Print.IT Reseller- issue 95

PrintIT Reseller: The benefits of cloud computing such as not having to invest in and maintain hardware; flexibility and scalability; quick deployment, customisable features and zero upfront costs; to name a few, are well-documented; but there are also several barriers to adoption. What do you see as the biggest barriers to cloud adoption and how does your offering address them? 01732 759725 42 VOX POP Organisations are at different points on their cloud journey and it’s fair to say that it’s certainly not a case of all or nothing for the majority Is cloud technology firmly in the mainstream? David Jenkins, CEO, “There is to some extent, a level of inertia within organisations who have yet to embrace the cloud – a mind-set of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’. But from our perspective, potential customers are looking for answers to three key questions. The first and most important is that any cloud-based print management platform compares like-forlike to legacy on-premise solutions – by that I mean the experience for end-users is seamless, IT admins need to know there is parity in terms of the feature-set and functionality, and finally, that the adoption cycle and migration path is easy, painless and as automated as possible. “The second thing is how much does it cost? It’s key that vendors can demonstrate the RoI and clear cost advantages of migrating print to the cloud. For some organisations, that will be an easy case to make, as the past two years has seen many move core infrastructure to the cloud to support a distributed workforce and they’re already realising the long-term savings and efficiency gains that cloud can bring. But there are many firms where it's less clear at this stage that moving everything to the cloud is beneficial to the bottom line. “Thirdly, it’s about enabling choice. As an ISV in the cloud print management space, we can empower customers to make independent choices around hardware and software solutions moving forward. A vendor-neutral solution empowers IT leads to deploy the best hardware and software to support their business’ long-term goals, rather than having to compromise on cost or functionality because of compatibility issues with legacy technology for example.” Mark Bailey, Managing Director, EBM Managed Services: “In the SME arena where we specialise, we see multiple barriers to cloud adoption. A couple of common themes are surprisingly not technical-related. “The first one is creating a simple and clear IT strategy and getting all the stakeholders on board with the strategy. In an SME, the IT responsible person, sets out to ‘go cloud’ without really defining the end goals. Often diving into technical endeavours before defining clear end goals and benefits for the business. When presenting their plan to the stakeholders without a clear and concise strategy, they often encounter resistance when the stakeholders don’t fully understand the end objective and the benefits. This brings us onto the second common theme we find in SMEs – security. “Having physical hardware onpremise seems to give SMEs some comfort that they can see and touch the device. When you remove that physical comfort, they get very nervous about security. Whilst moving to any IT infrastructure has its security risks, capitalising on large-scale security environments such as Microsoft 365, will naturally provide greater security than if you hosted this yourself. “The third common and unfortunately complex obstacle we find is legacy software systems. CRMs, ERPs, SAP, whatever the acronym, some form of software which acts as the spine in the business which runs most processes. Clients’ over reliance on these systems sees them become outdated and much larger beasts to migrate to a cloud infrastructure, than should they have done them progressively had they kept up with leading software innovations. Sometimes we see business go extreme and set up their new cloud infrastructure with a new software system and abandon the legacy software, starting afresh.” Andrew Smith, Chief Information and Strategy Officer, Kyocera: “As we have seen the change to cloud technology become mainstream, we have also seen the evolution of roles within the IT department. Increasingly we are seeing the need for IT leaders to manage contracts in greater depth, including their technical detail, but also their commercial approach and service level agreement. There is a need for IT leaders to upskill to bridge the gap between procurement and IT in managing these different types of contracts. Mark Bailey David Jenkins