The 8 Biggest Barriers to Cloud Adoption (with Recommendations to Overcome Them)

The 8 Biggest Barriers to Cloud Adoption (with Recommendations to Overcome Them)

By Kazim Somji, Chief Technology Officer
March 25, 2020

In January 2020, WatServ had the opportunity to attend and exhibit at Microsoft Ignite The Tour Toronto. Over the course of the event, we asked attendees who visited our booth to identify their number one hurdle when it comes to cloud adoption. Below is a summary of the top eight issues reported, along with recommendations from our team on how to address them. 

Top 8 Challenges to Cloud Adoption:

1. Insufficient Training

Organizations are struggling to train their employees on new technologies and to encourage adoption. 

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

A great place to start is with online learning and training resources provided from organizations like Microsoft and Google. For instance, Microsoft Learn allows employees to enhance their skills and achieve industry certifications on their own schedules. These types of online trainings usually have learning paths, from beginner to advanced, with avatars to track progression. 

Another method is to deploy champions across your organization whose role it is to coach employees and drive adoption of new technologies. To complement this, your company can put motivational parameters around the framework to further incentivize skills development and adoption. 

2. Complexity Due to Multiple Locations and Divisions 

Siloed IT infrastructure, systems dispersed across various locations and challenges with collaboration are common challenges facing organizations. 

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

Begin by analyzing the current state of your company’s technology delivery processes, organizational model, capabilities and other factors to identify improvement opportunities. After that, you can design a future state model incorporating value network design principles, adaptive organizational structure principles and agile best practices. 

In addition, providing coaching and support can help your team adopt improved delivery techniques and methods to solve immediate problems.  

Finally, in the longer term, implementing cross-functional teams can be helpful for supporting better collaboration and integration, while also avoiding shadow IT.  

3. No Strategy, So No Action

With budget constraints and competing projects, the focus of many organizations is solely on maintaining the status quo. New technologies and ways of adopting them are put on the backburner until they are deemed to be truly necessary. Deployments, migrations and implementations are put off because these processes can take weeks, months or even years to complete. 

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

IT should focus on demonstrating progress by developing an incremental working product. If they wait for the big strategy” to come along, it may never happen or may not be delivered as planned. Instead, by focusing on low hanging fruit first, IT can build momentum and showcase the added benefits of the cloud at critical moments. Together, this can change hearts and minds and pave the way for the introduction of a larger strategy. 

Another approach is to create a roadmap that is divided into several smaller projects and achieved incrementally. Each smaller project can provide its own benefit, which eventually accumulate into a much larger impact. Projects can be accomplished throughout the year without burdening financial resources. 

4. Worries About Data Governance

Although this can apply to many industry verticals, data governance is usually of most concern for government agencies and those in the public sector. There are many myths around this topic, spurred primarily by misinformation.  

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

There is a widespread belief that the cloud cannot protect information. Thisfor the most part, is not true. In fact, for companies that cannot keep up with regulatory changes and internal compliance, the cloud can make it easier. Hyperscale providers, like Microsoft, Google and Amazon review their governance frameworks regularly and can help guide you through the compliance process. They also offer the tools that can help your organization stay in compliance, such as DLP, data classification labels, encryption and so on. Furthermore, their guidance is written in plain language, making it easy to understand for you and your compliance specialist. Finally, public cloud datacenters hold more certifications and security measures than most private cloud or on-premises environments. 

As an example, making your organization’s data center PCI-compliant in an on-premises scenario is not particularly easy. However, the cloud can simplify the process. Similarly, if you want to implement capabilities like PIM (Privileged Identity Management) in an on-premises datacenter, it is complex. With the public cloudon the other hand, it becomes easier. There are still actions needed on the user’s end, and the cloud can’t account for all compliance requirements in all scenarios, but it does offer unique benefits for many customers. 

5. Worries About Data Sovereignty

This concern is felt primarily by the public sector, government, military and defense organizations – organizations that are heavily regulated and that face strict compliance rules. Data sovereignty rules often stipulate that data must be stored within the country and accessed by citizens.  

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

While data sovereignty requirements might have been challenging to manage in the cloud several years ago, both Microsoft and Google have since expanded their datacenters within Canada, and they continue to add more every year. For instance, Microsoft recently announced the availability of more zones in Central Canada. 

Furthermore, data can be restricted to specific geopolitical areas, making it easy to determine exactly where your data is. This, combined with the fact that hyperscale providers must pass heavy auditing processes, provides increased peace of mind. In fact, the Government of Canada recently chose Microsoft Azure, demonstrating that the days of data sovereignty worries are coming to an end. 

6. Challenges with Cost Governance

Some companies hesitate to move to the cloud because they are worried their costs will increase or that they will overprovision. 

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

Despite these worries, many companies that go to the cloud discover that cost governance is easier there. That is because cost management features of the cloud allow you to set budgets, make chargebacks to internal business units, receive alerts when a limit is reached and so onFor instance, you can set up a predefined rule that can turn off or restrict the use of a service when they pass a certain threshold. 

