Automating to Get to the Cloud: The New Wave of Outsourcing to Modernize Business Operations

When you run a business, it is important to always get things done efficiently for a lower cost. But, keep that aside for now.

If you have ever been in a leadership position, you know that the most efficient way to get things done is not by doing it all yourself but by efficiently delegating the job to competent resources at hand. This is one of the building blocks of both automation and outsourcing, especially with IT services.

Every business has a ton of data that needs to be managed securely. With the onset of a barrage of technological solutions, there is a lot that can be done to easily achieve this goal.

Automation is one such solution and it is not even considered to be a game-changer. Companies are expected to be up to date with their data operations. This is simply considered to be present to the changes taking place in the landscape and hence hint at efficiency. And clients who expect that are right on the money because these systematic changes have proven their worth over a period of time.

Why You Should Outsource Cloud Management Services

Cloud infrastructure is not just cool but extremely functional. But for it to be as effective as it can be, it needs to be monitored and maintained 24 x 7. This means personnel must make sure that there are no downtimes or breakdowns in the systems built around it.

The more you move your processes to a cloud system, the more you will come to depend on its ability to function seamlessly. Any disruption in the system can lead to a breakdown in everyday business operations.

These moments of vulnerability also leave you open to security threats. So, you need the system to run efficiently so that the firm can level up and multiply its ability to serve its clients. This requires excellent management and vendors in the business are already more than capable of getting the job done.

And since not every firm is capable of carrying out these changes in-house without a glitch, there is a case to be made for the outsourcing of cloud management services. If you as an entrepreneur need convincing on the matter of moving your operations to the cloud and getting a third-party cloud expert to do it, here are five reasons.

#1 Cost Effective

Managing your cloud infrastructure is all about balancing gains with costs. When you bring in a third-party service provider, you will be able to regulate the costs that incur for maintenance of the infrastructure and operations.

If you try to do this in-house, you are going to need a state-of-the-art IT department which is a highly expensive affair. Outsourcing keeps your monthly costs predictable, which is great, especially if you are a small or medium business with limited resources.

#2 Predictable Expenses

By hiring a third-party vendor to take care of the operation, you will know how much you will have to shell out every month. This is flexibility you cannot get if you are doing this within the organization, even if it is with an existing IT department.

You get a bill for the services you enlisted and that keeps maintenance costs predictable. Most of these vendors have packages that let you pick out the services you want. So, you can scale your operations up or down depending on your budget. This also helps you plan your year in advance.

#3 Future Readiness

Technology changes every so often and it is important to stay in the loop. You cannot do that on your own. So, it is a smarter move to hire someone who is inherently in touch with the upgrades and tells you what is best for the scale and style of your company.

Why is your in-house IT department not doing it? Handling cloud infrastructure needs some training and keeping up with the upgrades requires resources. Instead, if you get a vendor who is already in the business, you save those resources and divert them to run the existing operations smoothly.

#4 Customization

When you are dealing with a third-party vendor, you have the advantage of opting for the services you want and dumping the rest. From monitoring and managing the operations to getting a bump on data security, there is a lot to be done with the data you will be storing on the cloud.

Then there are things like monitoring the performance and also integrating applications with the cloud. These are all various bullet points on packages that any number of vendors will offer.

Figure out your budget and get the services your business most needs. And you can often make these changes on a quarterly basis which leaves a little wiggle room in your budget that can be diverted towards business growth.

#5 Creating a Migration Strategy

When you get started with the process of moving your operations to the cloud, you need a plan as to how the existing processes will move to the cloud. This is not a data dump which means you can’t pick up the chunk of operations and move them to the cloud overnight.

You will need a plan according to which the data will be migrated to the cloud. Why? This is because your ecosystem might not be prepared to handle a systemic change of that scale right away. And if you jump ships without training your personnel to handle these changes, your business will take a big hit during the transition period.

That’s why service providers usually start by creating a migration strategy that works for your business model. Cloud experts map out a plan and explain to the teams involved the changes that will be in place as and when the migration takes place.

This needs to happen at its own pace and there is no one-size-fits-all policy here. Experts also tell you how much each of these levels of migration costs so that the firm can decide how much they are ready to bite and chew.

Let’s Talk About Cloud Automation

Once you are in the realm of cloud computing, you will realize that there are resources on the cloud that need to be created, modified and removed from time to time.

