Are regional areas ready for Cloud migration?
With the rise of remote working, increased security concerns and more diverse workloads, the traditional on-premises infrastructure of decades past is often no longer efficient enough for today’s standards of security and productivity. This has resulted in a rising trend of businesses migrating their infrastructure to Cloud environments. According to an ABS report, in 2019, 44% of all businesses have adopted some form of Cloud services. For mid-sized companies, this adoption of Cloud services goes up to 70%. Despite this, many organisations still have doubts around the efficiency of Cloud services in regional areas, with popular themes surrounding the cost of services, and lower internet connectivity options in said regional areas. Over the last decade, there have been plenty of technical developments that have made Cloud solutions more than just technical jargon; they have become an essential part of any business’ infrastructure. So, we ask the question: can the Cloud services be effectively utilised in regional areas?
There is a common thought that Cloud does not work for regional centres. These have historically been driven by weaker internet options available, and previous attempts to push Cloud solutions before the technology was fully capable. The issues businesses cited were:
- Less internet options and less competition = higher prices
- Coverage – areas with limited to no mobile data coverage
- Cost of mobile alternatives – 4G, satellite communications, point to point wireless.
These issues are now effectively a thing of the past. Advances in 4G networks as well as the rollout of 5G networks across the country mean that Cloud solutions are now viable. Today, with solutions like Microsoft 365, in particular, SharePoint and Teams with their improved syncing capabilities, businesses can deploy stable regional Cloud solutions. To further address concerns surrounding connectivity, SharePoint has the capability to store content locally, ready to be synced the next time you have a stable connection. There have also been advancements in Microsoft Azure with the ability to replicate cloud storage to local devices behind the scenes. Microsoft has been investing heavily in this area of Cloud infrastructure and the technology is still rapidly advancing
Weighing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Even if the above were not convincing enough, there is the matter of cost. To attempt to build an environment on-premises with similar capabilities while maintaining accessibility, and scalability is an expensive endeavour involving high upfront capital spend with no guarantee of capability. Additionally, the added administrative costs of supporting and maintaining the hardware necessary would make it extremely difficult to guarantee your on-premises infrastructure could support loads during its lifetime. These factors make your TCO a variable cost, and something hard to predict and budget for. Conversely, adopting a Cloud environment like Microsoft 365 allows you to consolidate your environment into a single invoice, turning your variable into a fixed, and therefore predictable cost, making it much easier to account and budget for.
In summary, the Cloud is ready for regional use. Microsoft 365 and Azure are ready now and both are improving their offline and remote capacity, and (along with the growth of internet connected services and internet capability), now is the time to make sure you have a Cloud strategy, and you are making your technology work for you, not spending hours on end working for your technology.
MOQdigital understands that everyone may be at different stages of their Cloud adoption journey. Some may not have begun their Cloud adoption yet, some may already be halfway down the road, and some may have rushed their journey without the proper architecture in place. Regardless of where you are in your journey, MOQdigital can help. With our advanced specialisation in Azure Migration and its team of Azure Solution Architects, we are positioned to assist you in deploying and managing your Cloud infrastructure to meet your business goals. To begin, MOQdigital offers an Azure Strategic Migration Assessment to prepare your organisation for a scale migration, so that you can develop a migration strategy that captures the “why” and the “how” when it comes to realising your business outcomes when starting your Azure journey. If you would like to learn more about this, please contact us here.