Evolution of the Cloud Conversation
The shift from ‘why’ to ‘how, and how soon’, for Core’s clients
Rye Austin, Sales and Marketing Director at Core, is used to talking to people about transitioning to cloud-based services. But over the past year or so, he’s observed a significant alteration in the way that conversation is going.
“Today, people don’t want to put servers in their offices. Even before the very recent huge drive towards remote working, the current climate was changing. Having on-premises environments is high risk and expensive and needs more maintenance. It doesn’t make sense for most customers now, so everyone’s looking at the cloud”, Austin explained.
Indeed, for any startup the way forward is obvious.
But for complex organisations with legacy systems it’s not so straightforward, and preserving business continuity requires expert project management to enact the change smoothly.
Everything depends on the starting point
“Every organisation has got different systems, different data and different needs. So we look to understand how an organisation would make the absolute most of the cloud. And that means looking at the systems they’ve got, because there are different levels of the cloud and different ways of doing things.
“So for one organisation, they might choose to have email hosted in a SaaS style solution that makes the most sense for email. Other systems like document management, they might choose a different platform, and other workloads might be set up on Azure or similar.” he continued, illustrating the complexity and consultative nature of the change management process involved.
While being a Microsoft Gold partner and expert, Core’s independence is a critical asset in putting together a plan which best meets the needs of each client effectively on their journey to full cloud-based operations. “We see a lot of vendors that are trying a kind ‘land grab’, to get customers onto their platform”, said Austin. But this isn’t serving customers well, nor demonstrating the transformative potential of cloud-based working:
“Just putting the same stuff in the cloud and doing things the same way, then ticking the box and saying we’re done, is really not the best way of doing it. Sales people have targets to meet, and might be looking to meet targets to win organisations to take that first step into the cloud.
“But the skill sets required to maintain cloud services are different. The tooling you need to maintain it and be secure with data is different. It’s a big transition, from how things are in the on-premises world.”
Three steps to cloud success:
When Core’s consultants work with clients, they avoid the rush to roll out, and instead work through a structured process to co-create a change management plan.
“We start with education”, Austin explained.
“We explain what’s out there, what the options are, and the benefits of the different options. They all have pros and cons, we want to educate the customer first”
Once the customer is in a position to make an informed choice about the possibilities, the options for transition can be further discussed. “We look in detail at the business case, and how we’ll be there to support what would be a large transformation for them. We need to examine how it’s going to improve their organisation and enhance the bottom line.”
Only at that point, can the project itself be specified. “The third stage is to actually plan and roadmap the rollout and design. To say, here is where we think you should go, and here’s how to get there.”
So, you start with the compass, before you unroll the map — which makes a lot of sense, on a complex journey to an exciting new destination.
For nearly 30 years, Core has been working with organisations to successfully implement transformative digital technologies which deliver defined business outcomes. Core’s Technology Enablement services are designed to maximise user acceptance, engagement, and ultimately, the utilisation of the technology to realise business value.