5 Reasons Why Every SMB Should Invest In An ERP Solution

Why is ERP an Irreplaceable Asset for Small Businesses?

Cost factor appears to be the primary reason why many small businesses show resistance to adopting an ERP solution to run their business operations. With the advent of SaaS-based solutions, the scenario has changed today. Software-as-a-Service or SaaS allows SMBs to onboard the latest technology solutions like ERP into their business and pay according to their usage. 

Market Research Engine reports that among growing businesses, 96% of those who are successful rely on an ERP solution to run their daily operations seamlessly. Enterprise Resource Planning has grown into a critical business application for small and medium businesses as it connects data across their functional departments and allows unified decision making and service automation.

If your business is yet to consider implementing an ERP system, here are 5 compelling reasons why you need to invest in an ERP solution in 2020:

1. Unified Business View

ERP solves the biggest challenge faced by any business- data consolidation!

An Enterprise Resource Planning software consolidates data from across departments to help management make informed decisions. 

  • From analytical reporting to inter-departmental approvals and workflows, an ERP system allows smooth operations in an enterprise by bringing every workflow into an organized digital framework. 
  • From inventory to accounting and employee schedules, an ERP system can help trace the root cause of performance issues in your business easily. 

It gives an overview of where you need to focus on and how you can make critical decisions such as cost optimizations, resource management, and much more. 

Related Reading: 5 Digital Capabilities Every Small Business Needs To Invest In 2020

2. Encourages Transparency

With an ERP system, you can cultivate a transparent work culture in your organization.

Across functions or departments, an ERP system allows you to map dependencies, track progress, raise alerts on areas demanding attention, and keep employees and management updated with real-time performance metrics of the business. 

  • ERP forms a centralized database from which all departments can access and share information thereby ensuring a transparent information flow within the enterprise. 
  • It also eliminates errors and manipulations from spreading into entire business processes by deploying quality checks across departmental management modules. 

Transparency at the workplace ensures that all units within your organization gain access to accurate information for their daily working needs.

3. Empowers Automation

An ERP offers centralized and automated management of work files as well as reporting for decision-makers.

Without an ERP system, most business units will have to work with a barrage of spreadsheets and documents to arrive at decisions. The amount of manual work to be done for processing documents, preparing reports for management and other work-related files would be severely high. 

ERP application helps automate a lot of manual tasks that employees have to spend time daily like for example, adding a new employee record in multiple business units such as payroll, project management, leave management, finance, compliance, and HR units, etc. If there was no ERP all these entries would have to be done manually and chances of errors and mistakes are relatively higher for manual work.

Related Reading: Automation In Small Business: 4 Areas To Get Started

4. Support Digital Business Transformation

An ERP serves as the backbone for an SMB to propel itself into new-age digital revenue channels. 

It promotes a culture of data-driven operations across the business and makes it easier for transitioning traditional business models into newer and more exciting customer touchpoints. For example, if you are into retailing, an ERP system can serve as the best resource for you to transition into an e-commerce business. With visibility into inventory, processes, accounting, revenue management, and supply chain efficiency, it becomes easy to deploy an e-commerce solution to derive data from your ERP and offer a superlative experience to online shoppers. 

Additionally, implementing new digital experiences in your physical business locations too becomes easier, as you already have data points to explore with APIs and have new tools act on your available data to create new experiences. A good example would be marketing automation wherein digital marketing platforms can be deployed to act on data in your ERP to roll out campaigns to attract new buyers.

5. Turn Competitive

One of the major reasons why several SMBs today are turning to ERP solutions is the ability of such systems to place them in a competitive position in the market. 

An ERP solution gives data-backed insights that help SMBs offer experiences to customers that any bigger and more established businesses can offer. Cloud-based ERP systems ensure that you can roll out these experiences without burning a hole in the pocket for expenditure. The easy scalability it gives to your business systems ensures that you can always forecast demand and adjust your entire business operations to meet this demand on time.

