The road ahead
There are two main ‘roadmaps’ to the cloud:
1. The ‘lift and shift’ approach
For companies following this path, the cloud is a destination for all existing infrastructure and applications. Moving everything to the cloud lets you keep custom apps and systems, gets rid of your infrastructure and provides an engine that you can use to add future innovations, such as cloud-only apps, machine learning, etc. Going to the cloud means that you don’t need to incorporate foundations for these applications in your own environment.
- Advantages: keep your familiar or highly customized environments, tools and applications
- Disadvantages: still requires manual upgrades and changes, potential custom integration with cloud-only tools needed
2. The SaaS approach
Businesses taking this road already have the ‘cloud mentality’, making the cloud a consequence and not a goal in itself. It’s a necessary platform required to use cloud-based vendor tools. It’s important for companies implementing entirely new cloud-based systems to clearly define what they want to do with these systems and fit these goals into the standard processes that come with SaaS. However, SaaS applications are becoming more and more customizable and can be molded to shape your needs.
- Advantages: start from scratch, automatic upgrades, smooth changes, move business functions/entities one-at-a-time, scalable pricing models, always have the latest tech at hand
- Disadvantages: adjustment to new environments and tools