What the move to the cloud actually looks like … Warts and all

Most people talk about moving to the cloud as if it’s the end of your problems (vendors especially). But it’s not always smooth sailing, as a new analysis of existing studies shows. 

The Better Cloud Blog compiled information from several sources to put together the 2016 State of the Cloud report. The resource is a visual guide to the struggles (and the best practices) others have already reported.

Some highlights:

1. Migration takes time

If you’re going to the cloud, be prepared for a long process. According to the report, moving an office system to the cloud takes a whole lot of research and steps.

For Google Apps, that research averages 6.2 months with 5.0 months for implementation. For Office 365, the research accounts for 8.5 months and the transition averages another 6.8.

All told, the process is likely going to take at least a year, beginning to end. And during this whole time, you’re going to need to keep existing systems up and running.

Takeaway: If you’re looking to the cloud to save you time and money, it may. But don’t expect to see that extra time on the front-end.

2. Time-savings may be significant

Another highlight of the study: While time-savings are possible for your team, the study puts some solid numbers on just how much time you can expect to shave off their day.

According to research, as more applications moved to the cloud, the quickest adopters spent:

  • 25% less time on scheduled maintenance
  • 23% less time on unscheduled maintenance
  • 20% less time on storage and quota management
  • 27% less time on data recovery, and
  • 21% less time on upgrades.

Takeaway: For some, these numbers represent well more than their initial investment. Others may see these time-savings as further proof there’s no need for such a large shift.

3. Cost savings are likely there … eventually

While we’ve already covered the fact that the transition isn’t an easy one, it’s worth noting just how much companies stand to save with the cloud.

According to the study, the top two cloud providers had significant savings for adopters. Google cloud systems for offices produced:

  • 42% cloud savings for SMBs
  • 40% savings for mid-market companies, and
  • 35% savings for enterprises.

Overall, that was a 41% savings.

For Microsoft Office 365 cloud adopters, it was:

  • 28% savings for SMBs
  • 23% for mid-market companies, and
  • 29% for enterprise.

That was a savings of 27% overall.

Takeaway: There’s no guarantee you’ll be among those who have the highest overall savings. Your best bet is to consult with industry contacts to find out what their experience was like.