From managing your entire value chain to enabling memorable experiences for your customers, ERP unlocks tons of possibilities for small business enterprises. At InfinCE, we believe that ERP is the digital core of your business. InfinCE is designed to overcome your remote working woes. It combines numerous productivity and enterprise solutions including ERP, CRM, CMS, and HRM solutions, hosted on secure cloud environments, dedicated to your need. 

Related Reading: Why should a small business opt for InfinCE

Leverage the best value from your technology investments with InfinCE. Talk to our experts today to find out more. 

Business Process Management Strategy for your Small Business

4 Key Pillars to Ensure a Seamless BPM Experience for your Business

Small business entrepreneurs often think about how much to invest in digital tools that empower their business operations. The question arises mainly because they are unsure if their organization has attained sufficient scalability to bring on-board a digital enablement platform. Among these, one area where most small businesses cast doubt on digital transformation is business process management. 

There is a notion that BPM and BPM software is meant only for large enterprises with well-defined processes and departmental policies. BPM is a practice even small businesses need to follow and cultivate as a cultural trait right from their startup days. 

Now, the question is when should a small business start adopting BPM in its operations? The need for BPM is driven by the demand for efficiency which ultimately leads to better customer service. On this note, here are 4 key pillars you need to build in your company to ensure a seamless BPM experience:

1. Approval Matrix

In most small businesses, bottlenecks in efficiency occur due to a lack of sync in processes. Employees often wait at managerial desks seeking approvals for implementing changes or customer requirements. Managers, in turn, wait for approvals from senior leadership for various essential affairs. 

Delays in submitting contracts and postponing commitments create a wrong impression on the customer. This can be eliminated by formulating an automated process workflow culture in the organization when metrics on items can determine its approval chances. A simple example could be classifying an approval matrix based on the size of the project. A smaller deal would require just a manger’s approval while bigger ones could require review and approval by higher authorities or leaders. Once this is defined, it will be easier to build a business process around it and ultimately automate it through a BPM software.

Related Reading: 5 Ways A Project Management Tool Can Help Your Business Grow

2. Building Awareness

As you grow from a startup into an established small business, there will be a rise in the number of employees as well as departments. For collective growth, it is important to ensure that all employees have access to the right information about the company and its offerings. Only then would they be able to handle internal business process improvement practices as well as become effective spokespersons for the company in front of customers. 

Employees should be aware of how every activity in the organization leads to better customer experience. This can be achieved by having a well-defined organizational induction program for new joiners and a continuous learning initiative for on-boarded employees. This learning experience can be used to integrate employee thoughts with business objectives which will ultimately transform employees into torchbearers for BPM practices within their respective roles.

3. Encourage Autonomy

This is a continuation of the learning experience element we mentioned. There are processes within the organization that may have been brought into existence from a very complex background and scaled meaninglessly over time. To break it into simpler business models, it is important to ensure autonomous decision making by employees involved in these complex business operations. 

Related Reading: 5 Ways To Improve Business Growth Through Employee Engagement

Employees should be given time to identify and map activities to processes with guidance gained from experts whenever needed. Hiring BPM specialists to disrupt and re-write such complex processes within one day is not advisable as it may throw employees into a tantrum and lead to highly frustrating experiences.

4. Drive Data Generation

This is one of the most important pillars that need to be established while adopting business process management in a small business. Every department or team in your organization needs to have a standard data generation policy. This generated data should be a base for determining the KPIs for tracking employee performance and growth, defining their intra-departmental or team dependencies, validating their customer satisfaction objectives and much more. Once everything is defined by data, it becomes easier to bring in automation between workflows, thus enabling better process management through BPM software.

Business process management is a transformational initiative that can bring about unparalleled operational efficiency in a small business. But as illustrated here, it needs a strong foundation and support from your entire organization for effective implementation. This is where a well-defined BPM capability built into your organization’s digital backend can be a game-changer. InfinCE, with its cloud-ready enterprise digital platform, can integrate seamlessly into your operations and enable a sound BPM strategy within your company. Get in touch with us to know more.

5 Tips to Select the Best Email Service Provider for your Startup

How to choose an email service provider for your small business?

When you set up a new business or startup, one of the first things you need to do is to invest in a custom email and website domain for your small business. Once you have brought the rights, bring in an email service provider to create an email channel for you and your team. 

