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Adapting to a future in the cloud

  • Written by George Harb, Vice President, ANZ, OpenText

Australia is poised to witness a remarkable surge in public cloud services, with Gartner predicting a substantial increase to AU$23.2 billion by 2024—an impressive 19.3% upswing from the previous year.

This remarkable surge has been driven by several factors, with a primary driver being the widespread adoption of hybrid work models and cloud services that the COVID pandemic caused. Yet, as organisations grapple with this transformative shift, many are running into the same key concerns.

Cost, risk, and security

Despite the advantages of increased flexibility and responsiveness that the cloud promises, a significant number of organisations remain hesitant to migrate from traditional data centres, with this reluctance often stemming from concerns surrounding perceived costs and risks associated with the cloud.

Contrary to the belief that on-premises data is inherently more secure, cloud providers can offer enhanced security measures, ensuring data protection around the clock while meeting stringent industry standards. Through well-defined service level agreements, organisations can also gain more control over their applications and data, mitigating the risk of unauthorised access or tampering.

Moreover, the misconception that on-premises data centres are more cost-effective can be debunked when considering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Hidden costs such as maintenance, upgrades, security, and performance optimisation contribute to a potentially higher TCO for on-premises solutions, making cloud migration (when evaluated comprehensively) a financially prudent choice.

Meeting unique organisational needs

Recognising that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in the cloud is pivotal for organisations contemplating migration. Collaboration with cloud providers becomes essential to craft flexible paths, including upgrades, optimisation, and modernisation, tailored to the unique needs of each organisation.

Within the cloud spectrum, Software as a Service has emerged as the favoured deployment model for new applications, with 73% of respondents to a 451 Research survey expressing a preference for this kind of scalable and subscription-based solution. The driving force behind this shift lies in organisations of all sizes being able to benefit from what was previously the domain of large companies when it comes to establishing content governance and best practices.

SaaS deployment also helps address challenges that surfaced within organisations of all sizes with the sudden shift to remote work during the pandemic. It revealed the limitation posed by siloed information and poor integration across applications. SaaS deployment that integrates with the existing on prem or private cloud technology stack enhances realised cost savings, continue to support flexible workforce, eliminate implementation and maintenance costs, and provide improved collaboration tools. SaaS becomes a strategic choice for organisations aiming to enhance efficiency.

However, it’s important to recognise that not all organisations are ready for a rapid transition to the cloud, this is where a hybrid approach presents itself as a viable solution, highlighting that for mid-sized organisations that flexibility in cloud design is attainable whilst also staying competitive.

Finding the right fit

Selecting the right cloud service provider is a critical step in the migration journey. Key considerations include customer success, flexibility, integration capabilities, support and services, and security and compliance. For example, products that enable customers to deploy cloud certified Enterprise information Management applications as a managed service in private or public clouds.

When an organisation embarks on the cloud migration journey, it often experiences improved security, enhanced data protection, and a reduced Total Cost of Ownership. It is increasingly apparent that the cloud will be the standard backbone for most companies in the future, necessitating a paradigm shift in overcoming biases and embracing cloud technology. As the cloud continues to evolve, proactive engagement, informed decision-making, and strategic partnerships will be the cornerstones of success in this transformative era of technological innovation.

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