By providing access to data analytics, the cloud enables companies to better predict their costs over several years. Also, Microsoft and Google offer various discounts for upfront payments and so on, which can lead to overall cost savings. 

7. Analysis Paralysis

Sometimes a major roadblock to cloud adoption stems from simply too many options. Over-thinking or over-analyzing options can make it difficult to choose between Azure, Google Cloud Platform, AWS, on-premise and private cloud. 

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

As a starter, it’s important to remember that most customers are already in a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud scenario. For enterprise customers, Microsoft’s cloud platforms are likely being utilized in some form or fashion as the primary service due to existing relationships and legacy technology integrationwith Active Directory and other business applications. 

It’s also important to remember that all of the top three providers – Microsoft Azure, Google’s GCP and Amazon’s AWS – have cloud compute capacity and scale on demand. 

Here are some key areas to examine when assessing their offerings: 

  1. Depth and breadth of service – All of the major providers offer a vast range of services, from compute and containers to AI and ML, but if you have specific current or future business needs, you should compare offerings to see which provider best meets them. 
  2. Geographic needs – All three of the top providers have a global presence, with regions across most continents. However, some organizations have specific geographic restrictions due to factors like data residency or network latency requirements. If you are one of these organizations, doing an assessment of all providers is important. 
  3. Hybrid cloud – All three of the major providers enable hybrid cloud, but evaluating their individual capabilities is important to see which is the best fit. Some organizations that have a substantial legacy footprint will need to integrate with the public cloud for seamless management of identity and security. 

If your organization is having difficulty choosing an ideal scenario, cloud consultants (like our team at WatServ) can help identify your ideal future state and make the leap with confidence. 

8. Complexity with Current Workloads

For many companies, a major worry is whether their current workloads will run well in the cloud. This concern can be a major inhibitor to cloud adoption. 

Recommendations to address this challenge: 

To begin, an assessment should be conducted to confirm what should go to the cloud and how best to get it there. Sometimes it’s a simple lift and shift, other times it will involve a rebuildThe key is to assess accurately, do a proof of concept and, if needed, consult with external cloud experts to discover workarounds or alternate solutions.   

However, by not moving forward due to unknownsyou may be putting your business at riskRelying on old technologies usually means decreased productivity, increased security concernslowered performance and potential end of support from the vendor.  

 

Are you struggling to achieve cloud adoption? Does your organization need help getting to the cloud? If so, WatServ can help. Schedule a time to speak with our cloud experts today and get to the cloud with clarity. 

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Growing Businesses Need Management Systems That Can Keep Up

Growing Businesses Need Management Systems That Can Keep Up

By WatServ
January 21, 2020

Successful businesses experience growth in a number of different ways from increased headcount, changing product lines, and a long list of satisfied customers. As your business is growing, you may notice that your management systems are not keeping up. Disparate accounting, inventory, and other specialty software impose limits to the volume and type of data you can manage. Don’t let your software hold your business back from meeting growth goals. Replace outdated systems with a modern management solution.

Growth is great, until the point where you outgrow business systems. Many entry-level systems have limits to the number of users that can enter or access data. There are also limits on the data that can be collected or managed. Too much data can bog down the system, slowing down searches or crashing when the infrastructure or application can’t handle large datasets. As users become frustrated with these limitations, they turn to spreadsheets or other manual processes and workarounds. Entering data repeatedly from system to system is both time-consuming and risky.

 

If you are experiencing growing pains or are planning for future business growth, it’s time to deploy a management solution that can keep up.

 

Support Business Growth with a Flexible, Agile ERP Solution

A flexible, agile enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can support your business through periods of growth and change. Right out of the box, ERP offers comprehensive functionality including the ability to manage financials, inventory and supply chain, manufacturing and distribution operations, human resources and payroll, and other core business tasks.

Robust ERP solutions, such as those in the suite of Microsoft Dynamics ERP offerings, include built-in workflows to streamline common processes, improving the productivity of your team. Dashboards and business intelligence features – highlight key metrics, making it easier for managers to follow trending data, such as sales, inventory levels or customer buying behaviors. With real-time data, managers can respond faster to deviations in budgets or strategic goals. Many ERP solutions are also customizable, providing the ability to address unique business operations or industry-specific compliance obligations. Cloud ERP deployments enable added mobility and scalability, allowing you to add or remove users as headcount changes.

Don’t let outdated software stifle growth, give your business room to grow by deploying a comprehensive ERP solution. Contact WatServ for more information about replacing basic software, with a flexible, agile ERP solution that can grow and change with your business.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

The Best Business Software Doesn’t Always Have a Hefty Price Tag

The Best Business Software Doesn’t Always Have a Hefty Price Tag

By WatServ
January 14, 2020

Large businesses need a management solution that can support all of the moving parts of the enterprise, not some of them. Using disparate, specialty software can be risky as data easily gets lost or altered when it’s transcribed from one software system into another. A cloud-based modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is more affordable than you think and can save you money in the long run.

