“Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.” One of the most well-known poems, “The Charge of the Light Brigade” is the story of a failed charge by the British Empire in the mid-19th century. A result of poor planning and miscommunication throughout the chain of command, the poem documents how bravely the British cavalry fought when descending into certain doom.
Fools Rush In: Understanding the Battle before Making a Charge
Knowing this, if you remember “The Charge of the Light Brigade” from your English or history class, you also may remember how it ends. No gains, heavy casualties, and lost morale. But what does this have to do with technology?
Simple. A well-planned, well communicated, and well-executed move to the cloud can pay dividends for years to come. But a hasty decision that fails to account for the reality of your business could leave you struggling to pick up the pieces.
When companies fail to plan a technology initiative and build it around their business, they often end up rushing valiantly into disappointment. Decisions are questioned, blame is thrown upon someone, and unlike the Light Brigade, your ‘troops’ might not be as loyal as those who charged in. Following our article exploring the many different options on your journey to the cloud, we would today like to explore some of the challenges that may occur when you fail to account for the realities of your business.
It Starts with Knowing Your Business
The charge of the Light Brigade failed not only because of miscommunication, but for two other critical reasons: Poor reconnaissance and an ill-equipped and unarmored unit that was meant to ride fast. While the Light Brigade would have been perfect for the assumed task—cutting off the withdrawal of artillery—they were sent into a battle in which the opponent was already in position and dug in.
Many businesses are ready for a full-on charge into the cloud. Yours might be one of them. However, yours may also be one who has a bit of work to do before you’re truly ready for the different operating environment that exists. Before riding in, it pays to get a lay of the land—are your people ready for a complete move? Do you have a plan for connecting third-party or custom applications that might not be built to integrate? There are a variety of pitfalls ranging from unforeseen costs to unprepared people, all of which need to be understood before going all-in. Here are just a few.
Moving the Wrong Things
As discussed in a Computerworld article, one of the mistakes that a company could make is failing to analyze its current application stack before considering any kind of cloud move.
The first step, according to Dave Bartoletti, an analyst with Forrester Research, Inc., is to understand the products you currently use, splitting your stack of applications into two groups—which ones will be migrated and which will be replaced. Some things are easy to replace. For example, there’s little reason to migrate an on-premise email application when a replacement would likely be cheaper and simple to implement. Others might not be so simple.
Not Being Ready for a Different Pricing Structure and Mentality
One of the biggest selling points to the cloud is cost savings. Free from management tasks and other low-value activities, you often can free up your IT team to focus on activities that drive your business forward. However, you can’t ignore some of the costs involved with the move. Everything from consultant time to the early stages of the move cost money, and from there, the different pricing structure needs to be planned for.
Not Focusing on Continuous Improvement
One of the biggest risks of an overzealous-yet-uninformed cloud move is that you can just shift the data to the cloud and call it a day. While this is technically true, all it means is that you’ve simply moved your data to the cloud without much thought of what that means.
An ideal cloud move is completed with clean databases and well-designed infrastructure. If your data is poorly provisioned and disconnected on your current systems, it’s going to be just as poorly provisioned and disconnected in the cloud.
The Right Partner to Guide You
An all-in move to the cloud can help you save money, keep up with the latest technology, and reduce unnecessary workload—in fact, we’ve helped a lot of companies make that move. An all-in move to the cloud may also have the opposite effect if it’s not properly executed.
Making a smarter move to the cloud requires a pragmatic approach, a partner who understands the battlefield, and who won’t lead you on a valiant charge into the “valley of death.”
With our unique approach to ERP, we get to know how you work and can help you determine what will make the most sense for your business. To learn more, contact us for a product demo and free consultation.