A Cloud Q & A part II

  • Date
  • 18 September 2020
  • Author
  • News team

A Cloud Q & A part II

Increasingly, multi-site enterprises are moving their technology from legacy/on premise to Cloud. At EMDA, we’re currently working with a number of customers who are at different stages of migrating to Cloud. In part II of this Q & A, we look at the logistics and dynamics of a Cloud migration.

Going to Cloud unlocks “Industry 4.0” for organisations. What is meant by this buzzword?

An Industry 4.0 organisation is one that has automation running through its business processes, across a range of technologies. This helps it to become faster and more effective in delivering on its business output.

Thanks to greatly reduced administration, the organisation gains the ability to focus purely on what it does - build cars, manufacture windows, cultivate crops - rather than wasting time on non-core-business activities that only support what it does. In industry 4.0, the focus turns to how much faster you can go and how much more business you can do, with the same overheads.

 Cloud technology is driving true “open industry” capability, whereby everything is more automated and integrated; there are no more isolated machines. In Industry 4.0 your technology is no longer sitting on big servers in back rooms and your people are no longer doing things on batched, slow processes.

Instead you have real-time data, real-time processing and a completely different framework for driving your business platform. This also means you can match step with other organisations you partner with, that have already advanced in this way - or are about to.

Operational budgets are tight in 2020. Does Cloud migration cost an arm and a leg?

No, because you’re taking advantage of a buy-as-you-use model; think of it as being like online streaming or gaming platforms - but for business.

You don’t have to sink a lot of capital into heaps of new hardware and benefit from manageable monthly fees which give you a spot in the global multi-tenant Cloud environment. It’s like you’re renting a commercial space from a landlord, with 24-hour facilities management and all the technology you need sitting there when you move in.

Then, your long-term return on investment is good. The technology you’re getting is now more comprehensive and powerful than it used to be. Cloud solutions today provide a complete set of scalable, customisable tools to manage all aspects of an enterprise from production and maintenance to warehousing, logistics and customer service.

Central to the value of the latest Cloud solutions is the real-time data reporting they incorporate, which enables swift and informed decision-making.

Today, if you were trying to replicate what a holistic Cloud solution can do on-prem, you would be looking at a 30% higher cost and much higher internal overheads, to maintain it all.

Some people are under the perception that moving to Cloud entails a security risk.

The Cloud solutions we work with at EMDA are carried by Amazon Web Services. In terms of online hosting, AWS is bigger than the next ten guys combined. AWS delivers much better security than anything you’d be able to do on-prem.

Remember, they have to protect a multi-tenant global cyber-environment that relies on complete security integrity; they have to be the best in the world at ensuring that.

Yes, Cloud adoption means handing over your data security to another party, but if that party is AWS you should have no concerns about security - which can require a lot of time and expertise when handled in-house - and can focus instead on your core business activities; the activities that generate revenue.

When you’ve been on-prem for years, migrating to Cloud sounds like a daunting process - is it?

Steps need to be taken, for sure. You may have to be moved to a single-instance multi-site format, meaning that if you have multiple sites using different databases they would have to be incorporated into a central database, which is how you’re lifted to Cloud; a multi-tenant environment that requires a certain uniformity.

Another requirement with migration is that, if your systems' data is somewhat out of date and messy, there would be a need to clean and update it in advance of going to Cloud. That’s a good thing; accurate data is imperative for business strategy and, ultimately, your success. So there are some technical aspects in setting you up, but it’s all quite do-able.

Once your organisation is settled into Cloud, you will never look back. Running your organisation just becomes a smoother, more integrated experience. You move from a scenario of asking What must we do for our technology today? to How best can we serve our customers? With less time and focus required to look after your tech, you can turn your attention purely to what you bring to market, and to the customer experience around that delivery.

© EMDA 2020.