4 Key Factors in Timing your Move to the Cloud

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The pressure has probably been building for some time now, slowly increasing over time. It was very small and subtle at first, hardly noticeable in fact. Years passed, and the increase has only been getting greater. Today, it is nearly unbearable. How did things get to this point? Yesterday’s position is no longer tenable, the time has come to make the change.

Does it seem like “The Cloud” has been a shadow on your horizon for some time now. You knew it was there, had some vague understanding of its capabilities and purposes, but there always seemed to be more time. “Not now, but I can see us moving to “The Cloud” at some point”. Fair enough, but how do you know when the time has come?

The transition to “The Cloud” is coming; it truly is the shape of the future. Initially, the transition has been led by the companies and business owners who saw that the advantages of moving to “The Cloud” outweighed the costs. These early adopters will proudly show you the scars they have earned by making the transition, but the benefits they realized were worth the effort. (Granted, there are some industries and companies that will resist “The Cloud” for as long as possible, and their reasons are legitimate: fear of data breaches, loss of privacy, or even waiting for a regulatory body to make the approvals necessary to allow the transition).

The tide turned when the major software companies made their own commitment to truly enabling the promise of “The Cloud”. Freed from the tyranny of a calendar-based release cycle, they can now offer improvements to their subscribers as soon as they are tested, without having to wait for the next “Product Release Cycle”. These major software companies will most likely continue to offer their “on-premise” product versions, but clearly, their preference is to move everyone (possible) to “The Cloud”

Here are 4 Key Factors to evaluate as you time your transition to “The Cloud”

4 Key Factors:

Current Infrastructure

One of the clear benefits of transitioning to “The Cloud” is exiting the infrastructure upgrade merry-go-round. Modern ERP systems rely on a lengthy list of infrastructure and systems. To get the most out of your upgraded ERP system you will also need to upgrade: the database, the email capabilities, current versions of Office, etc. Without upgrading these key components, you may not be able to get all of the benefits available to you.

Current Hardware

Run a quick inventory on your current server hardware, desktop hardware, and the various operating systems and supporting software needed. In many cases, the new hardware requirements will exceed the capabilities of your current systems. Upgrading to a current version of the software, will then require an upgrade to the infrastructure as well. Transitioning your systems to the cloud can eliminate the need to buy new hardware. Quick rule of thumb: hardware more than two years old will likely need to be upgraded or even replaced. Click here for the current Hardware Requirements for Dynamics GP 2015.

Capital vs Operating Costs

On-premise systems are fixed assets, which means that the capital costs for the system and its implementation must be properly accounted for within your capital budgets. With “The Cloud”, these become monthly operating costs instead. Transitioning to the cloud can increase your flexibility as well, adding new users at any time, based entirely on your own needs and timing.

Competitive Advantages

Change rarely occurs in a vacuum, and while you have been considering a transition to “The Cloud”, your competitors have been acting. Does their move to “The Cloud” dictate that you make the move as well? Probably not, but every month you hesitate, their advantage grows. There is still time to catch up, but how big a lead do you want to give them?

Your customers, vendors, and employees also need to be considered. What is the perception of your company, products and services? Image certainly isn’t everything, but your ability to attract the people you want to work with may rest on the image you present. Old-school vs. 21st century.

Will everyone make the move to “The Cloud”? No, for a variety of reasons, a few will hold out. The early adopters are already there, and have been for a while. For the majority still holding out, there are legitimate reasons to hold off, but as your infrastructure ages, these reasons diminish. Making a smooth transition is the goal use these 4 factors to help determine when to make the transition.

By TMC, your Southern California Dynamics GP Partner

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