Kicking the mid-market into the cloud

The mid-market is a great opportunity for any new technology and no doubt we have all seen the J curves for future uptake of cloud services, just as we saw them for mobile, VOIP, smart phones etc.

The bottom end of the market has engaged - with little choice - based on low cost or free offerings; while enterprise organisations can pay for whatever fits a business case and can show an ROI within 36 months.

In contrast, the mid-market is notoriously resistant to change or spending money unless there is a problem to solve or a very quick ROI – usually in a period less than 12 months.

The mid-market knows there are benefits to be had with cloud computing, but caution is still inhibiting many businesses from adopting.

A ‘big bang’ approach, where all infrastructure management is outsourced, is unlikely to be the answer due to concerns over risk and cost, though one notable exception to this is the opportunity afforded by the aftermath of a failed DIY attempt.

It is more likely adoption will occur incrementally with an organisation’s IT department having a small problem to fix or a small area guinea-pigged to demonstrate ROI.

With this in mind here are 10 catalysts for kicking a mid-market organisation into the cloud:

1. Legacy infrastructure – Instead of replacing old on-premise servers businesses can take them into the cloud, resulting in OpEx and opposed to CapEx.

2. User experience – A lack of resource to run applications can lead to poor user experience, and less business. Adding cloud resource increases efficiencies and is more cost-effective than on-premise resource.

3. On-premise monitoring – Plug into the on-premise servers to monitor and support from the cloud.

4. Hosted Exchange – It already feels and looks like a cloud application and you can sell the ROI and business benefits of externally hosting Exchange.

5. Host an application – By taking a single application and hosting it in the cloud improvements to user experience, mobile and remote working can be realised.

6. Virtual Desktop (VDI) – Enable home working, remote working and mobile with a Citrix Xenapp or Xendesktop. Strong ROI can be achieved based on the reduced need for device spend as well as workspace for employees. Greater control can also be exerted over the user environment.

7. Unified Communications – UC or VOIP can show good ROI while simplifying and centralising service, remote working and multisite management.

8. Disaster Recovery (DR) – It makes sense to run DR over a cloud environment off-premise, with access to servers anywhere, anytime in the event of an invocation.

9. Backup – It makes sense to implement backup in a cloud environment off-premise, as additional security is afforded to the data, while the data is also recoverable to any other on premise or cloud server.

10. Mobile Application Management (MAM) – Take a single application or business process and enable it for mobile; it’s low cost and a quick demonstration of cloud efficiency.

Why not start asking your customers or your business these questions, and if anything strikes a chord, contact Claranet so we can help you to start your customer’s journey into the cloud.