Many startups make the mistake of going in for free email services in the beginning to cut costs, but it is not at all a recommended move. They fail to understand that today’s customers are highly conscious of sharing information or doing business with anonymous startups that do not have a website or unique email address for communication. Now that the need to use a powerful email service is justified, it is time to look at the criterion to select the best provider for your small business.

Evaluate these factors before choosing an ideal email service provider:

Related Reading: Why Your Startup Needs A Professional Email Account

1. Identify your Needs and Potential

Before going through the features of an email service provider, startups and small businesses must first look within their organization to identify their needs. Find the number of email accounts needed, the potential scale or rate of growth in emails expected over the next couple of years and the budgetary scope available for investing in IT platforms like email. Also, make a list of devices and other software tools you are likely to use in the coming years that need integration with your business email.

2. Evaluate the Compatibility of Platforms with Demand

Once you have your unique requirements listed down, it will be easy to cross-check on feature offerings from multiple email service providers. See whether the service provider can cater to your needs of scale, device friendliness, platform integration, and other technical requirements. Check for hidden clauses or limitations from service providers that prevent you from exercising full flexibility in your particular email operations such as subdomain requirements for different departments like sales, marketing or support.

3. Examine Cost options

For small businesses and startups, it is important to allocate budget for core business activities and hence very often the IT department has to work with limited financial resources. While selecting an email provider, it is important to evaluate their pricing options to see if they offer a perfect combination of features and cost-effectiveness. Modern-day cloud-based services offer subscription plans that bill you based on usage. This is the best option that lets you scale on demand while paying only for what you consume be it the number of user accounts, email storage size, features, etc. A service provider that offers seamless flexibility with prices for their subscription-based email services will be the most ideal candidate for your startup or small business.

4. Availability and Support

While choosing a service provider for your business email, it is important to pick one that has a well-defined Service Level Agreement (SLA) on service availability. For most startups, emails are the primary sales and marketing arsenal and often require round-the-clock availability and flexibility. As such, ensuring uninterrupted services for enabling such critical functions is an imminent feature that needs to be offered by the email service provider. While it is impossible to have a zero fault service, the response time they agree in the SLA is vital in making a choice. The faster the service provider can get your email back on track from a disruption, smoother and seamless will be your operations.

5. Security and Backup

At some point in time, businesses need to exchange sensitive data with their customers or employees through email. The information may include data pertaining to sensitive company credentials such as business models or financial statements. Hence, it is important to know how secure your email data is with the service provider you choose. Any scope for data leaks or unauthorized access should be eliminated at all costs. From a security perspective, ensure that the email provider offers a well-structured and redundant backup policy. The provider must offer fault free service operations in the event of a major issue.

Related Reading: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Promote Collaboration Among Teams

It is important for startup businesses to entrust their core communication channels like email to a service provider that can help facilitate seamless availability, affordability, and flexibility of features. This is why cloud-based enterprise platforms like INFINCE are finding greater acceptance among small businesses and startups. With interactive enterprise management features and powerful email and other communication platforms integrated into them, INFINCE can be the game changer in your digital journey. Get in touch with us to explore more about how INFINCE can be your startup’s best companion.

Private Or Public Cloud: Where Should My Business Invest?

Why Is The Public Cloud A Better Digital Transformation Option?

A decade ago, only a fraction of large scale enterprise applications, as well as consumer-facing applications, were in the cloud. Today, everything, from video and music streaming services to enterprise systems like ERP resides on cloud-based platforms. The large scale disruption that occurred due to the widespread adoption of cloud computing was the transition of one-time expensive licenses for software into highly affordable and flexible usage.

The benefits do not end with just cost but also the improved scalability that organizations were able to enjoy when their business or transaction volumes fluctuated during peak and non-peak market conditions. This is precisely the reason why the enterprise SaaS market is generating revenues of over $20 billion in a quarter for software vendors with a 32% year on growth. Industrial sectors ranging from banking to healthcare, retail, utilities, public services, and manufacturing have all made massive strides in cloud technology adoption. In fact, studies have shown that one-third of all IT budgets from enterprises now go into cloud solutions and platforms.

