Posted by: Tyler Bower

The cloud wave is coming. Perhaps it’s more accurate to call it a cloud tsunami. Your business has two options: ride the wave or get crushed by it. And if that weren’t enough, the tide is bearing down on businesses during one of the most uncertain times in recent history. Call it the perfect storm. Surviving the storm requires you to continually move your business technology forward. The forecast is clear: it’s time to move your business management operations to the cloud.

In the introduction to this series we’re calling The Cloud Wave: An SMB Imperative, we overview five areas of your operation that are at risk if you retain the status quo. In upcoming posts, we’ll visit each of the five in greater detail — not as a scare tactic, but rather as straight-up advice from technology professionals who’ve seen firsthand the differences between businesses that embrace change and those that ignore it.

Five Risks in Maintaining the Status Quo

Our team here at Cloud at Work have identified five areas of risk potentially affecting every small and midsized business (SMB). Still,  companies that have not invested in cloud infrastructure are at particular risk.

  1. Supply chains lack agility

The computer hardware supply chain is in chaos. Hardware lead times can be as much as one year. What if your server dies?

  1. The office is (almost) gone

Everyone is working remotely, putting added stressors on your technology infrastructure, security, and collaboration.

  1. Security is insecure

It’s not a matter of if, but when an attack occurs, and cybersecurity insurance carriers have strict new mandates.

  1. Inflation is a one-way street

Inflation is higher than it’s been in decades. Even if it comes down, computer hardware costs are only going up.

  1. The workforce has forever changed

The employment landscape has changed in ways no one could have predicted. Attracting and retaining top talent is a permanent challenge for technology laggards.

The Experts Have Spoken

We’re not alone in our concern for companies that aren’t investing in their business management technologies. Industry research giants like McKinsey, Aberdeen, PwC, and IDC all warn of the threat of obsolescence for companies that don’t invest in IT modernization — and highlight the opportunities for those that do.

McKinsey researches note, “Success in the age of digital disruption will belong to companies that digitize their core businesses, launch new business models, and apply state-of-the-art technologies— activities that are possible only with sophisticated IT architectures and well-coordinated technology teams.”

Aberdeen research found that when businesses transform their entire IT infrastructure to support the today’s technologies, they see significant benefits, including improved security (60%) and a reduction in regular IT costs (33%).

PwC asks, “If not now, when? That’s the question to ask about modernizing your legacy applications. Building and running cloud-native applications frequently contribute to overall improvements in scalability, reliability and cost efficiency.”

IDC’s VP of Worldwide Research said, “In today’s digital-first world, business outcomes and innovation are increasingly tied to the ability to develop and use innovative technologies and services anywhere, as quickly as possible. Cloud is the foundation for meeting this need. Entire industries want to intelligently leverage data to their advantage and can do so because they have faster access to digital technologies built on a cloud foundation.”

In a recent Forbes article, the CEO of a cloud migration company put it bluntly, “Moving your data and workloads to the cloud is an imperative. Delaying may harm your company’s operational efficiency, while doing serious damage to your competitive edge.”

The Risk in Inaction

Business as usual is no longer enough. The risk inherent in inaction is too great — and the opportunities associated with cloud technologies are too compelling. We invite you to join us throughout this series. We’ll look more closely at each of the five business stressors, and how migrating all or part of your business management applications to the cloud can help mitigate the risks — and in many cases even turn the risks into opportunities.