may be very different based on your company objectives, your workloads, your current environment, and even your company culture. At the end of the day, it’s about your organization and what course will allow you to reach your goals the fastest.

The Race Belongs to the Swift

One thing is for certain, though. Cloud computing can be a tremendous competitive advantage. Without the overhead of an on-prem environment, resources can be redirected toward activities and initiatives that grow the business.

To help our customers get to the cloud faster, we decided to call in reinforcements. Earlier this year, Connectria acquired WSM International, a leader in cloud migration services. They will not only augment our current capabilities in AWS and Azure cloud migrations, but they also bring DevOps and hybrid cloud experience to the table as well.

We’ll be bringing more of their expertise to this blog in the weeks to come – especially around the concept of building a Cloud Center of Excellence. In the meantime, you can visit them on the web at wsmintl.com.

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