So cloud computing is here to stay and grow. The question now is what type of cloud, enterprises should invest in to ensure that their digital aspirations are offered the most compatible and progressive growth platforms. The major cloud options available for enterprises are public and private cloud systems. So what exactly are these? Here’s a brief explanation:

Private Cloud

A private cloud system is one that resides purely within an enterprise IT infrastructure and managed comprehensively by their own in-house technical team. From the deployment of applications to maintenance and upgrades, every activity that happens on such a cloud environment is owned, controlled and managed privately by the enterprise themselves. In short, the enterprise builds its own controlled cloud environment for internal usage and restricts any external access.

Public Cloud

A public cloud system is one in which your data and or applications reside on a cloud platform provided by reputed cloud vendors. The vendor is responsible for managing the data center requirements such as storage, application development support, processing and computing power, security and other infrastructural requirements.

So how can enterprises decide on choosing what’s best for their business? Let us examine the top 5 parameters every enterprise must evaluate before selecting their cloud infrastructure and how public and private cloud systems fare in each of these parameters.

1. Security

Every modern-day organization has to deal with truckloads of data that needs to be processed for decision making across different departments. When this entire process is transitioned into cloud-based systems where data is communicated over the internet, then security is a key concern. If an organization were to build their own private cloud infrastructure, then they would have to invest heavily on fortifying their cloud environment from threats. They could argue that external threats are lower than in the case of public cloud systems, but the effort involved in deploying and managing security protocols especially physical security of data centers is humongous.

Besides the right knowledge on how to thwart different levels of threats that arise in the industry from time to time will be limited if you engage internal staff to handle these security issues. As for a public cloud system, they would be aware of how to manage and neutralize the latest threats in the industry. In addition to that, the advantage of dedicated physically secure data centers, public cloud systems offer cloud infrastructure in your desired level of security preferences.  

2. Technical Workforce Requirement

If your core business is non-IT, then the number of staff required to maintain a private enterprise cloud ecosystem within your business would be considerably larger if your business deals with a sizeable volume of IT transactions. This workforce requirement spans across different categories of IT technical staff like network administrators, physical and cyber security experts, database management teams, application maintenance and environment support teams, etc. Having a large dedicated IT workforce would result in significantly higher manpower requirements for a non-revenue, operational stream within your business and hence could impact staffing requirements across other key functions gradually due to budget constraints.

Additionally, your in-house technical team may not have access to industry awareness sessions and workshops that dedicated public cloud service providers offer to their staff. Hence, they would not be in a position to handle complexities that may arise from time to time. Public cloud service providers, on the other hand, invest in R&D, training and learning sessions to keep their workforce aware of what’s new and innovative in their industry. By preferring them over your own private cloud infrastructure, the knowledgeable workforce requirement challenge is mitigated considerably.

3. Scalable Infrastructure

Today’s businesses need a flexible technology infrastructure that can handle large fluctuations in their consumer demands and market conditions. For example, if you are an online retailer, then your technology backend will witness massive loads during the holiday shopping season and hence may need to scale up bandwidth, storage, computing, and analytical power, during this season. If you have private cloud infrastructure, then scalability will not be a flexible advantage since it would involve upgrading your own hardware infrastructure as well as other platform strengths to handle surges in usage.

Maintaining this high level of operational infrastructure all through the year is an expensive affair since the surge may be restricted to just a few months, but the hardware maintenance needs to be an ongoing activity all through the year. This is where public cloud systems offer an on-demand scalability advantage to your technology infrastructure. You can increase your cloud environment, performance, storage, and computing power in times of sudden business spikes and transit back to normal usage levels once the peak usage period is over. This will result in huge savings in terms of cost as well as management of cloud infrastructure as you only need to dynamically manage requests for increased transactions and not have the infrastructure boosted up always.

4. Ease of transitioning

Migrating your legacy on-premise system to a cloud-based platform is not a cakewalk activity. It involves careful planning, strategizing and prioritizing of business functions that need to be migrated to a cloud-based platform. If you are to building a private cloud system for everything, then the overheads involved in project management, application development, data migration, hosting and ultimately the availability of the system for consumer-facing business operations will be a challenging one.

