For organizations seeking to be nimble and cost-effective, subscription-based access to cloud-based tools can deliver computing tools and infrastructure without hassle. These include:

  • On-demand software applications
  • Hosting and data storage
  • Networking
  • Back-up and recovery
  • Real-time, collaborative enterprise planning

It’s more than on-demand services that spur organizations to migrate to the cloud. There are inherent benefits including:

  • Lower costs due to the elimination of upfront capital expenses for hardware, software and other IT operating costs.
  • Faster time-to-market as the cloud offers self-service on demand. This offers a lot of flexibility and mitigates pressures associated with capacity planning.
  • Elasticity/scaling from one small location to global operations conducted on a 24/7 basis.
  • Improved productivity as time-consuming tasks, such as hardware setup, software installs, and other routine IT tasks, are built in to your hosted solution, not dependent on your IT staff.

Cloud computing helps businesses stay competitive by replacing the inefficiencies of static and inaccurate spreadsheet planning with real-time automation.

Plan your migration

The elements of a sound cloud migration start with planning including the following steps:

  1. A catalog of services you use in your business today, such as email, CRM, applications you host on-site, and shared files. This helps guide which services you decide to migrate to the cloud.
  2. A current financial model for your onsite IT services. This helps determine your cloud computing budget.
  3. A plan for adoption that identifies low-hanging fruit, which you can quickly migrate to the cloud, and that supports your long-term IT plans.

Identify end users goals

If end users don’t see any personal benefit from cloud computing, migration is harder. To combat potential disruption or negativity among personnel, ask your end users at all levels and departments how they see their computing needs. Then, inform select groups or individuals on how their needs will be addressed immediately, in the future, or not at all. Clear and open communication goes a long way towards success.

Anticipate cloud computing costs

One of the most important benefits of cloud computing is financial. Overall computing costs are often lower, and services often better. Many of the costs associated with cloud computing are capitalized, but the expenses, such as subscription fees for a SaaS associated with cloud computing, are incurred the year they occur for more favorable tax treatment. ROI for cloud computing migrations can be substantial. Major items for ROI consideration include:

  • Increased access (cloud computing is accessible anytime, anywhere)
  • Reduction in hardware costs
  • Reduction in ongoing maintenance and security
  • Lower IT staffing needs

About Vanguard Software
Vanguard Software introduced its first product for decision support analysis in 1995. Today, companies across every major industry and more than 60 countries rely on Vanguard Software’s Integrated Business Planning (IBP), forecasting and advanced analytic cloud platform. Vanguard Software is based in Cary, North Carolina.

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