Success stories

Our customers come in all shapes and sizes.

We work with organisations from all walks of life, with different ambitions and requirements. Explore how we’ve helped them reimagine everyday, and align technology with their culture and business goals.

Cloud economics in a hybrid multi-cloud world

The hybrid multi-cloud world provides organisations with all the benefits of the public cloud, as well as predictable costs. Learn more.
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5 steps to a successful Azure migration

Migrating to the cloud can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn't have to be. Here we share 5 steps to ensure a successful Azure migration.
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The problem of shadow IT and frontline workers

Frontline workers that have been overlooked when it comes to digital transformation, are at high risk of introducing shadow IT into an organisation.
View case study >
Microsoft Ignite 2022

How migrating to the cloud accelerates digital transformation

How can migrating to the cloud accelerate your business' digital transformation journey? Find out here.
View case study >

How much does Microsoft Azure cost?

Thinking about migrating to Microsoft Azure? Our blog will help you understand how to estimate your Azure costs and use Microsoft's Azure Pricing Calculator.
View case study >
digital twin

Business drivers for digital transformation

What are your business drivers for digital transformation and why are they so important for a successful migration project? Find out here.
View case study >

IT assessments and workshops

In this blog post our Strategic Partner Manager, Gemma Horsell, highlights how we help our partners generate sales opportunities through IT assessments and workshops.
View case study >

The benefits of the cloud

Video. Covid 19 has been a real-life use case for cloud migration, but what are the key benefits of the cloud? In this video Matt Garrett, discusses key drivers for cloud migration.
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Cloud migration pitfalls – how not to trip up!

VIDEO: To ensure the success of your cloud migration project, avoid these pitfalls at all costs!
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How to calculate the cost of cloud migration

How can you calculate the cost of cloud migration? Here we explain how a Cloud Economics Assessment provides the answers.
View case study >

5 best practices for digital transformation success

How can you ensure a successful cloud migration? In this video our Technical Director, Matt Garrett, shares best practices for digital transformation success.
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Your guide to a successful cloud migration

Around 76% of cloud migrations fail. Do you know why? Read about the common pitfalls and how to avoid them in our blog >
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Cloud economics in a hybrid multi-cloud world

If the last two years has taught us anything, it is that all organisations need more flexibility so they can rapidly adapt to change. No more so than in the cloud where there are opportunities to attain that desired agility and business efficiencies, but often unknown challenges and costs. 

Predicting cloud costs and the total cost of ownership (TCO), regulatory governance and, to a lesser extent, security risk factors are increasingly driving conversations about whether it is appropriate to go all in with the cloud. Or whether a hybrid multi-cloud world is a better way of managing costs

If NASA can’t predict cloud costs, what hope is there for the rest of us?!

In 2019 NASA selected AWS to host its Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) programme and make data from its Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) available to end users.

However, a 2020 audit report [PDF] from NASA’s Inspector General revealed that EOSDIS hadn’t properly modelled data download charges. NASA’s legacy Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) don’t incur any costs when end users (researchers and commercial users) download data. 

The audit suggested that there would be an increased cloud spend of around $30m a year by 2025, because of the egress charges, on top of NASA’s $65m-per-year deal with AWS.

While you might expect NASA to have factored in egress charges, there are numerous other examples where organisations haven’t fully factored in all the costs associated with the public cloud.

Why cost governance is driving the hybrid multi-cloud

Typically, organisations fall into three groups:

The pioneers – organisations that moved everything into the cloud approximately five years ago, full lift and shift. Many of those organisations are now repatriating workloads back to on premise.

“Cloud repatriation is not a new concept. In 2019 IDC predicted that up to 50% of public cloud workloads would be repatriated to on-premises infrastructure or private cloud, driven by a mix of security, performance and cost issues.”


That’s because the pioneers have had the luxury of doing a cost evaluation of how much the public cloud has cost them, and in many instances the answer is a lot more than anticipated.

The followers – organisations that decided, maybe two to three years ago, that a public cloud first approach was the answer. Most of those organisations are a long way off being fully in then public cloud. Many of them have only moved a fraction of applications and workloads into the cloud and are struggling to migrate more. This is often because of legacy applications and workloads that are difficult to put into the cloud and are expensive to get there. Refactoring and re-platforming can cost three to four times more than if you’d kept it on prem.