If you opt for ready to deploy public cloud systems on the other hand, then all it takes is your data to migrate into the new cloud ecosystem after a small personalization or customization exercise. Or if you want to transition your proprietary enterprise applications in a cloud environment, then again the stability and support offered by public clouds can in no way be matched if you were to build a private cloud ecosystem to facilitate the transition.

5. Cost of Operations

The cost factor is a culmination of all the above parameters mentioned in this blog. As you can witness clearly, a private cloud requires quite a big investment to ensure that the organization’s technology infrastructure is on a secure and scalable cloud ecosystem with skilled and technically competent staff. This investment is not a one-time activity because technology evolves over time and you need to constantly transform with the changing technologies. With a public cloud system, you only incur the subscription cost while all other management and periodic feature upgrades are intelligently handled by the vendors themselves without passing on a heavy cost to users. This would mean that your organization would be able to significantly lower IT investments and hence core business operations would receive a higher budget allocation.

Related Reading: Migrate to the cloud efficiently! Check out our free guide to enable effective cloud transformation.

Thus, a public cloud system is the most feasible solution for enterprises to transit their digital assets into a cloud ecosystem. As more and more technology vendors bring newer innovations in the form of cloud-based ready to deploy platforms, it becomes easier for businesses to concentrate more on their core operational matters and less on their IT investments. With an infinite cloud platform like INFINCE, transform your business into a truly digital enterprise. Get in touch with us now!

INFINCE – A One Stop Technology Solution for Small Business

INFINCE is a cloud platform built to run your business in a completely new way via information technology. This cloud-based software comes fully-supported, hassle-free, user-friendly and very much cost effective. Having INFINCE at your small business is like taking your business to the next step by simplifying the way you work and concentrate on your business growth. The efficient functionality of INFINCE combined with its user-friendly technology and flexible features allows you to manage everything from the simplest to the most complex, in a convenient and comfortable manner. 

 

Why should a small business opt for INFINCE?

A big business starts small,” said Richard Branson. The road to becoming large-scale for broadening services and reach begins with finding and deploying the right technology solutions. Technologies like the cloud have turned out a major disruptor and undergone widespread adoption by businesses, big and small.

Compared to on-premise technology, cloud platforms have global accessibility, secure infrastructure, and reduced spending. INFINCE brings the cloud advantage within reach of small businesses through its –

  • Simplified Cloud-based Technology – Set up your own website and email with just a few clicks.
  • Efficient Office and Collaboration Tools – Collaborate efficiently, share documents quickly, and bring your workforce together from different locations.
  • Secure & Private Preconfigured Cloud – Privacy and security for your data on secure private virtual servers.
  • Curated Applications Marketplace – Click and buy business applications from a growing list of applications including CRM, CMS, and HRM solutions, hosted on secure cloud environments and dedicated to your need.
  • Single Sign-On Accessibility  – Single Sign-On enables you to have unified access to all your business software.
  • Concierge IT Services – Enjoy seamless IT with hosting, maintenance, and updates managed by a dedicated team.
  • Seamless User Interface – Intuitive user experience for beginners.
  • Enhanced Mobility – User mobility with mobile apps for smartphones and tablets with white labeling.
  • 24/7 Technology Support – Highly dedicated support team with an email, live chat, and phone support.

 

Related ReadingINFINCE Presented with the 2018 Great User Experience Award

How to Deploy INFINCE in your Business

The process displayed below will help you to know how easily INFINCE can be set up and made ready for use in your organization.

Deploy INFINCE

Collaboration Tools in INFINCE

INFINCE is a one-stop solution that integrates an array of tools with the capability to do multiple things.  

Collaboration Tool

Applications – On Purchase

Apart from the collaboration tools, you have the option to purchase applications for specific business needs.

Business Software                                    

How will INFINCE Help your Business?

Small businesses need to execute their projects in a very efficient and economical way. They can boost their productivity and efficiency with INFINCE as their preferred technology partner. INFINCE helps project teams get their work done faster, no matter how or where they work. The cloud-based solution brings dispersed teams together as they work through planning, managing tasks, allocating, tracking, document management and other functions.

