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Are you holding off on moving your applications to the cloud? Cisco predicts that in three years, 83% of traffic in data centers will be cloud-based. Many development companies are taking a cloud-first approach with their updates and latest applications.

Traditional industries that have long held to on-premise-only infrastructure are making inroads with cloud adoption, with many organizations testing the water after someone else makes the first move. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. If you don’t start to move applications to the cloud, you’ll be left far behind.


How to Sample Cloud Strategies

Switching from your traditional infrastructure to a completely new way of working with IT resources can’t happen overnight. You need time to develop cloud expertise internally, hire specialists, get employee buy-in and implement a change management plan.

You start off small on your cloud journey by sampling strategies through test and development environments. For example, Amazon’s AWS platform is well-suited for this task, as you can quickly deploy the resources you need to experiment with your applications. However, don’t expect to go from on-premise to 80%+ cloud-based overnight. By taking a methodical approach, you reduce the chances of a major business disruption.

Also, take a look at what solutions you are currently leveraging. You might be able to ‘dip your toe’ into cloud computing by using features that are built into products you already consume. For example, Veeam licensing has Cloud Connect which, when turned on, allows you to backup to the cloud or even use Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Cloud Tiering from Dell EMC also functions the same way with certain Data Domain models.

Move From a Reactive to a Proactive Business Model

If you operate on a “break-fix” business model, you react to infrastructure problems as they occur, playing catch-up due to unexpected problems that get in the way of your doing business. Cloud-based applications empower you to move to a “plan-develop” approach.

You have a reduced footprint and lower data center management demands in the cloud. So, the tasks that typically fill up all of the IT staff’s time are no longer draining your resources.

This gives you more time to take a proactive approach that not only handles your most common issues with minimal direct input but also aligns with the organization’s goals.

In addition, the shift from reactive to proactive opens the door for greater innovation. The development staff members no longer need to drop everything that they’re doing to fix a problem that everybody expected but no one had the time or resources to resolve.


The Main Benefits of Cloud-Based Development

You gain three primary benefits when you migrate applications to the cloud: improved mobility, greater efficiency, and centralized data.


1. Improved Mobility


Bring your own device (BYOD) policies and the market penetration of mobile devices makes smartphones and tablets widely available in the business environment. However, many legacy applications have little or no support for access from these devices or in remote locations. The result is that employees get stuck at workstations and can’t take advantage of the devices that grant them the most productivity. If the hardware fails, these associates have to wait for a replacement before they can get back to work.

Cloud-based applications remove this restriction for workers. They can get to the resources they need with the most convenient device without needing to be at their desk. This ability is particularly important for industries reliant on field teams.


2. Greater Efficiency


You don’t need to split your attention between developing the applications and worrying about the data center maintenance. The cloud provider takes responsibility for that side of the equation.

Your time is focused entirely on your migration, not on all the backend details. If your company has limited IT resources and technical staff with too many responsibilities, you get more opportunities to focus on your core business duties.


3. Data Centralization


Data duplication and siloing can cause many issues, from redundant work to inaccurate information. Each application relies on its own database and you can’t get organization-wide visibility into what you have available. Cloud-based applications can integrate with other databases or work off a centralized database to improve access and break down silos.


Large Organizations are Embracing the Cloud

If you’re still worried about whether a cloud migration is a safe or secure option, look at some of the biggest businesses in the world.

These organizations are confident that the cloud serves their business goals, drives innovation, and is a better option than an on-premise infrastructure:

  • Johnson & Johnson: This massive health care and consumer packaged goods company wants to put 85% of its apps in the cloud in the next year.
  • Boeing: The top airplane manufacturer is working on cloud applications integrated with IoT sensors to predict when planes need maintenance and what’s required to optimize the amount of fuel used on each flight.
  • Xerox: The printer and copier giant has an application called Cloud Print. When end-users who are not at their office location need to print documents, they can still get exactly what they need.

The Fortune 500 and other billion-dollar companies are exploring many ways to move from legacy applications to a cloud-based future. If the largest organizations in the world feel confident in their cloud migration and development strategy, it’s a safe bet that small to medium-sized organizations can readily deploy a cloud-based infrastructure and reap the benefits as well.


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