Hybrid cloud evangelists – these are predominately new organisations that have been born in the hybrid multi-cloud world. As such, they can easily decide which workloads are best in the cloud, and what are better on prem. They have designed their whole infrastructure to be cost optimal.

Across all these groups we’re seeing a trend towards organisations making better decisions about which workloads or applications should sit on prem, and what should sit in a hybrid multi-cloud.

Hybrid multi-cloud means some workloads sit on prem, perhaps in a colo location or in your own data centre, and some resources sit in Azure, AWS, GCP or a smaller cloud service provider.

Which workloads and applications should go where?

The biggest challenge in a hybrid multi-cloud world is knowing what should go where. It’s about considering your static, predictable workloads versus your flexible or highly variable workloads. The public cloud is great if you need to run something for a few hours or days each week, but if it needs to be run 24/7/365 it can be very expensive in the public cloud.

Analysing the data and having visibility on what you’re spending and where, will help you manage costs and make better informed decisions so you can move workloads and apps to the most cost effective location. 

This enables organisations to be public cloud appropriate. You can use the public cloud and demand the resources you need where you can save money or it’s giving you the cheapest price. But don’t put apps and workloads in there that are going cost you more than if you put it, or kept it, on prem.

By using solutions, like Nutanix Beam, which abstracts the resources in the public cloud, in colo locations or running on your on prem data centre into a single pane of glass, you can achieve the cost governance required across a hybrid multi-cloud environment. In turn this will give you the scalability and flexibility desired and address your risk governance challenges too. 

Ultimately, it shouldn’t make any difference whether you’re using compute power from the public cloud, colo or on prem, all you should care about is whether you’re doing it in the most cost effective way possible.

How to have conversations about the benefits of a hybrid multi-cloud world with decision makers

For the organisations who are fully in the cloud, born in the cloud or perhaps on a cloud first trajectory, a conversion about hybrid multi-cloud can be difficult to have. It can be perceived to be a step backwards, or an admission of failure, and introducing the subject with decision makers may be challenging.

Total cost of ownership (TCO) is a key metric that will get people’s attention, and there are examples of cloud first organisations that have slashed their costs by adopting a hybrid multi-cloud approach. A cost evaluation is the first step to really understand how much your on premise and public cloud is costing, and then run a cost comparison to see what some of those workloads might look like on prem, colo and public cloud. If the saving is big enough, it should be quite easy to have that conversation with the CFO and CEO without anyone pointing the finger at whoever suggested going all in to the cloud to start with.

It’s not about saying the public cloud is bad, it’s about running the right applications and workloads in the right place. This helps your organisation get all the benefits of the public cloud without the unpredictable costs. 

If you would like to discuss hybrid multi-cloud and how you can get some certainty back in your life, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

5 steps to a successful Azure migration

There are many ways that organisations use cloud technologies in 2022, with everything from cloud storage to big data analytics. Over the past two years, the rise in remote and hybrid working has increased trust and understanding of the public cloud, and it is predicted that many businesses will migrate more workloads to the cloud in 2022 than ever before.

Gartner predicts that global spending on cloud services will reach over $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020.

Out of the three major public cloud providers, AWS, Microsoft and Google, Microsoft Azure has the broadest feature set. Any organisation can migrate to Azure, regardless of the workload. 

Moving to the cloud has a multitude of benefits for businesses, including cost savings, stronger security, the ability to scale, and more. But while business leaders and IT teams understand these benefits, they are often reluctant to migrate to the cloud due to the migration process itself. 

In this article we will discuss the 5 steps required to ensure a successful Azure migration.

Turn your IT vision into a reality. Explore Azure Migrate here >

A successful Azure migration in 5 steps

Step 1: Assess current situation

The first step to a successful Azure migration is to assess your organisation’s current situation. Within this assessment, you should consider what on-premises workload will be moved to the cloud. This will include which applications, the amount of data transfer necessary to move to the cloud, the maximum and minimum levels of compute currently required, the policy and procedures, and which users currently rely on the workload. 

