For many businesses today, the programs and applications used to increase productivity, reduce risk, and control costs are evolving faster than adoption strategies can occur. When this happens, productivity may decrease, while costs and risks may increase; the exact opposite of what they are trying to accomplish. Companies can avoid this situation by applying a forward-looking strategy around cloud adoption and implementation at their organization. Let me explain…
Evolving Business Environment
Like many organizations, you may be in some phase of migration to cloud-based services, such as migrating to Office 365 Exchange Online (Microsoft’s hosted email platform). Your organization’s security requirements for Exchange Online may include security layers like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and data loss prevention (DLP). You would likely have a costly capital project in place to gather requirements, implement changes for the cloud security platform, and enable MFA and DLP, among other security needs.
Fast forward 6-8 months, and you now are notified by your application provider that your time and billing (or supply chain, etc.) ERP is moving to a software as a service (SaaS) platform. Once again, you will need another costly capital project (likely not in the budget). Additionally, users will be required to remember two different passwords and two separate MFA platforms, creating a poor experience and productivity challenges.
With solutions and cloud computing requirements evolving so rapidly, it is essential to strategically plan around the adoption and implementation of solutions, rather than a single, point-in-time approach.
Consider the above situation, but this time the solutions were thoughtfully planned out as part of a strategic roadmapping exercise that was mindful of potential end-user impacts. The plan involves using Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), a cloud-based service for managing identities and access, to provide the backbone for these solutions. With Azure AD’s Premium features, end-users do not need to remember application-specific passwords, but rather utilize a single sign-on (SSO) experience for all of your on-premises and cloud applications, saving time and frustration. Roadmapping can also help you better avoid unexpected capital expenses, allowing for more predictable and controlled budgeting.
Due diligence in the planning of cloud implementations is as necessary as the security solutions themselves when it comes to saving your business time and money. Continuous roadmapping of cloud solutions and critical security measures is the only way to stay on top of these evolving changes. When considering your journey to the cloud, you should be armed with the tools and information needed to control cost and minimize end-user impact, while getting the most out of the solutions available.
Kent Goodrow, Account Executive at Systems Engineering. He has over a decade of IT experience spanning roles as a system administrator, engineer, manager, and account executive. As account executive, Kent is responsible for maintaining customer relationships, multi-year budgets, and IT roadmapping (aligning technology with business goals and plans).