Businesses often default to specialty software because they serve a specific purpose – accounting software for financials, inventory software to keep track of incoming and outgoing inventory, and the like. However, with data in separate software systems, it’s difficult to reach and, in many cases, difficult to trust. Redundant data entry between systems opens the door to typos, errors, lost data or other mistakes.

 

Making business decisions based on outdated, inaccurate data will quickly lead to expensive mistakes.

 

Replace Specialty Software with Cloud-Based Microsoft Dynamics AX

Replacing inefficient software with a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution doesn’t have to be costly, take years to plan, or require a team of IT experts. A cloud-based deployment, like Microsoft Dynamics AX, greatly reduces capital expenses and time. You don’t need to replace aging infrastructure or equipment, which can be one of the most significant costs with a system upgrade. You can scale user licenses to fit your headcount; paying a per user, per month price. Your team also gains greater mobility by accessing Microsoft Dynamics AX anywhere, anytime through a web browser on laptops, tablets or smartphones.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a comprehensive, integrated business management solution supporting financial transactions, inventory and supplier management, manufacturing and distribution activities, human resources and payroll, as well as other core operations. This centralized solution streamlines data entry, access, and analytics. Workflows save time and improve the consistency of common tasks. Business intelligence and reporting features provide leaders with the data needed to make smart decisions and strengthen regulatory compliance.

With cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics AX, you can monitor all of the moving parts of your business with greater efficiency, improving productivity and profitability. Replacing inefficient, specialty software with a stronger ERP solution is not only good for business, it doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Contact WatServ for more information and guidance when replacing outdated systems with cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics AX.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

Top Five Cloud Computing Predictions 2013

Top Five Cloud Computing Predictions 2013

By WatServ
January 17, 2013
There has been a lot of talk regarding predictions of what cloud computing will bring in 2013. After reading through many predictions from multiple sources, we’ve gathered the ones that we believe are the most likely to happen. We also provided our insights on how to stay ahead of the game for each prediction. 1. We’ll start taking the Cloud Seriously when it comes to backup & DR – from CloudTimes Xath Cruz predicts organizations will prefer a cloud pay-per- use model instead of purchasing resources as disasters happens, due to greater cost efficiency and speed. The cloud will become the focus of business operations but won’t replace BCDR resources completely. We believe that cloud storage will provide the safety needed to avoid information loss if your operations somehow fail. As your information is safely in the cloud, you wouldn’t need to worry about hardware failure. Also, pay-per-use models provide the flexibility and speed needed for companies to reduce costs. We recommend that if you’re not already using a cloud based ERP system; you should at least make the investment to securely back-up information. 2. Enterprise realize that cloud computing means, well, cloud computing – from cio.com Bernard Golden predicts that we will see a lot more news articles in 2013 about organizational change and how to successfully implement private cloud computing. Golden believes organizations must thoroughly plan on integrating cloud computing from end-to-end before actual implementing. Thorough planning is the key for properly switching to a cloud computing system. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see many articles teaching IT users about successful cloud computing implementation. We recommend that you take into consideration every part of your business when planning cloud system integration. Experience has taught us that getting effective alignment of roles and responsibilities is the key. You can read Golden’s full article here. 3. Cloud wins confidence – from communities.intel.com Alan Priestley predicts that in 2013, companies will continue to adopt cloud computing even after a declining IT marketing in 2012. He also predicts that usage models will expand and broadening the type of cloud applications used. We strongly believe in the expanding use of cloud applications and the growth of cloud computing. Companies will begin to take the time to try to understand the applications of cloud, and eventually take a step forward in adopting it. You can read Priestley’s full article here. 4. More hosted private clouds – from forbes.com Joe McKendrick predicts that there will be an increase in hosted private clouds managed by someone else, off premise. It quotes, from IDC’s Chris Morris, For critical applications, only secure, non-shared private cloud will pass all compliance requirements Hosted cloud services provide the type of resources needed for maximum security for your most important applications. Hosted cloud services specialize in information security and are compliant with many certifications. The benefits of hiring a hosted cloud service are substantial as they provide many resources than one may not be able to invest in such as security. At WatServ, we have many security certifications such as SSAE16, HIPPAA, and PCI. You can read McKendrick’s full article here. 5. Hybrid IT – from canadait.com SoftCom predicts companies will continue to shift from on-premise IT to cloud computing in order to stay up to date with the latest software. Cloud will be expensed as a cost of business operation instead of expenditure needed for software and hardware. With the speed of technology advancements today, major software updates coming out more frequently. Already with a huge investment in software, are you still willing to spend another fortune to upgrade to the newest software, hardware, integration, and training? Cloud computing allows companies to upgrade their software more easily compared to on-premise IT. You can read SoftCom’s full article here. We’re sure to get back to you to see how these predictions do throughout the year. We hope our recommendations will provide insight into the benefits of cloud computing.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.