Although the Azure Cloud is feature rich, if your business uses legacy applications, they may not be compatible with an Azure’s PaaS, this may require the use of IaaS, which can be more costly than remaining on-premises. The amount of data transfer is a key factor influencing the time it will take to complete a migration. Finally, it is important understand user requirements, as the user experience will be paramount to the success of an Azure migration.

Step 2: Decide on a migration method

There is no single method of Azure migration, as every organisation has different requirements, technical expertise, and ambitions from the project. Some of the common types of migration include lift and shift, refactoring and replatforming.

Lift and shift is the simplest form of migration and is simply moving all data and applications from on-premises servers to the cloud. Refactoring is where a business will move data and applications to the cloud, whilst re-architecting them to better suit the cloud environment. Finally, replatforming is in between the other two examples, where applications are moved to the cloud, with minor modifications to take advantage of the new cloud infrastructure.

Step 3: Plan the migration

There are multiple stages to an Azure migration, and a well-planned migration will result in more effective use of cloud infrastructure, with less impact to the users of the systems. In this stage, IT teams must also consider security and compliance to ensure that they are protected from current and future cyberthreats. Unfortunately, organisations that do not adequately plan their migration often have to move their systems back to on-premises after the migration to make corrections. This is a costly and disruptive exercise that can hurt your modernisation strategy. You can avoid it by involving a trusted IT partner for the planning and implementation of an Azure migration.

Step 4: Migrate

Once the plan is finalised, either your IT team or IT partner can migrate the workload to the Azure cloud. This is generally completed out-of-hours when employees do not require access to the IT systems as there may be periods of downtime. It is common for organisations to start small, by migrating a section of files, or applications to ensure that everything is working as intended, before ramping up and the number of files, users, tools, apps and databases migrated to the Azure cloud.

Step 5: Optimise

After the migration is complete, it’s time to monitor the new cloud environment to identify any issues, possible areas of optimisation or cost savings, as well as ways that the user experience can be improved. This optimisation process should be ongoing, as the ways in which users interact with IT systems often change over time, and there are new updates to applications and the Azure cloud that can necessitate further changes down the line.

Looking to migrate to Azure?

If your organisation still has legacy, on-premises infrastructure, migrating to the Azure cloud can provide many benefits, most notably, cost savings and the ability to scale quickly and easily. If you don’t have the technical expertise in-house for an Azure migration project, or if you want to find out whether Azure is right for you, please get in touch.

The problem of shadow IT and frontline workers

Frontline workers have long been the neglected when it comes to digital transformation. As a result, shadow IT has become a significant challenge for IT teams. A Microsoft study found that 54% of IT executives suspect that frontline workers use a variety of unsanctioned shadow IT to work effectively. 

Other research explains why. A Forrester study found that 77% of frontline workers say they do not have access to the technology they need to be productive. This is especially common amongst hourly and contract workers, who make up most of the frontline workforce. Technology investments are often focused on salaried staff with frontline workers overlooked.

Learn more about technology for frontline workers here >

Shadow IT is a security and compliance risk

Many IT teams cite security and compliance as a reason for limiting frontline workers’ access to corporate systems and data. With a workforce operating in public spaces or offsite – regarded as deskless, mobile or untethered – providing access is often viewed as too big a security and data protection risk.

But in our opinion, the risk that shadow IT poses is just as much a challenge. A tech-savvy workforce, that wants tools to help them work more efficiently, will find workarounds if you don’t provide them. If frontline workers don’t have access to the right technology to communicate with teammates, check their shift schedules, record and look up data, or plan their day, they will introduce their own technology. Shadow IT in the form of consumer technology, from devices to apps, introduces new levels of risk precisely because it is unknown to IT. 

Despite shadow IT’s risks, it is hard to criticise when people are just trying to get their jobs done efficiently. Most frontline workers have no idea that the apps they use and data they handle, could be breaching corporate policies and data protection regulations. As the backbone of many organisations, surely it’s time to bring frontline workers on your digital transformation journey and ensure they are secure and compliant?

