21 Jun 2019, 17:20 — 6 min read
Background: In an ever-increasing business scenario, The MSME sector would soon be adopting public cloud based applications to reduce costs, improve scalability, collaboration efficiency, flexibility of work practices and to function more efficiently. Lester Fernandes in his previous article shared technology and business trends of 2019 and beyond. In this article he explains why SMEs should move their IT infrastructure to public cloud.
I had the honour of being invited to the GCP Next at San Francisco in April and to the AWS Partner Summit at Mumbai in May this year. I write this article in recognition of the fact that public cloud providers are set to revolutionise the landscape of every industry and its IT infrastructure requirements, especially more for MSMEs, forever.
Curious to know why? Read on.
IT departments of organisations are today dominated by a large majority of companies who have their IT infrastructure physically located on their premises. This requires huge capital investment outlays for the servers, procuring the software licenses and a network of administrators who can take care of the various setup and routine maintenance activities. With the public cloud providers like Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure these activities become a clickable pay-as-you-go service. For example, a fully hardened server with Windows 10/ Unix OS and MS SQL/ Oracle server installed on it can be made ready and available for use within 10 minutes on the public cloud today. And the routine maintenance services are usually included in the total cost!
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For organisations still unsure of moving fully to the cloud, it is also possible to setup a hybrid IT scenario – with both on premise and possibly multi-cloud architecture. Then, depending on the comfort level, ease of use and pace of adoption of the transforming organisation, a cloud migration road map can be developed towards the final target infrastructure.
Moreover, this has bigger implications for cloud first startups or the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) segment rather than just the infrastructure setup. You get to deploy your application on the cloud, and allow the cloud providers to handle the underlying infrastructure for you. You can focus on taking good care of the actual service you provide to your customers and leave everything else to the elastic, flexible, scalable characteristics of your cloud provider. Even the most secure, prestigious national defence and healthcare organisations worldwide rely on the security of the public cloud for their data. Hence I would definitely discount this as a reason for organisations reluctant in moving to the cloud.
For organisations still unsure of moving fully to the cloud, it is also possible to setup a hybrid IT scenario – with both on premise and possibly multi-cloud architecture.
Let's take an example of the Analytics Consulting Services our startup MSME organisation provides to our valued customers. The initial data is deployed on to the cloud by our customers. We perform the analytics and data science services leveraging the infrastructure on the same cloud and deliver actionable insights with predictable outcomes to our customer also on the same cloud. Additionally, we build the Artificial Intelligence (AI ) & Machine Learning (ML) services using the data available on the same cloud quickly upon customer request for their specific business priorities. This is only because of the flexibility, agility, scalability and demonstrated value that comes with managing all infrastructures on the public cloud providers.
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Many of the technology unicorns today that were MSMEs yesterday were built ground-up on the public cloud architecture. This again means minimal infrastructure and premises management (and related costs), while focusing on improving the services or products to the end consumer/ receiving organisation. MSMEs can easily capitalise on this pay-as-you-go approach to conserve the early cash burn ordinarily spent on purchasing the infrastructure and additionally paying the people for managing it themselves on premise. Instead, refining the services it provides and demonstrating early benefits or lower costs to the end customer can be a better way to showcase credible value in the long run.
I would like to end this article by suggesting that MSMEs should evaluate what infrastructure services they can leverage from the public cloud providers and start in a purposeful manner. Once the early wins on small pilot applications/services have been realised, these will work as the stepping stone for further migration of infrastructure services to the cloud. Think about the business case for this exercise in terms of the Total Cost of Operations (TCO) for every service rather than thinking about the sunk costs that have already been expensed either in infrastructure, licenses or additional manpower required to sustain these services. This will be a fairly objective comparison and instant eye-opener exercise that will usually pave the way for further and sustained migration to the public cloud.
Also read: 10 tips for successful mobile apps in the digital age
Image courtesy: shutterstock.com
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
Posted byLester Sebastiao Fernandes
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