A shift in the tide; how business views on cloud are changing.

After what many saw as a false start in Australia for Microsoft Office 365 (it’s no secret the business community did not look upon the exclusivity held by Telstra in an entirely positive light) we are now starting to see a shift in the tide.

This shift is not just about the client-vendor relationship opening up to the reseller community through Volume Licensing, or the fact that resellers can now assist businesses with purchasing Office 365 direct via the Microsoft Portal. It’s also fuelled by an acceptance from the business community about the cloud and what Microsoft means when they talk about a “mobile-first, cloud-first” agenda.

While perpetual licensing models have some advantages in device land, ultimately they tie businesses to a regime of risk and auditing. Managing perpetual licensing is often problematic, confusing and costly. Without a subscription to some sort of upgrade plan (which is cost prohibitive to many), technology quickly leaves a company with out-of-date software that is tied to the out-of-date machine it was installed on.

Calculating the cost of a subscription vs the outright purchase price of the perpetual equivalent and looking for a break-even point is a false economy; at some point (probably in a 3 – 5 year period) you have to upgrade equipment and software.

That’s the reality of IT. I’ve heard many business owners over the years trying to compare the investments they make in computers, servers and software with the investments their own clients make in their products. There is no rationale in the IT world about stuff being built to last for 20 years.

I believe it is broadly accepted now that cloud systems offer a level of security and redundancy that surpasses anything most business could afford to invest in on-premises. They also free organisations from the hardware upgrade cycle. With product offerings such as Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, moving systems and productivity platforms to the cloud is becoming attractive, attainable; almost a commodity. While there’s certainly no shortage of demand for infrastructure, the way it’s being delivered is quickly changing and perpetual licensing’s reign has been toppled.

Microsoft’s (and other vendors such as Amazon and Google’s) shift towards delivering software features and functionality to cloud platforms first means a move away from major release cycles and a more rapidly developed product that is released to the cloud as it is developed.

For business, the real shift has been in recognising that cloud can offer them the latest technology, along with freedom from having to upgrade anything to get it. There is a wider acceptance around paying a monthly subscription for software and a greater understanding that the benefit of this is tied to the productivity gains knowledge workers can achieve when armed with the latest tools.

For resellers and system integrators, the challenge of course lies in identifying the best option for their customer and often marrying two worlds – cloud and on-premises – together.

Freshmethod are well positioned to help companies maximise the potential benefits that the cloud can bring them and assess the current IT environment to ensure that the right suggestions for the future are put forward. Why not give us a call today to discuss your questions further?

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