Digital transformation and frontline workers

In some organisations, shadow IT can be part of a digital transformation journey for frontline workers. After all, they understand what they need to work productivity and may have already identified solutions that can be integrated into the corporate IT environment.

As part of the discovery and planning stage of any digital transformation project, reviewing the existing IT environment and uncovering any shadow IT is an important part of understanding what works and what doesn’t.

However, consumer technology is often not secure enough to be deployed as a workplace solution or may not integrate seamlessly with other systems, creating data siloes. Besides, technology companies have spotted that frontline workers have been underserved, and there are many solutions now available that will deliver the benefits desired, securely and compliantly. 

Putting frontline workers first

User experience must be at the heart of digital transformation for frontline workers. It is essential to win over the hearts and minds of your frontline workforce before enforcing a technology change, even when it’s designed to improve their working day.

Frontline workers have unique technology requirements and challenges. Although they frequently get confused with remote workers, they are distinctly different. Over the last 20 months we’ve often heard people say that “we’re all frontline workers now”, but remote workers (especially those that are working from home) generally have a desk, WiFi and a laptop or desktop computer.

The majority of frontline workers for most of their working day, do not have a desk or access to a PC. Instead, they use a mobile device and may routinely face connectivity issues, using mobile data or public WiFi to access the apps they need.

Therefore, a digital transformation project that takes frontline workers on the journey too, must be designed around the user experience for those in the field, working on shop or factory floors, in healthcare settings or otherwise deskless and untethered.

For example, many company intranets deliver a poor experience on a mobile phone. That’s generally because they’ve been designed for desktop use by desk-based teams, and even a mobile app version can be clunky. No wonder that frontline workers embrace lightweight consumer apps that have been developed for the mobile user.

Focus on user experience

So, providing technology for frontline workers is not just a case of giving them secure access to existing corporate systems and apps. It’s about making sure the technology delivers the best possible user experience, to boost user adoption and remove the need for shadow IT. 

We do this by getting an in-depth understanding of our customers’ end users during the discovery and planning stage of a digital transformation project. Our desk based consultants put themselves in their shoes, whether that’s a mobile engineer servicing equipment in a WiFi dead zone or a customer services assistant on the shop floor in a retail park.

Having understood their technological challenges and requirements we can then identify the solutions that deliver real value to the frontline workforce, so they get the best possible experience from their technology.

Microsoft Ignite 2022

How migrating to the cloud accelerates digital transformation

The term ‘digital transformation’ has become increasingly widely used in the past five years. The term refers to the adoption and integration of digital technologies to transform the way a business functions.  Digital transformation aims to the improve processes within a business to deliver a better experience for employees and customers. 

The pandemic and the rise of remote and hybrid working has been a catalyst for many businesses to start adopting new technologies and speed up the process of digital transformation. One of the key technologies that can enable digital transformation is the cloud. 

Is your organisation ready for the cloud? Download our cloud readiness worksheet to find out >

In this article we will discuss how migrating to the cloud can accelerate digital transformation through increased flexibility, reliability, automated processes, increase productivity and stronger security.

Migrating to the cloud: 5 reasons it accelerates digital transformation

1: Flexibility and scalability

One of the key goals of digital transformation is business growth through improved processes. This means that business must be equipped with technology that can scale as a business grows and has enough flexibility to enable these changes in process. 

On-premises technology has a significant upfront cost involved in hardware and setup, and as a business grows, they are forced to upgrade the technology. This lack of flexibility slows the process of digital transformation and can decrease a business’ profitability. In comparison, with workloads being hosted in the cloud, businesses can quickly and easily increase resources to a workload to suit the current needs of the business. Being able to respond to these changes in demand creates an agile workplace and accelerates digital transformation.

2: Speed and reliability from anywhere

The past 18 months have made it clear that for a business to succeed their employees must have reliable access to IT systems, no matter where they are located. With services being delivered through the cloud, if employees have internet access they can access all necessary files, applications and systems. Furthermore, cloud applications run faster, making work more efficient, and services hosted on Microsoft Azure are extremely reliable with a 99.9% uptime.

3: Automated processes

Using cloud technologies, it is possible to automate many processes. These changes in process are a key component of digital transformation, and can save significant time, allowing employees to focus their time on growing the business. Some processes that can be automated with cloud technology include virtual machine management, customer relationship management, database management and security protocol management.

