Mid Market’s Cloud Movement – Challenges and Fail-Proof Fixes

Technology | 8 minutes to read

13th Nov, 2018

In part – 1 of the cloud calling series, we learnt about the industrial landscape and mid-market’s fitment in the same along with the growing trend of cloud migration in the segment – its reasons and benefits.

In this second part of the series, let’s try to understand the dynamics in a bit more depth and explore the terrain of challenges which the mid-market firms face while making that ambitious and necessary move to cloud.

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.

Frank A. Clark

Quite an apt quote when we think about the cloud transition trend for mid-market today. While the bag of benefits is heavy, it’s not that easy for any mid-market firm to decide one day to move to the cloud and make the move the very next day.

There are a lot of things to assess, to plan and to decide. And with the amount of investment and risk involved, the expectation for precision in such decisions become quite inflated, leaving hardly any scope for the hit & trial ideology.

Change, so to say, is never an easy passage for anyone – be it an enterprise where the cash pools are big but simultaneously the risks are also higher or even a start-up where the flexibility allows for experimentation, but one wrong move can spell the close-down.

Hence, the situation is no less tricky for a mid-market firm to place its stake upon, however, let’s not get disheartened. There’s light at the end of every tunnel after all.

Let’s begin by understanding the set of challenges which a mid-market company may encounter – right from the moment it decides to take the cloud dip.

  • Dealing with licensing complexities
    Licensing is as it is one of the most complex parts of any new deployment, let alone its classic showcase of issues during the transition phase. The first tough task is to analyze the concurrent licensing models, mapping old ones to the new structure. Monitoring of usage is also not an easy feat but still, a mandatory requirement to begin on the cloud transition road.
  • Cumbersome clustering of precise requirements
    It’s important to first understand the need before placing the bucks on the solution. Every mid-market firm will also have its unique set of challenges, requirements, usage patterns etc. which would demarcate them from rest of the mid-market brand names.

Hence, while a cumbersome one, it is a requisite affair to get the exact set of requirements from all the user accounts before zeroing down upon the cloud transition plan.

  • Understanding the allocation of software across instances of the cloud
    With plethora of benefits under its belt, it is still critical to have a complete understanding of how the company plans to go about its cloud instances, for example – will it be a single instance cloud or multi-instance cloud or does the nature of work requires a multi-tenancy instance cloud model.

Having complete clarity on such issues may seem like a tough job in the beginning but the same is crucial to have an appropriate transition plan charted out.

  • Maintaining a rational and correct deployment-payment matrix
    A virtualised environment means multiple number of machines – it can be ten or ten thousand or even more. When it comes to cloud services, while the web may seem too complex in case of a big span of machines, but it will be a necessary step to ensure a fair pay-out between them based on the expected usage.
  • Being prepared for future upgrades or downgrades
    You may not know beforehand what exactly the future holds for you while the ambitious plans would be in place (and they should be, of course!). However, preparedness has never caused hurt to anybody and in fact, that’s a way to ensure that you don’t end up scaling up the cost extensively in a scale-up scenario.

Hence, understanding the upgrade paths for the future packages is certainly not easy but indeed it’s mandatory.

Other Unavoidable Challenges

Even after getting things in place, it may still not be a cake walk to get it right. While in certain cases, PaaS may still be an easier way out owing to its prescriptive nature, let’s say if IaaS is your need-based selection, there can be tons of possibilities to go wrong owing to the presence of so many end nodes – just like a game of blocks where the arrangement possibilities can be many.

Then comes in the people barrier. Ensuring the transition can be an easy road or a long-tailed affair depending upon the size, culture and erstwhile innovation-bent of the company, as well as the methodology and extent of cloud integration.

Giving into the industry hype can be another big trouble spot for mid-market firms as it is only human to follow a trend, but as they say, a wise man will correctly decipher its own requirements first and then only will take a call to follow the herd or not.

Other unavoidable challenges lie in the management of migration team or dealing with changing management, strengthening the existing tech infrastructure in preparation for cloud movement, maintaining the cost estimations etc.

Anyways, the intent to dig deeper into these challenges is not to deter the mid-market companies from answering the cloud call but it is always better to understand the problems and challenging scenarios first before getting onto the solutions and workarounds.

And Here’s the Key to Win-Over

Yes, breaking the bad is not that tough after all and it is very much possible for mid-market to enjoy the benefits of cloud without much hassle.

The key is to find a trusted cloud partner as well as a sales enablement player who can help the firm with the transition. Let’s face it, the firm has just decided to take the cloud plunge, hence, expecting expertise in a domain where one intends to go but has yet not reached or ever fully experienced – wouldn’t that be a bit unfair?

Getting onboard with a sales enablement partner extensively mitigates the risks which are associated with the movement into a new territory. In fact, not just transition, a sales enablement partner can also bring its industry intelligence on the table and assist a mid-market firm in even selecting a cloud partner, mapping the provisions with the firm’s precise needs.

Right from migration, scale-up to cost – sales enablement partners these days are all up for simplifying the transition and cloud onboarding process as much as possible for not just SMB market and large enterprises but also for mid-market firms. The mid-spot is where lies the maximum potential after all and no player in the industry remains unaware of this reality.

The Key Opens A Few More Doors

If the mid-market firm is able to align with the right enablement partner, the transition journey becomes a smooth success ride. Here’s a list of few of the elements which then contributes to the seamlessness of the entire process:

  • A stable shift is guaranteed in terms of computing paradigms.
  • The language of license agreements is simplified which if not done, could be a potential hosting ground for multiple confusions.
  • An assured licensing matrix is also ensured instead of a volatile one, thus, encompassing the scenarios pertaining to developments such as M&A etc.
  • Adherence to industry-standards is ensured.
  • The uncapped usage and compliance issues are managed with deftness.
  • A customized budget management ensures further peace of mind.

Final Words

With understanding of the challenges as well as the work-arounds for cloud transition, mid-market firms can be better prepared to take on the trend with their best foot forward. A thought-through association with a trusted sales enablement partner can be a game changer for any mid-market firm as it will ensure a complete ROI on the cloud spend.

Lastly, when it comes to cloud movement, it all boils down to a comprehensive planning & coordination in terms of the changing the processes, technology, data, talent pool, security, support, etc. With these initial pre-preps in place with the help of enablement partners, the road to cloud success seems smooth for the mid-market.

This is the concluding part of 2-Blog series on Mid-Market’s Cloud Calling. Click here to read the 1st part.

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