You will also find that you won’t need the same services over a long period of time. But someone needs to identify the processes that need to be created, modified and removed.

Cloud experts usually have a team working on taking these decisions and performing the necessary tasks at the right time based on your business needs. And it is a huge manual undertaking. But we have come this far so it is not unfathomable that we found a solution to that problem too. Cloud automation is the answer you are looking for.

Obviously, this needs some extra tools and a certain level of expertise on the part of the personnel. And these are all available with cloud vendors for deployment as and when you make the decision to automate certain processes.

The initial phases are going to be difficult because automation does not happen at the press of a button. You need to determine which of the processes can be automated so that high-skilled personnel can be freed to focus on other tasks. Once that happens, you need to define the parameters of the task itself that needs to be automated.

Cloud automation is also efficient in terms of improving the security of the system. This is because parts of certain sensitive tasks can be automated so that personnel don’t have to log in to critical systems.

That way, the access can be limited which keeps breaches at bay. In terms of security alone, you can also put best automation practices in place and replicate them for other deployments.

Other tasks like backups and accidental data wipes can be avoided. This improves the resilience of the systems across the organization. You don’t need to worry about getting the wrong configurations or equipment failure due to bad handling.

The level of governance also improves when these processes are automated and streamlined because you will no longer have inconsistency in the performance of these tasks because of ad-hoc administration changes. Automated cloud computing also makes it possible to centralize a range of operations which gives you better control over the processes.

Automation, for the cloud or otherwise, also comes with the inherent benefit of reducing human error. And last but not the least, the obvious benefit is that it saves the amount of manual effort that needs to be put in after the initial phases of streamlining are in place.

Benefits of Cloud Automation

Those are the overarching benefits of cloud automation. But if you wanted to know what it looks like specifically, here’s a look.

#1 Remote Working

Traditionally, automation software needs to be installed on a computer and can be accessed only through those systems. Cloud automation completely circumvents that problem because all you need is a browser.

They work just as efficiently on PCs and Apple devices. Some of them are also mobile-friendly and are built with responsive design. This means you will not only get freedom from being chained to a work computer but you don’t need to have a computer at all. You can get work done even when you are on the move.

#2 Scalability

These platforms are known for their scalability no matter the size of data sets you are storing. You no longer have to worry about storage devices like hard drives because your space requirements will be taken care of by the cloud vendor.

You can bring in as many departments as you want into the cloud automation ecosystem and enjoy the benefits of centralized governance. And since the processes are manual, all you need to do is train the staff of the departments that will be using these processes and you’re good to go.

The only thing you need to concern yourself with is the pricing for the space you want. But pretty soon you will realize that it is worth the investment. It will still be easy to deploy, the best way to stay connected, great for growth and cost effective.

#3 Low-Risk Implementation

While they are often branded as “disruptive technologies” the reference is not towards the amount of risk involved. The implementation of these systems is easy. It only requires the personnel to log in to the browser and start working alongside the processes that have already been automated.

Thanks to the software-as-a-service model, firms can start small with low cost and invest as they see returns in automation. This is a lot better and a big leap from automation software that are installed on PCs. Those need an investment upfront and also for maintenance.

#4 Edge Over Competition

Legacy systems might have worked for you in the past but hanging on to outdated technology will, in the least, slow operations down. Companies that use cloud automation have a much better shot at staying in the game compared to companies that don’t.

The good news is that these solutions can easily replace both legacy systems and cloud-native apps. This means, in no time, the manual effort can be entirely eliminated and those high-skilled resources can be diverted to more important and creative processes.

#5 Consistency

Cloud automation is not just about making tasks simpler for your employees. Sometimes, there are other stakeholders like suppliers, contractors and even customers involved.

With cloud automation, you have the great benefit of being able to keep all parties in sync because the workflow, especially when it comes to tasks like filling up forms and uploading files, is going to be smooth end to end.

Wrapping Up

Cloud computing and automation have been the driving force for technological change for a while. There was a time when their utilization was limited to certain industries.

But that is no longer the case because this is becoming the norm across industries. And features like robotic process automation or RPA and cloud computing are no longer even considered to be disruptive in many ecosystems.

Companies are expected to have these up and running when they are making their pitch to a client whether it is another business or a customer.

A2K Partners