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Maximizing the benefits of moving to the cloud

By migrating on-premises workloads to the cloud, enterprises benefit from IT cost savings, productivity improvements, business agility, and operational resilience.

This blog post delves deep into the cloud benefits and explores how an enterprise can maximize cloud benefits.

1. How does an organization benefit by moving to the cloud?

Scalability – only pay for what you want when you need it.

In today’s world, most industries rely heavily on IT. As your organization grows, the IT infrastructure has to grow with it. In an on-premises environment, you have to plan for this growth well in advance and make a substantial fixed investment. However, in a cloud environment, you will be able to scale up or scale down your infrastructure requirement as and when you need it.

Simplify compliance and lower security risk

Aligning business operations with the continuous changes in software, security, and regulations can be complex.

Moving to the cloud reduces your organization’s security footprint. The cloud will not remove all risks but once moved, the cloud services provider owns the risk mitigation responsibility. But, your data will be stored in a secure location.

This provides the added benefit of keeping your organization updated on security and compliance requirements surrounding your data. In addition, keeping data on the cloud releases regulatory pressure to maintain data storage standards off your organization.

Leverage your IT staff more efficiently

Once you have migrated to the cloud, your IT staff will have to spend very little time on maintenance. This allows your IT team to spend more time on value-adding initiatives to increase efficiency, automation, and simplicity to your enterprise solutions.

Furthermore, since your software vendor manages the IT infrastructure, your organization can reduce the IT overhead cost.

Convert your software from a capital expense to an operational expense

Cloud-based software can help free up capital while giving a company the flexibility to meet evolving operational needs. With this switch in revenue reporting, companies will have access to funds for expansion and new business initiatives and the ability to respond to market opportunities quickly.

High availability

Cloud solutions offer high availability, unparalleled uptime, and stability regardless of the location or the type of end-user device. This is because cloud-based SaaS solutions run on platforms that are typically far more reliable than what most companies would use for an on-premises solution.

Supports global growth

Expanding your IT infrastructure to support the rapid growth of the business can be highly challenging. Scalability is even more important when the organization expands to new emerging markets and remote locations where getting the required technical skills and equipment are difficult.

Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to establish a new presence rapidly or expand existing operations in virtually any region without physically being there. This substantially minimizes both capital investments and risk. They also offer better business outcomes by allowing remote offices to operate seamlessly alongside other business units and headquarters and making sharing information easier regardless of partner or supplier location.

2. What can enterprises do to maximize the cloud benefits?

The biggest mistake organizations make is looking at the cloud migration just as a change in the software platform. But the reality is that this shift in the platform exposes you to a lot more possibilities. Exploring these and embracing these wherever possible will be the key to maximizing your cloud benefits. Here are some ways organizations can maximize the cloud benefits:

Mobility and easier access to information

Resources in the cloud can be easily stored, retrieved, recovered, or processed. This gives easy yet well-secured access to your organization’s data via any device, in any corner of the world, as long as you are connected to the internet. The challenges you previously had with accessing your enterprise systems can now be addressed through simple mobile applications.

Leverage new technologies

Migrating to the cloud opens up numerous ways to leverage modern technologies. For example, organizations can take advantage of machine learning and artificial intelligence, which aren’t feasible on-premises. They can also spin up highly complex cloud-native technologies, such as data lakes, in a very short time.

Speedup digital transformation

Many organizations are looking into digital transformation to create more value for the business. Enterprise solutions born of recent advances in cloud computing are showing great successes in digitizing more core business functions like process automation, data analytics, document management, and more. Your migration to the cloud enables you to integrate these solutions and services faster. The potential the cloud has for digital transformation is bound to evolve further.

3. How can new business processes be accommodated with cloud migration?

Compared to on-premises, cloud-based enterprise solutions such as Infor CloudSuite offer many features and functions. While supporting standard industry processes in its core, business users can adapt cloud solutions to support business processes unique to your organization. For example, Infor CloudSuite offers extensibility tools such as Infor Mongoose to build custom apps and enhancements with very little to no coding to accommodate unique business requirements.

4. Security, data protection, and compliance are critical concerns for enterprises. How can the cloud help?

In cloud-based SaaS environments, the cloud platform will be managed by the vendor. In the case of Infor CloudSuite products and services, the cloud platform will be managed by Infor.

A cloud environment is only as secure as its weakest link in the cloud security chain. Infor cloud employs a “defense-in-depth” strategy. Multiple layers of overlapping security safeguard customer data through each link of the chain. These security controls are enforced by a team of specialists at Infor who continuously monitor and improve Infor Cloud security posture to stay ahead of threats and vulnerabilities.

There are multiple layers of security in Infor CloudSuite products.

  • Application security
    • Apply, review, and update security best practices
    • Top 10 Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)-based code review
    • Formal configuration and change management practices via enforced and audited processes
    • Vulnerability and penetration testing throughout the product lifecycle
  • Network security
    • Security principles of “least privilege” and “need to know” enforced by role-based access controls (RBAC)
    • Rigid protocols enforce security even when customers use compromised systems or don’t apply security best practices
    • Infor Cloud is separate from Infor corporate network
    • Proactive defense
    • Real-time monitoring
    • Firewall segmentation
    • Two-factor authentication
    • Digital certificates ensure Infor Cloud sessions occur only with authenticated systems
  • Physical security (IAAS PARTNER data centers)
    • Biometric protected
    • Guard-controlled access with man-trap technology
    • Registered guest restrictions
    • Locked cage spaces
    • Closed-circuit television monitoring
    • Additional systems for physical intrusion monitoring, detection, and alerting
  • Infrastructure security
    • Restricted access
    • Limited user-account permissions
    • Hardening and managed patching of operating systems
    • Separation of server duties and least privilege access
    • Backup management

5. How can Infor OS improve the cloud experience?

Infor OS is a cloud operating platform that brings productivity, business processes, and artificial intelligence together.

Infor OS empowers Infor CloudSuite users to maximize the benefits of the cloud by providing a wide range of services and technologies supporting new and emerging business needs. The technology bundle within Infor includes the Infor ION integration framework, Infor Ming.le social collaboration platform, Infor Document Management (IDM), and more.

Extensibility and automation

Every organization has unique business needs. To accommodate these needs, organizations often have to adapt their enterprise solutions. Infor OS provides extensibility tools to quickly develop enterprise capabilities tailored to user needs, with minimal coding. Consumed via desktop, tablet, or smartphone, these enhancements boost productivity and significantly improve user experience

Powerful integration platform

Infor OS’s purpose-built middleware solution allows you to easily integrate third-party software applications with Infor CloudSuite. By providing a simple, robust, and scalable framework, Infor OS eliminates operational silos, revamp exception management, and achieve unparalleled end-to-end efficiency.

Collaboration

By marrying business processes with employee communications, Infor OS’s collaboration capabilities allow you to contextualize intelligence, make single sign-on a reality, and increase efficiency by enabling employees to work smarter and faster.

The possibilities of the cloud are evolving rapidly, especially with the integration of Industry 4.0 technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), automation, and artificial intelligence.

To realize the full potential of the cloud, decision makers must stop looking at cloud migration as a mere change in the software platform; instead, they should have a sound understanding of the cloud, its potential and possibilities, and nurture an organizational culture that is open to change and innovation.

 

Written by:

Kasun Sandaruwan

Vice President – Americas at Fortude