4: Increased productivity

Moving to the cloud can significantly increase employee productivity and accelerate digital transformation. A major factor to this increase in productivity is through effective collaboration. 

As many businesses operate globally or with teams located in different locations, collaboration is extremely important. With cloud and cloud-based applications and services, there is better connectivity and collaboration amongst workforces. Cloud technology also enables employees to have easy access to information and data from anywhere, at any time. The increased collaboration and productivity can help grow a business faster, and lead to innovations in processes that aid in digital transformation.

5: Stronger security posture

Rapid digital transformation can result in a weak security posture, as the introduction of new technologies carry an inherent security risk. Thankfully, the use of cloud technology has a lower risk than on-premises technology. 

Most cloud technologies use end-to-end encryption, ensuring that data can not be intercepted and improving a business’ security posture. Similarly, there are many cloud technologies dedicated to improving security. For example, within a Microsoft 365 or Azure subscription there are many features that can be enabled to improve security and reduce the risk of a cyberattack. 

For businesses looking improve their processes and take the next step towards digital transformation, migrating to the cloud can accelerate the journey. Introducing cloud technologies can fundamentally change the way a business functions and be the key to sustainable growth. If you want to find out more about how your business can leverage the cloud, contact us today.

cloud readiness

How much does Microsoft Azure cost?

As mentioned in our previous blog post about Microsoft Azure, many organisations are trying to move away from CAPEX to OPEX to have a faster and more flexible cost model as the business scales up or down.

The cost of migrating to Azure is one thing, it’s also important to assess and predict what your costs would be living in the cloud. Microsoft makes this relatively simple for us by providing costs for all their resources in Azure up front, so all we need is a nice way to calculate all our complicated Azure costs to give us a reasonable estimate.

As with all large changes, it’s always advisable to carry out PoC (Proof of Concept) to ensure both Azure is the right fit for your workloads, but also your cost estimates are accurate, before you dive both feet in.

So where do we start to estimate our Microsoft Azure costs? Fortunately, Microsoft publish all their Azure pricing clearly online. However, calculating the cost of Azure from a never-ending shopping list of products, services, virtual machines (VMs) etc., would baffle the best of us. For example, to print out all the options for Windows Virtual Machine pricing would take about 50, without then looking at the associated disks or other items. 

Azure Pricing Calculator

Roll in the Azure Pricing Calculator… a fast web-based tool to build your shopping list of items needed.

From here you can search for products that you need, select from the common/featured section, or drill down the left hand side navigation to list the services under specific categories like “Networking”.

Here are our top tips for using the Azure Pricing Calculator:

  • Sign in – sign in at the top right of the site to save your Azure cost estimates. 
  • Naming – always try and name the VMs, and other items in your estimate to make it clearer on the purposes of each item
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  • Export – when you have completed the estimate, export it into an Excel file to share with budget holders 
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  • Egress cost – always have at least 6GB for outbound data transfer to see the cost in the estimate. Of course, if you have more accurate figures, put those in
  • Hours – choose what operational hours you need for each service. If it’s a full month then; 744 hours = 31 days, 720 hours = 30 days and 730 hours = an average month across the year. I would advise using 744 hours in a month as a rule, to get the “worst case scenario” for budgets
  • VM Size – firstly chose the correct size of VM, there are specific models for storage, computer or memory optimised, or also general purpose sizes too. Within in each, there are several configurations. Pay particular notice to if they support certain features, like Premium SSD’s
  • Location – the cost of services such as VM’s can differ based on location. Pick a location close to your users, or meeting compliance needs. Also consider that test environments could be offshore at a cheaper location. Check
  • Currency – make sure you select your local currency to avoid any currency conversions
  • HDD type – where possible go for Premium SSD as the performance cost is not generally significant. However, if you select IOPs requirement this can increase the cost significantly 
  • Feature / type – it’s important to understand the difference in features and cost for certain services, such as VPN Gateway, as a Basic VPN would be around £20 per month, whereas a VpnGw5AZ is around £2,329 per month. With different capacities and features it’s worth knowing what you are paying for. For example, Basic VPN doesn’t support IKEv2 or RADIUS, making AlwaysOnVPN an impossible option, but VpnGw1 does supports it
  • Storage accounts – access tiers would be hot, cool, or archive. Each will cost to store and retrieve data, hot being more expensive to store, less expensive to access. Versus archive being the opposite and cool being in the middle. Also only purchase your current projected storage capacity, this can be changed in the future
  • More info – once you’ve added an item to your estimate, you can hover over the “i” for more information/links to Pricing Details (full list of options for that item and their costs), Product Details, and Documentation (quick start, troubleshooting, training, and other guides).
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  • Reserved instances – if you know your VM will be online all the time (like a domain controller), commit to either 1 year for ~37% discount, or 3 years for ~57% discount.
  • Azure hybrid benefit – if you bring your own licenses to Azure, you could save as much as 50% on some VMs.
  • Dev/test – if these VMs are for development or testing, flick the switch at the bottom of the VMs estimate to see a reduced cost for Visual Studio subscriptions. 
  • Share – you can share a URL for your Azure cost estimate if you need to send it to someone else to review.

