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From adoption to modernization - making modern cloud accessible

By Jonny James, Senior Technical Product Manager at Cloudreach, an Atos company

SMBs and non-profits have embraced the cloud revolution. Among small organizations surveyed in a report of digital leaders, 35% of small org's core apps were cloud-based, and an additional 14% said most of their core apps were cloud-based. However, the next phase of modern cloud infrastructure, ongoing modernization, typically requires a committed and well-resourced IT team, which most SMBs and nonprofits don't always have access to. The upside of modernization: better infrastructure, improved efficiency and thus better results for the customers and missions these organizations support. Not only that, but the culture of modernization can impact organizations beyond technology - by having a "cloud native" mindset, these organizations can modernize its ways of working, leadership, culture, and digital quotient. But what unique challenges do these kinds of organizations face, and what can tech organizations do to support their needs? 

Cloud adoption among non-profits and SMBs 

The flexibility and scalability of cloud infrastructure makes it a good fit for the changing needs of SMBs and nonprofits. Cloud computing doesn't require buying expensive or continuous hardware, has lower price points and is less expensive in terms of scaling.

For nonprofits, this scalability is even more beneficial to their model. With cloud computing they can allocate spend only to the storage space they are using for the function of their organization and expand on that space as the work grows.

However, both SMBs and nonprofits are restricted by size and finances, complicating their ability to have a designated IT team. This means they have less space to support ongoing work on their IT infrastructure, and they're limited by budget while IT spend continues to balloon. 

Adoption is just part one of a modern cloud strategy

Adoption is only the beginning for many of these businesses and ballooning IT costs can cause challenges for non-profits and SMBs as they look to modernize, a process that requires re-engagement with the improvement and transformation process.

Many organizations believe that once they migrate to the cloud they have modernized, however, that isn't the case. When apps are running on the cloud it may seem like a simple solution, but to truly be cloud native and work efficiently, it's important to be able to scale and update each of those components. Beyond the initial cloud adoption, these types of organizations may struggle to maintain the level of concentration and investment during the initial migration.

Cloud modernization is crucial because it can help catch and correct, or mitigate, errors that happened during the initial migration, promote alignment within different levels of maturity among the organization and prevent the need to bring applications back on premises after the initial spend to get them on the cloud. It can also help to take those applications that were strategically placed onto compute resources to facilitate a rapid migration engine to the next stage of cloud maturity, by leveraging cloud-native services and democratizing access to technology and data.

However ongoing modernization is burdensome - for SMBs without budget and non-profits who must devote budget to their mission, their ability to participate in the next phase of cloud hangs in the balance. 

Modern tools for modern problems - automation and cloud infrastructure 

As cloud professionals, we have the power to create solutions that can support all organizations in their work - whether multinational enterprises, a small emerging retail brand, or a local food bank. It's the cloud professionals prerogative to create solutions that allow organizations without the resources or tools of massive enterprises to keep pace with modern IT infrastructure 

One tool example? Automation. Through automation solutions, smaller organizations can keep pace with competitors and advancing demands as the public cloud infrastructure evolves. A Salesforce nonprofit report finds that an average of 79% of nonprofits expect to implement AI in the next three years, so there is a recognition of this demand in the field.

Organizations should also build technologies with diverse end users in mind - providing a UX that requires limited IT expertise and subscription resources when expert support is needed. 

Cloud adoption was the first wave, and ongoing modernization is the next. To ensure all organizations can maintain the quality of their IT infrastructure, large vendors must pay special attention to the needs of the growing SMB market and the missions of nonprofits. This means providing modern solutions to modern problems - automation and other resources that alleviate the need for large, designated IT teams or personnel with deep IT knowledge. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonny-James 

Jonny James is the Technical Product Manager for Cloudreach, an Atos Company. Utilizing his knowledge on cloud technology, Jonny owns the roadmap and end to end product-market fit for a software platform that provides intelligent recommendations for modernizing applications hosted in the public cloud.

Published Friday, June 24, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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