What stops you from fully moving into the cloud?

What would stop you from moving into the cloud for all your IT requirements?

Ananda Raj Pandey

Ananda Raj Pandey, Developer at SavvySME

Top 10% Banking

Many  SME's have doubt and questions regarding the services on cloud. 

common questions i have are: 

a) seems expensive ?
b) need extra knowledge to handle the cloud?
c)  i have very small thing to do, so why increase cost by moving to cloud?
d) what happens if i switch the cloud service provider, and what happens to my data? how do i migrate it? is there cost involve?

Andrew Tucker

Andrew Tucker, CEO at

Some good questions Ananda, thank you for contributing. On your first question, it seems expensive is a relatively common first take for people / companies that have everything paid for and on-site. At the end of the day one needs to look at the advantages of having your IT hosted (in the cloud). Are these advantages going to outweigh what you have now or are they just a nice to have? In some cases it's more expensive and there could be a number of factors for this, the most common one is that what you get in the cloud/hosted often is far superior than what you have in house. If you had to purchase what you are getting in the cloud for your office the numbers would probably be a lot different. Having said that in most cases it is equal or cheaper. The flexibility, security and always available is always a big attraction for SMEs. The answer to your second question is no. The reason you going into the cloud is to make it simpler, quicker and more efficient. All you need is a web browser in most cases. For your third question, a lot of the answers are in my answer to the first question. More than 65% of SMEs in the United States have gone to the cloud, the driving force at the end of the day is to be competitive and to have peace of mind. Switching service providers is not difficult at all, we hand this every single week for our new clients coming on board. All that is required is for your new service provider to collect the data from your previous service provider via a portable hard drive or such like device. This is normally done on Friday afternoon to minimise downtime. Importantly you need to make sure that you can make the switch as a number of hosting or cloud providers still tie people in for years at a time; watch out for the exit penalty clauses!! There are a handfull of us that do not do that , therefore you should have your data back in the month. As for the cost to move, that all depends on the service provider but I can only speak for ourselves, we tend to overlook a migration cost should you be coming from a competitor depending on the complexity of the migration. Needless to say it is always something that you could take up with the provider. Ananda, one of the best ways of getting your head around it is to talk to existing clients of the provider, at the same time get a demo account so that you can experience it first hand. But like anything in business, if is not going to enhance your business by allowing you to give better service to your customers, enhanced productivity and making more profit, don't do it!

Larry D. Mudgett

Larry D. Mudgett

switching to cloud, how long does it take to move revenue

Minh Do

Minh Do, Solution Architect at Anchor Systems

The "cloud' is a very loosely defined term that basically means a cluster of computers somewhere located in an external location.

It isn't a new concept, and in fact hosted services have been operating similar offerings for the last 10 years.

What *is* relatively new however, is the gradual move to have the majority of in-house systems hosted in the "cloud" for a number of perceived or actual benefits. 

The first major barrier would be the specialised knowledge required to reliability and competently host such a core aspect of a company. You need to be confident in the vendors ability to handle:

1) The traffic from users

2) Provide support in the event of an issue

3) Have spares/hot swap chassis/redundancies in place, above and beyond what can be installed "in-house" to justify the outsourcing to the "cloud".

Apart from this, the other major barrier that I see is the inability to account for data location - that is, in a "true" cloud solution like AWS you cannot be sure across how many physical servers your vital information is duplicated. This is major problem for companies which have APRA (financial) reporting requirements or for companies which are required by PCI-DSS or ISO27001 (best practices) to have information stored in distinctly separated physical servers.

Andrew Tucker

Andrew Tucker, CEO at

Mihn, very true and that is one of many definitions out there for cloud computing. Hosting/ASP ( application service provider) has been around even longer than 10 years, I started my first ASP (which In essence is exactly what cloud computing is today) in 1998, a joint-venture with PwC and Microsoft. Giving my age away :) You raise a good point about data sovereignty as it is a very common question. Hence why we have three data centres in Australia (PCI-DSS & ISO27001compliant) to cater for this. Google and Microsoft 365 also have the same issue as AWS (Amazon Web services) but for some businesses it really doesn't matter. On your points 1,2 and 3 you would expect that to be a given for any professional hosting company, but sadly you are right it is quite often not the case. Therefore doing due diligence on a hosted provider is paramount.