Using the Azure Pricing Calculator with these top tips should help get an estimate of your Azure costs, but an Azure Assessment will provide a more accurate Azure cost estimate and ascertain whether your workloads are a good fit for Azure. 

To get started on your Azure journey, click on the link below to find out more about our Azure Migrate service.

digital twin

Business drivers for digital transformation

Why are you exploring digital transformation? Articulating clear objectives, a purpose and business drivers for digital transformation is essential for success. As our CEO, James Butler, explains in this video, knowing where you want to go is more important than identifying the technology you want to deploy.

What’s your why?

Our Microsoft Cloud Assessments are designed to help you identify your business drivers for digital transformation. This workshop explores what you want to achieve, your people / users, culture and your existing technology to help you develop a roadmap for a smooth and successful cloud migration. To find out more about this service, click on the image below.

IT assessments and workshops

In this blog post our Strategic Partner Manager, Gemma Horsell, highlights how we help our partners generate sales opportunities through IT assessments and workshops.

With Covid restrictions easing and businesses attempting to return to normal, many IT budgets and plans are being given the green light. Are your customers getting back to normal and starting to invest in IT again?

We’re experiencing an increase in uptake for some of our partner core packages, which are the first step for many organisations to a cloud migration project. These packages are workshop based and can help your customers explore their readiness, align digital transformation with business outcomes, and provides them with costs and a roadmap to a successful deployment.

IT assessments and workshops that generate new opportunities

Key packages you may be interested in for your customers include:

Microsoft Cloud Assessment: We offer Cloud Assessment services exploring Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. They address the breadth of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure and provide an in-depth review of systems, security, governance and utilisation, and how best to prepare for a cloud migration. Learn more about our Microsoft Cloud Assessment here >

SharePoint Online Planning Workshop: This assessment helps your customers understand the potential of Microsoft SharePoint and plan its implementation.

EM+S Assessment: Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security can transform your customers’ organisations into modern workplaces and increase mobility and agility. Our assessment reviews all Microsoft and Azure environments and assesses where EM+S will provide greater security through key product features.

All our assessments / workshops are tailored to your customers’ specific requirements, with an emphasis on those areas most appropriate to their particular environment. Following the workshop day a comprehensive assessment and recommendations document is provided, with roadmaps and costs.

Explore all our Partner packages here >

Why partner with Cloud Business?

Here are some of the common reasons Partners work with our team at Cloud Business and how I can help you in my role as Strategic Partner Manager:

  • You need more capacity: our overflow services mean that if you don’t have enough internal resource to deliver a new project, you won’t lose the customer. We can help you with scoping, pre sales, deployment and delivery; on an ad hoc or regular basis.
  • You need access to certain specialisms: if you don’t have the expertise you need in house, or if it’s already aligned to another project, we can provide you with additional resource.
  • You want to expand your service catalogue: similarly, if you want to provide a comprehensive range of IT services (so customers don’t go elsewhere) we can fill any gaps. We can also work with you to develop bespoke services.
  • You want to be more agile: we’re quick to recognise opportunities that are suitable for our Partners, react to external changes and technology developments, and respond to demands from your customers. Our partnership transfers some of that agility to you.

