Cetrom client, DPR Group, featured in BizTech Magazine on Nov. 20, 2017 on turning to Cetrom for IT help.
Despite ACI’s success story, migrating even a single application is a big job, and many SMBs don’t have the resources or expertise to go it alone, says Carl Brooks, an analyst for 451 Research.
Brooks’s advice for organizations that can’t afford to dedicate IT staff to the migration effort is to start small, tackling one key business app at a time.
“Normally you start with the really low-hanging fruit, like email, SharePoint and stuff that’s already sort of remote to the user, and stick that in a hosted environment like Office 365,” he says.
But migrating apps to the cloud takes time, even for large enterprises. “We typically see this as a three- to four-year journey before the majority of enterprise applications are in a cloud environment,” he adds.
When Dan Demaree decided he was done troubleshooting the technology at DPR Group, his small public relations and marketing agency in Maryland, he turned to a local managed services provider to help move his apps to the cloud.
That was six years ago. At the time, it wasn’t easy to find a provider that hosted apps and data, Demaree says. But he found a provider of cloud-based IT solutions to help with the shift of Microsoft Office and Quickbooks Pro apps to a Platform as a Service offering, enabling DPR’s 12 employees to work from anywhere.
Demaree says the two biggest challenges were deciding which data files to store in the cloud and training employees to do their work on the cloud servers rather than locally on their own machines. The greatest benefit, Demaree says, has been the zero downtime.
“When our previous managed services provider would perform software updates on a Sunday night, the server would go down on Monday morning, and there’d be hours at a time where nobody could work,” he says. “Now, with our current hybrid cloud configuration, we just go in and focus on doing our jobs because the technology works the way it’s supposed to.”