IT departments' methods for deploying enterprise software have been significantly changed by cloud technologies. Others offer the option of cloud or on-premises deployment, while many software providers are switching exclusively to cloud offerings. The decision may be simple for some organisations. The traditional hardware and software upkeep required for on-premises systems can be transferred to the cloud, freeing up IT to focus on delivering high-value solutions like application development, customization, and innovation. With their substantial benefits that support agility and modernisation, cloud platforms have completely changed industries with effects outside of IT.
Although there are advantages to moving to the cloud, some businesses are still hesitant to do so because of security, control, and ease of use issues. Here, we examine the advantages of moving to the cloud while addressing the problems that might prevent organisations from reaping those advantages..
The best candidates for moving to the cloud
One of the core business functions organisations are increasingly migrating to the cloud is ECM (Enterprise Content Management). Using robust back-end technology, ECM helps organisations digitise documents and automate document-driven processes, allowing the right people to access the right information at the right time. This can include business process automation, document management, records management, workflow, capture, forms and information security - prime candidates for cloud deployment, but why?
The advantages of moving core functions like ECM to the Cloud are myriad. SaaS apps are architected for resiliency and high availability to maintain business continuity, while reduced capital expenditures for hardware and software maintenance mean a lower total cost of ownership. It is possible to deliver innovative solutions rapidly with scalability, allowing organisations to adjust subscriptions as business and operational needs change. As the amount of data produced and harnessed by organisations booms, ECM is an ideal candidate for cloud migration.
However, one of the key benefits of outsourcing to a cloud vendor is that it frees up valuable IT resources, enabling in-house IT teams to concentrate on strategic business priorities. A SaaS supplier will take on a significant share of responsibilities across requirements in hardware upgrades and maintenance, network security and encryption, backups and disaster recovery, vulnerability management and updates, patches and bug fixes.
A safe base for the deployment of SaaS?
With over 80% of organisations saying cybersecurity is a priority, IT leaders need to demonstrate cloud deployments are secure. When it comes to cybersecurity, there are several advantages to using SaaS enterprise software in the cloud compared to an on-premises deployment. For example:
Security expertise: Strong SaaS providers are underpinned by specialised teams of security experts dedicated to 24/7 monitoring and protecting the cloud infrastructure and services using the latest technologies. These experts have experience and knowledge in dealing with various cyber security threats and attacks. They are often better equipped to respond to and mitigate security incidents than in-house teams, often fulfilling multiple roles. Not only this, but security-conscious cloud providers will also invest in external penetration testing of their systems to uncover any potential weaknesses, with defences such as firewalls regularly reviewed.
Regular updates and patches: Supporting 24/7 protection, SaaS providers regularly update and patch their systems to ensure protection against new and emerging cyber security threats. This ensures that organisations using SaaS software have the latest security features and protection without needing to schedule regular maintenance or upgrade cycles.
Stronger access control: Cloud deployments typically offer more granular access controls, allowing organisations to easily manage user access to the software and data. This can help prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information, reducing the risk of data breaches and other security incidents. For example, this can include configurable access rights and privileges alongside stringent password controls, host-based intrusion detection systems, audit logs and data encryption.
Data backup and disaster recovery: Cloud providers typically offer redundancy and disaster recovery options to help organisations quickly recover from a security breach or other disaster. This can be particularly important for organisations that store sensitive or mission-critical data, as it ensures that their data is always available and can be recovered quickly in the event of a security incident.
Centralised management: Cloud security measures for SaaS deployments can also be managed from a central location, making it easier for organisations to monitor and maintain their security infrastructure. This can be particularly useful for organisations with distributed workforces or multiple locations, as it allows them to standardise software security across their entire network.
Ensuring a safe and easy transition
It's important to carefully plan your actions before, during, and after a cloud migration. Every organisation will have specific requirements that must take into account legal, compliance, security, and other stakeholder needs in order to ensure smooth operations, prevent headaches in the future, and position the business for long-term success.
The migration process can be streamlined in a number of ways. This could involve setting up a plan for staff communication and training as well as important performance benchmarks prior to migration. It is crucial that you check whether potential vendors provide resources to aid in your cloud migration before signing up. Documentation, software tools, and full-service migrations that work with your organisation at every stage can all be included in this. Vendors and solution providers will have the knowledge and experience to facilitate your migration and mitigate any issues before, during, and after migration because they have supported migration for many other organisations.
Additionally, cloud migration offers the chance to update business procedures. It's crucial to control expectations rather than merely repeat procedures. Utilise migration to evaluate and update legacy processes for better results.
When everything is done, test it thoroughly before declaring the migration successful. Security will be important during the post-migration period. In addition to the built-in controls the cloud platform provides, it is crucial to make sure the proper security and compliance protocols are in place.
In addition to streamlining complexity, cloud platforms for mission-critical elements like ECM also offer a safe foundation for innovation. Make sure you work with vendors who will help you capitalise on all the cloud's advantages before, during, and after the move.