If you’re currently not running your business – or at least parts of your business on the cloud – you’re likely dealing with a good amount of pressure to make a change. Cloud-mania has taken over and if your company is not with it, you are probably contemplating whether you should take the leap. If you have had a long-term relationship with on premise solutions, this can be a scary consideration.
Companies that have run their business successfully for years without the cloud may wonder what they have to gain by moving to the cloud. But more importantly – what will they lose?
Being a recovering software consultant for both on premise and cloud solutions, I’ve heard many commonalities when customers are contemplating moving to the cloud.
Specifically, there are three basic questions that are consistently asked before a company even considers making a change:
- Will we have all the same functionality as we did with our on premise solution?
- What about our customizations? Will we lose them?
- But implementation and training must take forever, right?
Questions about cloud solutions: Common questions answered
1. Will we have all the same functionality as we did with our On Premise Solution?
When first hearing this question, the “Yes girl” in me wants to say “Of course!” However, the answer is probably not. The reality is, not all processes and functions that you are used to in your current solutions are going to fit one to one in the cloud, but that’s not a bad thing!
Making a change in your current solution also presents the opportunity to rethink current approaches and consider how to streamline. Where can you cut out the inefficiencies?
What processes are taking you the longest to do? Likely there is now a short cut to get from task A to task B which you haven’t considered.
If you are set in certain processes that you currently run and there is not an alternative in the cloud, many cloud solutions offer a hybrid approach with your current solutions; partly on premise, partly on the cloud. You can receive the best of both of your worlds, but most customers only do this for the short term before ultimately favoring the cloud.
2. What about our customizations? Will we lose them?
Anyone who has ever been a part of an on premise implementation knows the blood, sweat, and tears that went into personalizing your solution. You remember the numerous WRICEF items and functional and technical specs that were written on top of the weeks of blueprinting, configurations, testing and trainings to finally make your solution truly yours.
Will you have to give all of that up? Was it all for nothing? Well, no. There is good news.
We’ve heard your cries and felt your pain. Most of the customizations you have done in the past are likely standard, out-of-the-box, functionality now in the cloud, so you’ll probably have less customizations. And what does it mean when a solution has less customizations? It will run faster!
3. But implementation and training must take forever, right?
This question is code for, how long will this disrupt my day to day business. Well, cloud technology has not just streamlined business processes, it has also streamlined the implementation and ramp up process.
Cloud implementations can take as little to three months to be up and running. Likely your super users and administrators will be in the system on day one, so training begins immediately.
Outside consultants have now transformed to trusted advisors who are guiding you through the implementation and customization process, instead of doing most of the work themselves. This decreases the ramp up time and implementation costs, and gets your end users into the system faster.
Breaking off a long term relationship with your on premise solution can be painful and should take careful consideration. But while you consider, don’t be afraid to mingle with the cloud and see if it’s the right choice for your business. Unlike what your mother told you, it’s not always a bad thing to have your head in the clouds.