Ultimately, my goal is to help your company grow, support your customers and ensure that you don’t miss out on opportunities.

To find out more about our Strategic Partner Programme, click here. Or contact me directly if you would like to explore partnering with us.

The benefits of the cloud

The benefits of the cloud are well documented. However, Covid 19 has been a real-life use case for cloud migration, which is why we’re revisiting this topic in this video interview.

Below Cloud Business’ Technical Director, Matt Garrett, explores why having a footprint in the cloud is advantageous, how with confidence in the technology growing, even regulated businesses can benefit from migrating IT to the cloud.

In summary, 5 key benefits of cloud migration

  1. The ability for companies to scale quickly with demand
  2. Cost efficiency – pay for what you use
  3. Access to the latest technology
  4. No need to be located in one place
  5. Security and compliance

The cloud vendor also manages the cloud infrastructure, so you don’t have to.

Cloud migration pitfalls – how not to trip up!

Why might a cloud migration not go to plan? In this video, our Technical Director Matt Garrett shares the key pitfalls in a cloud migration, and how to prevent them.

In summary

To avoid these common cloud migration pitfalls make sure you have addressed the following key points:

  1. Get stakeholder buy in from your senior leadership team
  2. Have a clear business case for migrating to the cloud
  3. Spend time understanding what your user community needs from the technology
  4. Know your data and what will be migrated, and what doesn’t need to be in the cloud
  5. Bring your user community on the digital transformation journey

Cloud Business has developed a tried and tested cloud migration methodology that ensures you address these issues head on. To find out more, please get in touch with our team.

How to calculate the cost of cloud migration

One of the biggest concerns IT teams have about the cloud, is how much it will cost. In the video below Gary Duke highlights how a Cloud Economics Assessment will answer that question and more, including what workloads are best suited to the cloud and would be best staying on-premise. However, to understand whether migrating to the cloud will drive cost efficiencies, you need to start by knowing how much your current on-premise environment is costing your organisation.

When you know how much your on-premise hardware and software costs, you can then compare that against the cost of cloud migration and running your IT in the cloud.

The cost of cloud migration vs. on-premise costs

Calculating and comparing cloud versus on-premise comes with some challenges. Your on-premise environment is typically a CapEx model, whereas cloud resources subscribe to a OpEx-based cost model. 

For this reason it’s helpful to consider the lifespan of your upfront CapEx investment and compare against cloud costs over the same timescale. It’s not an exact science but will give you a baseline figure to get started with.

Lift & shift or refactoring?

Another consideration is whether you go for a lift & shift migration model where all apps and data are moved to the cloud ‘as is’. While this is a quick solution your apps might not get the full benefits of cloud features, including the cost efficiencies you may be hoping for. 

Alternatively, refactoring, where apps undergo architectural or coding changes before migration, is more complex and will incur more upfront costs but they will be more cost-effective to run in the cloud.

A Cloud Economics Assessment uncovers all the assets that currently sit on your network and visualises what they will look like in the cloud. From this you can understand whether a lift & shift approach is suitable, or if refactoring will deliver the ROI and business outcomes you desire.

Watch the video below to learn more, or get in touch with our team to discuss your organisation’s digital transformation journey:

5 best practices for digital transformation success

In this video Matt Garrett, Technical Director at Cloud Business, shares 5 best practices for digital transformation success. We’ve continually refined this methodology since Cloud Business was founded, improving the customer experience throughout the process. As Matt says, the most important factor is that customer satisfaction is built into the outcome. 

Here’s a quick summary of those all important steps:

  1. Discover: our first step is to discover the existing environment and what you’re migrating from.
  2. Planning & design: good preparation is vital. This involves planning the migration, the workloads that will move into the cloud and infrastructure design.
  3. Deployment: we get all the technology ready to migrate.
  4. Migration: your on premise workloads, data and systems are migrated to the cloud.
  5. Support: ongoing technical IT support ensures your users get the most from their technology and you get positive business outcomes from cloud migration.

