“Cloud is the future.” “Move to the cloud now or fall behind.” “Digital transformation requires a move to the cloud.” “Moving to the cloud saves you money.”
Businesses have been thoroughly swamped with headlines berating them to move away from data centers and hardware, and move their operations to the cloud. I am a firm believer that the future success of almost any business will require a cloud component.
A quick search of the interwebs will return hundreds of millions of articles and infomercials about the joys of moving to the cloud.
I will save you time and headache – just do it. BUT, do it right and do it strategically.
I am going to take a simple, but crucial, example and review the benefits and why it makes strategic sense. The Business Application Triad – Email, Finance, CRM. These are the three major pieces of any business that will cause critical business issues if they aren’t available and protected. A failure (system down, corrupted data, lost data, criminal hacking, processes being unavailable, etc.) by any piece of this BizApp triad will impact every business bottom line.
Quick note: This is not meant to disparage the hard-working IT teams and line of business folks. Unless IT, networking, hardware, and security are your sole job, or you have a team to deal with them, you are set up to fail. Period. Any business is vulnerable to these problems. IT folks today dealing with hardware and datacenters spend much of their time trying to keep up with the rapidly changing IT and business landscape. Days and hours are spent reacting to problems or potential issues.
I think the better business decision is to take those smart IT folks and redirect their efforts and brain power to solving other business problems.
The better choice, the right choice, is to find a vendor that takes care of the platform, updates, security, etc. for you and leaves your team free to handle your core business challenges. Why are you spending time trying to figure out why your email system won’t connect to those users working from the road? Why did the server backup fail two weeks ago and now you can’t restore the data you lost?
Shouldn’t you be thinking of ways to leverage your team and technology to get ahead of your competition? How to better take care of your customers?
Every minute a company owner, executive, or line of business manager spends NOT thinking about their customers is time your competition is. Time your competition is using to move ahead of you.
Strategically, at its core, business apps should be there to help and guide your process. That process should be laser-focused on improving internal efficiencies and improving your customer service.
It’s time you take a hard look at your business applications. How much time do you and your staff spend administering and managing the platform that they run on? Hardware, network, datacenter, internet – these comprise the platform.
Then, how much time are you and your team administering and managing the underlying software that runs the apps on the platform? Software patches, version updates, SQL Server maintenance, etc. – all of this to be able to use the business app software.
I guarantee you are spending much more time and money on those issues than you are aware. These are not simple P&L or Balance Sheet line items.
As a Microsoft Partner, we will point you to the Microsoft cloud platform as the right platform to select. Using Office 365 for email, security, document storage, and collaboration is an immediate win. Adopting Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or Finance and Operations for your financial/ERP solution brings a built-in level of efficiency to your process. Finally, adopting Dynamics 365 for Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing brings Artificial Intelligence to your process, allowing your sales, service, and marketing teams to deliver faster and more productively.
Microsoft is the ONLY platform vendor providing all three of these crucial business applications in one suite. Interoperability and data consolidation delivered out of the box.
There are many more moves to plan strategically for your business; why carry server hardware on your books? Every server you run today can be moved to the cloud using Azure. But, that is for another post.
Digital transformation, moving to the cloud, setting your business up for success – one platform, one vendor. And Dyn365Pros is the strategic partner to get you there.
By Ken Farmer, President/Chief Solution Architect, Dyn365Pros, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner, San Diego, Southern California