Andrew Egan

Andrew Egan, Director & IT Specialist at

I think a crucial show-stopper for several of my clients is the internet speed to their present location. I've got two clients in particular who aren't able to achieve any more than 2M/sec downstream - it's hard enough for them to just browse the internet in an office of 8 people, let alone conduct all their business across it.

It's also not cost effective for them to move to a more appropriate solution such as SDSL or Ethernet - in both cases I've done SQ anyway to find that they'd be paying huge amounts of money but not really able to acheive much better speed.


Andrew Tucker

Andrew Tucker, CEO at

Andrew you raise a very good point here, although for us the most important attributes of an ADSL line is the quality not so much the speed. In other words the number of drop outs (disconnections) the line experiences in a given time frame, which can be identified by putting monitoring equipment on the local network. Once this is identified and if the ADSL line is a business grade line, working with the supplier / Telco quite often this problem can be overcome. In some cases, due to the nature of the hosted desktop, using a 4G router works very well with a smaller number of users - that is of course if 4G is available. As the hosted desktop users very little data, quite often less then 1gig a month for companies of a hundred or less users, this can be a very cheap alternative. Telstra offers a 12 month 12gig pay as you go option for $140 for 4G. There are also two very good wireless ADSL providers that solve "dead spots" for pretty much the same price as a business grade ADSL line. Speeds from these Provides range from 4M to 20M but as I stated above the quality of these lines is what makes it work so well for the hosted desktop. The last option that we have before you have a SDSL or Ethernet line installed is a IToC dedicated ADSL line - $280 - $350p/m. Coming back to the SDSL or Ethernet line, which can start from as little as $450 p/m, but the results well out weigh the extra expense is naturally the best option. The reason for this is that the line is dedicated to that company; it has SLA's (service level agreements) and backup lines. This is called point to point, in other words from the clients office straight into the data centre. What we have found that when the client looks at the ROI it is very attractive and in most cases clients opt for this. Therefore noting the above the speed that you are speaking of being 2Meg download is more than acceptable for 8 users in a hosted environment if the line ticks the quality box. If not then as mentioned there are fantastic alternatives in the market place to move forward with. Andrew if none of the above can be achieved then yes we would not recommend moving to the Cloud.

Shayne Hope

Shayne Hope, Sales and Marketing Administrator at Bayside Security Doors

We are moving to the cloud. I'm apprehensive....the internet drops out about once/week for no apparent reason, yes its been investigated. I will be getting a 4g dongle as a back up :)

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Macel Legaspi

Macel Legaspi, Business Development Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Sharing my thoughts below:

a) seems expensive - I am reminded by disasters that have struck for instance Japan and how some businesses were able to get back up and running business as is because of how they had disaster recovery in place. Had it not been for this, doubtless that it would be much more costly to get back to business for these companies. The journey to the cloud will actually free SMEs from CAPEX -- instead let them compete globally much faster than before. It will only be expensive if they do not plan well and I mean, not just about planning on what technology or services to purchase, but plan to have the right process and people to support the technologies they intend to consume.

b) need extra knowledge to handle the cloud? - Yes, but there's a number of cloud service providers any SME can go to and ask for help now.

c) i have very small thing to do, so why increase cost by moving to cloud? The landscape we have is very different now. People demand to have access to data anytime, anywhere. Mobile is changing the way business and people interact. Data is exponentially growing. And there's security threats everywhere. To enable you to do your job better today, you've to be able to get instant access to information, right? And so that's why moving to the cloud becomes more of a mandate unless you accept that your competitors will outperform you.

d) what happens if i switch the cloud service provider, and what happens to my data? how do i migrate it? is there cost involve? - I think different cloud service providers have different answers for this and this is where the SME has to do its or their research well. Our belief (I work at Hewlett Packard Enterprise) is that not everything has to move out of your firewall and go to the public cloud. Each app is unique and each SME is unique, and there's a unique balance of private and public and traditional infra to be managed. So before you go and jump into the world of cloud -- you must first ask amongst yourselves in the company what it is you want to achieve.

Andrew Tucker

Andrew Tucker, CEO at

Thanks for sharing Macel and you have raised some great points - interesting that since I asked the question we have put on over 4000 users just in the SME sector with no signs of it letting up. SME's are seeing the benefits which is great :)

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