Key Attributes of INFINCE

Collaborative Work Environment

  • Collaborate with all the team members. (i.e. internal, external, remote, and distributed team members)
  • Virtual workplace enhances collaborative project planning and better work streams
  • Real-time chat and communication with team members
  • Manage, share, and sync project calendars with personal calendars of members
  • Helps individual team members keep commitments by having personal task lists and deadline reminders
  • Conduct online meetings
  • Centralized data, documents, and contacts allow cross sharing between the team
  • Access virtual workplace to view project information through mobile/computer

Automated Planning and Scheduling

  • Create virtual project teams with geographically dispersed members (i.e. internal, external, remote, and distributed team members)
  • Better define and manage project requirements
  • Efficiently schedule task duration, milestones, and deadlines

Digital Asset Management

  • Keep everyone updated with version control, change tracking, and document history
  • Easily secure file sharing between all team members from different devices
  • Manage and archive project files securely in a structured and accessible way                                    
  • Have a good document repository for uploads and attachments

Server Properties

  • Managed, private and secure server for everyone
  • Separate dedicated server for each organization
  • Flexible and convenient to use by all
  • Stable and consistent
  • Back-up options

User management

  • User permissions and roles
  • User Roles
  • User Groups

How to Manage Tasks using INFINCE

  • List, assign and prioritize tasks based on deadlines and dependencies
  • Update task list status, organize, track and make visible to the team
  • Personalized task management for individual team members
  • Ability to oversee the tasks that are overdue, ongoing and planned
  • View and analyze day-to-day tasks and progress across teams and projects
  • Execute multiple projects with better quality, on time and efficiently

 

Related Reading: A Guide to Effective Cloud Migration

Who Will be Benefited Most Out of INFINCE?

  • Construction Firms – A construction company to share client estimates, project plan, layout between the employees and clients as well as assign tasks to employees.
  • Legal Services Firms – A legal firm to share case details between the lawyers and clients.
  • Small scale Manufacturing – Small scale manufacturing companies to assign tasks, share documents, communicate between teams, and view product timelines.
  • Marketing & Consulting Firms – Marketing and consulting firms to manage and collaborate tasks on different campaigns and project. Allows task scheduling, monitor time spent and measure ROI on all marketing projects.
  • Health Clinics – Clinics can use INFINCE to manage the appointments of all the patients and store the patient’s history.
  • Software Firms – For document sharing, task assignment, project management handling client calls, real-time chat, and marketing.
  • R&D Companies – R&D can have project management tools to ensure the smooth transfer of knowledge and technology to other groups or departments involved in innovation, file transfer and file management.
  • Insurance Firms – Insurance companies to enhance their performance, more products can be sold and retain customers by keeping the project on track, easy transfer of lead details, schedule tasks between employees and much more.

 

As a secure and economical cloud platform, INFINCE is the right choice for businesses running on limited capital. With its potential application stretching across a swathe of different industries, INFINCE brings the simplicity of the cloud and resources configured for optimal performance that elevates workforce productivity.  Get in touch with us today to deploy INFINCE at your business.

A Guide to Effective Cloud Migration

The cloud offers a host of benefits in terms of cost-savings, speed, efficiency, improvements, and more. However, unless the migration is done right, much of the benefits of the cloud do not realize, and worse, the disruption may make the enterprise dysfunctional without anything to gain in return.

5 Expert Tips for Effective Cloud Migration

To help you empower the best of cloud, here’s a checklist for efficient cloud migration.

1. Determine the Reasons for Migration

Migration to the cloud because everyone else is doing is an exercise doomed to failure. Identify a pressing need for migrating to the cloud, or specifically be clear of the gains to be achieved through migration. The benefits could be process efficiency, cost savings, ability to serve customers better, ability to operate from a wider geographical footprint, or anything else.

Perform an objective SWOT analysis of the possible benefits, disadvantages, opportunities, and threats, of the specific asset migration, before committing to the exercise. Migrating to the cloud entails a lot of investment in time and resources, would also cause a disruption to the entrenched ecosystem of the company, and force a learning curve on the employees. Unless the benefits, at least in the long run, outweigh the investment, the enterprise is better off with the status quo.

