Life in the Clouds
Epsis recently transitioned to be a cloud-based organization discarding decades of legacy network infrastructure. Why did we do it? Here are our 5 top reasons…
Written by Alex Clark
The technology is ready.
1. IT strategy is often a battle between the best way of doing something versus legacy obstacles and user practicality. You constantly have to assess the technology landscape and the offerings from the major technology providers. At some point, the new way of doing things will overcome the old way. More importantly, the ability to transition between the two becomes simpler. Users will never accept a loss of capability in the name of progress, so we remained cautious. Once we realized all our core application portfolio providers had cloud versions, it made sense to transition with their guidance and support. Finally, reliable, cost-effective Internet is now available everywhere, whether provided by 5G, fiber, copper, or new generation satellite services like Starlink. This means there are no longer any potential blockers between our users and the tools they wish to use on the cloud.
We were part way there already.
- We are not a huge company. Much of our workforce can be mobile in nature, so we are very used to dealing with online files, web-based resources & remote collaboration. Moving files from existing servers to cloud-based repositories was relatively easy and simplified things for everyone. So when we decided to move, we only needed to focus on the last few legacy applications, how to print items and improve endpoint security. Something we could handle with relative ease over a few months. We still had a load of poorly structured files and documents which we just threw onto the cloud as they were. Trying to fix the structure simultaneously as moving data would probably prevent us from doing either. Many users and teams had added structure by moving their important stuff over previously, so the remaining files were of lower importance. We could sort it out later, just as needed, if at all.
It is simpler
The worst place to be is trapped between 2 worlds. Are files on my machine, my OneDrive, or a file server? Due to some of our workforce working a lot of the time remotely, this is the place we often find ourselves. Saying everything is “on OneDrive” makes it easy for us. Moving to the cloud allowed a lot of similar improvement and simplification exercises. It made software selection easier, too, as we had precise non-functional requirements for our timesheet or accounting systems; to be cloud-based. Some of our existing providers had something in their portfolio, and they could manage the transition for us. Hardware failure does not matter anymore as we don’t need to recover anything. Any Internet connection will let us get working again. New machine installations are faster and more accessible and can be done by the user; anywhere. All the complicated stuff we had to deal with in the past gradually vanished.
It is not any more expensive.
Nothing gets done if it is going to cost more. Resources are tight, and you can’t splash money around on vanity projects or “ideal world” scenarios. IT costs were creeping up as we brought cloud-based services alongside legacy systems out of need. Our legacy hardware costs could be eliminated if we made the transition. Hardware & service contracts, technology refreshes, support contracts, time to troubleshoot & manage our servers, backup costs, perimeter security costs, and others that arrive as unexpected surprises. There may be some upfront costs to help the transition, but the ongoing costs are no higher and far more easily controlled. No more hidden fees or unwelcome surprises!
It is more secure
- I hate to admit it; Microsoft is better at security than Epsis. It could be due to them having 3,500 security engineers and spending $4 billion a year on security… It is a close match to our capability, but they edge the win! We don’t need to worry about backups. We have one set of security policy management that works across all our files. GDPR is now manageable. We have no half-forgotten legacy infrastructure. We now have bleeding-edge enterprise-grade AI-enabled security available on tap. For other solutions from other vendors, they take responsibility for the security. Instead, we can spend time on the only genuine threats left. Staff awareness & training alongside improved user authentication and better endpoint security for all devices used to access company resources, whether they are owned by Epsis or not.
And we won’t stop here. Our next task is to eliminate passwords, and we are most of the way there. We need to live in a world where our passwords don’t matter anymore. They are a security nightmare and are not required when we have mobile devices able to act as multifactor authentication tokens. So our journey continues… our next stop is to be a password-less cloud-based company.
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