Best practice for a successful digital transformation project is to also have a comprehensive user adoption programme in place throughout. It’s all about taking your user base with you on the journey, getting them excited about the new technology and ensuring they have everything they need to get the benefits of the cloud. 

Are you ready for the cloud?

Our quick checklist will help you determine whether your organisation is ready to migrate to the cloud. Download your copy here >

If you would like to discuss any of the content above with our digital transformation team, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to talk you through our process and explore your business use case for migrating workloads to the cloud.

Your guide to a successful cloud migration

The cloud provides businesses with the opportunity to improve operations, agility, security, cost efficiency and flexibility. It is important, however, to remember that unless you can successfully migrate to the cloud and then leverage the benefits, the opportunity may remain untapped.

A cloud migration that is performed inefficiently or incorrectly won’t net the return on interest that organisations are looking for. Ultimately, an unsuccessful cloud migration attempt can see businesses forced to shift back to a rigid on-premises solution.

It’s crucial, then, that organisations engage with experts to manage their cloud migration, as well as help them get the most out of digital transformation. Getting access to cloud migration experts can be a challenge for smaller businesses without an IT department or healthy budget, but fear not – a managed service provider makes expert support accessible to everyone for a reasonable cost.

Is your organisation ready for the cloud? Download our cloud readiness worksheet to find out >

Why cloud migrations fail

A common reason why cloud migration can fail is because the project manager has failed to obtain stakeholder buy-in, whether internal or external. Cloud technology has been making headlines for a few years now but is still a new concept across many industries and many businesses fear that change will disrupt their operations. It’s a project in itself to get all employees supporting change and if key stakeholders oppose or don’t see the value in a migration, then the project can’t move forward successfully.

Pressure to migrate quickly can also lead to failure. Sometimes key stakeholders are eager to reap the benefits of migration as soon as possible. Pressure on the project manager or migration manager can lead to a rushed or poorly thought-out migration. Without research and planning, businesses may lack clarity on what they should and shouldn’t migrate and end up migrating inappropriate applications. This can quickly lead the migration adrift and increase costs.

Cost analysis is also a key failure trigger. There can be multiple different costs factors associated with a cloud migration that aren’t always realised by businesses. Cloud providers draw customers in with low up-front costs and a seemingly affordable monthly fee. These prices, however, don’t include hidden costs such as data transfer allowances, fees, training, and support.

This is exacerbated further when a company misunderstands the performance requirements of applications. Certain workloads have specific technical requirements that make them poorly suited to the cloud. In a bid to solve performance issues, the first point of call is commonly to upgrade the plan, which may heavily impact ROI. This can be a particular problem for non-profits, who experience a high level of budgetary scrutiny and limited capital. The additional challenge of protecting sensitive information with often no IT staff can make it very difficult to succeed without support – the challenges mentioned above can easily be addressed with a managed service provider, who will be able to ensure cost alignment.

Cloud migration can also present business challenges surrounding security. If a business undergoes migration without the proper governance and control, there are security risks. A user might unknowingly modify security controls in a way that doesn’t follow your security policies.

In the education sector, we’ve seen this cause particular damage. The amount of student information and research stored electronically means the stakes are high and the pickings rich for attackers. The fact that educational institutions must also worry about increased bandwidth, pre-existing licensing deals, and cultural shifts only complicates matters further.

How to migrate successfully

So, how do you avoid these pitfalls? Just being aware of the reasons why migrations fail is a good start. Many of these common issues are linked; over-eager stakeholders lead to rushed deployments, and those, in turn, can lead to weaknesses in security or improper assessment of applications.

In nearly all cases, the keys to success are the same: communicate with clarity, take things at a steady pace, and obtain expert support. Usually, a phased approach to migration makes the most sense. Carefully planning which applications to include in each stage and their potential complications will allow you to meet deadlines and set clear expectations.

Working with a reputable MSP to support or even manage your migration can be invaluable. A good managed service provider will lend weight during stakeholder discussions while providing accurate assessments and an achievable migration timeline.

Managed cloud migration may not 100% guarantee success, but it will greatly reduce the risk while helping you to achieve your desired goals. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you remain competitive in a secure, cost-effective way.

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