2. Assess the Environment

Having committed to the migration, decide on the specific applications to be migrated. Not all processes benefit from migrating to the cloud, and many legacy apps or software is best left on the on-premises servers. For instance, it may not be a wise decision to migrate or replace a performance-intensive legacy app that works fine.

Having identified the apps to be migrated to the cloud, analyze the infrastructure used by such apps, in terms of the storage consumed, the data generated, the resources required for Big Data analytics, and so on. Provision for any required enhancements. Next, identify a suitable cloud environment with compatible resources, and determine the architecture needed for the migration.

Migration may be shallow cloud or deep cloud. Shallow cloud integration, also known as “lift-and-shift” entails moving the on-premise application to the cloud, with little or no changes except whatever is required to run the applications in the new environment. Deep cloud integration entails modification of the application during the migration process to leverage key cloud capabilities such as auto-scaling and dynamic load balancing.

Another consideration is opting for a simple, single provider or for a multi-cloud approach. The latter approach, more commonplace, involves splitting applications over multiple cloud providers or developing in a cloud-agnostic approach.

Many enterprises underestimate the migration costs. Costs vary considerably, depending on the nature of the applications being migrated. For instance, costs for applications that constantly run vary greatly from costs for applications that spin up and spin down upon completion of the job. For example, in AWS On-Demand instances, subscribers pay for computing capacity by per hour or per second, depending on the instances run.

There is also the option or private cloud and public clouds. Public clouds keep costs low, but may offer only limited levels of latency and security.

 

3. Select the right cloud provider

Identifying a migration architect responsible for planning and completing all aspects of the migration, and taking all decisions and a technical plan is essential and should be one of the earliest decisions after committing to migration.

In most cases, it becomes essential to rope in an external partner who has specialized experience in cloud migration. Make sure the selected partner is capable of meeting the architectural requirement, has redundant servers to ensure near 100% uptime, and offers flexible plans to scale-up and scale-down resources on demand. Pay special attention to the SLA and the support capabilities of the selected provider.

4. Execute the Migration

The cloud migration process culminates with the actual migration of resources from the legacy on-premises legacy server to the new cloud server.

Chalk out a migration plan, which details the timeline and methodology of the actual file transfer. The key steps in the migration plan are:

  • Lay down the order of migration of application and data.
  • Schedule the time of migration, while causing minimal disruption to company operations. Schedule the migration during the night, or when operations are at a lull.
  • Back up the data on existing servers, and make sure the backup is easily retrievable if the need arises.
  • Set up the cloud environment. Provision the cloud servers and connections and test all the individual components.
  • Finally, transfer the data.  Enterprises have the option of making the actual switch all at once or move a few customers at a time. Migrating the first data load will invariably take some time.

Post-transfer, test all the connection again fully and ensure the system is up and running. Make sure all the migrated data is present and available, and the environment is secure.

The migration process may not be entirely smooth and straightforward. Several potential issues, both anticipated and unanticipated, could emerge as roadblocks. Take all possible precautions to counter such eventualities, and be ready to make impromptu changes and tackle any unexpected issue that emerges head-on. An open line of communication with the customer support team of the selected cloud partner helps.

5. Monitor the New Environment

The migration process does not end with the transfer of files. Issues may flare up in the cloud environment as the apps are used, and as such it is important to set up a dedicated monitoring system for a while, to identify and fix any potential issues.

Migration to the cloud may force some changes to end-user processes. Employees may have to be trained on the new method and a slowdown taken cognizance of during the learning curve. Any changes to customer-facing processes may have to be explained through blogs, emails or other documentation.

Another important post-migration consideration is resource optimization. The cloud is optimized for dynamic resource allocation, and as such, plan for distributing resources to applications rather than continue with allocating resources statically.

The above steps are only indicative. Each enterprise is unique, and the best approach to migration depends on the company’s infrastructure, environment, incumbent procedures, and future requirements. To experience a smooth transition with cloud, sign up with INFINCE today!