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Microsoft’s New “Cloud First” Strategy – What’s the Deal and How Does It Impact YOUR Business?

It’s easy to hear the word “cloud” these days and fight back a small groan.

Cloud First

It seems like every IT professional and their brother loves to rave about how great the cloud is, how it’s the future of technology, and why haven’t you already sprouted wings and left the ground behind?

And then, of course, you have the other IT people who insist the cloud is the Spawn of Satan, and it won’t work for business!

It can seem like a lot of hype.

And that’s unfortunate because the cloud really is shaping the direction that business IT is headed. But you need to look at the cloud with clear eyes – knowing exactly what the cloud offers your business, how to use it properly, and what to avoid in order to keep your business safe.

One of the easiest ways to tell that the cloud is more than just hype is to turn to that giant of IT: Microsoft. Even with the rise of Apple and Google as major players in the IT arena, Microsoft is still the number one platform used all over the world. Countless IT providers rely on the Microsoft framework to create their solutions, and it’ll be a blue moon before you see a major IT solution offered without it being designed for Windows first.

So whatever way Microsoft is going shows you the direction of the future of technology.

During the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft urged partners to focus primarily on cloud services. In fact, Microsoft revealed various new programs and resources to help partners with the transition from an on-premise to a cloud-based focus. At the end of the conference, a game-changing priority plan was revealed:

  1. Focus on the cloud – Drive deployment and usage of Office 365/Azure/CRM
  2. Increase mobile usage – Tablets/phones, enterprise mobility suite & management
  3. Create challenges for the competition – Improve speed/differentiation
  4. Enhance customer satisfaction – Keep customers happy

So what does this mean for your business? Are you going to be left behind if you stick with traditional on-premise technologies?

Don’t worry: There is plenty of time to start adapting to this shift in technology, and you’d be surprised to realize just how much you’ve already started. The cloud is just another IT tool – it’s shaping the way services are offered, but it isn’t going to radically change WHAT you do with your technology. It’s just making it easier and more cost-effective.

In fact, there’s an important message that Microsoft has been pushing which is important to listen to: The cloud isn’t the future – it’s the present.

These technologies are already here, offering new ways to generate revenue, creating connections, and encourage collaboration.

  • Subscription-based models for licensing (like with MS Office 365), so you convert your IT expenses to operational costs instead of capital, making it easier to budget and ultimately saving you money.
  • Eliminating on-site hardware by switching to virtual systems hosted in the cloud, whether from Microsoft, Amazon, Google, or any number of other providers.
  • Storing and sharing files online to mobilize your business, allowing employees to work remotely and easily collaborate with each other on your projects.
  • Easier technology growth as your business changes over time, so you aren’t stuck with too many or too few licenses, or unneeded old systems that just take up space and demand maintenance.

Microsoft isn’t setting a trend by shifting their customers to the cloud – they’re just recognizing all the benefits the cloud has to offer and doing what they can to take part in it. Take the recent news about Internet Explorer, for instance.

As Windows 10 is developed, Microsoft has been talking about switching from the old (and tired) Internet Explorer to a new, lightweight browser closer in design to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. These more modern browsers have been designed for easy use with the cloud (syncing up tabs across devices, easily connecting with mobile apps, etc.), and Microsoft has recognized the need to get with the times and start doing the same.

So how do you ensure you’re ready for the next step in cloud computing? Just reach out to a professional IT company, like One Source Imaging Solutions, to have an honest discussion about the cloud. Get past all the hype and ask the questions you really want answers to:

  • What kind of cloud solutions best fit my needs?
  • What do I have to do for a smooth transition to the cloud?
  • How much money will this cost me?
  • How will my business become more efficient, productive, and secure?
  • How do I avoid pitfalls other businesses have stumbled into?

There’s no reason to fear the shift into the cloud, but you do need to take steps to ensure you get the most out of it. And the time to do that is right now.

As technology continues to evolve, the traditional relationship between IT and the workplace will evolve along with it. Are you prepared to adapt how you do business to the new capabilities offered by the future of technology? One Source Imaging Solutions can help you find out. Call us at (800) 875--8843 to discuss how your business can be ready to embrace the Future of Technology.