For many companies, the journey to the cloud presents itself as a challenge. Its enormous benefits are obvious: cost reduction, access from anywhere and any device that is connected, immediate and unlimited scalability, integration of programming languages... Advantages that imply such substantial savings and efficiency that it’s impossible to ignore that we are now in the era of Cloud software. Technology replacement will be unstoppable in years to come. For this reason, it’s essential to do it safely, gradually and without interruptions that slow down the company’s operation. Finding suitable partners to ensure a smooth landing is crucial in order for successful migration to the Cloud.
When embarking on the journey, companies must consider four challenges that they will have to overcome.
1 Strategy. There are different models for making this migration, but from the outset you must be sure whether you’re going to work with one or several suppliers. Diversification is always good but, in this case, it may be complex to manage and working with one single provider may turn out to be more operable. Equally, you can use several models and scale options as the process is underway. Here, we find ourselves with the lift and shift model, consisting in relocating an application from a local infrastructure to another in the cloud. This model saves time and money, but fails to take advantage of all the benefits that a cloud service provider can offer; refactoring allows you to take full advantage of the Cloud infrastructure, but is sometimes not feasible in terms of costs and development time or even due to the technologies to be migrated, it also requires the knowledge to rewrite the application code to connect it in the new infrastructure; and the outsourcing of services is a recommended alternative, with low risk allowing you to take full advantage of the benefits of the cloud.
2 Activity time. The fear of having to stop their activity while the migration process is being performed is something that makes all companies somewhat wary, however, by choosing an experienced provider, this transfer is done in good time to avoid any risk of inactivity. It’s important to monitor each of the phases in order to make adequate progress.
3 Safety. Mistrust in the safety of the information saved is another point that raises doubts when migrating sensitive company data to the Cloud. In actual fact, the infrastructure is designed with sophisticated and complex encryption systems that make the network unbridgeable. Equally, the safety audits and controls to which the suppliers are subjected are extremely high.
4 Cost. Access to the cloud has been democratized by means of subscription models that substantially lower migration costs, avoiding high license and maintenance fees. Subsequently, subscription can be modified to suit demand, always working with the latest versions.
It’s worth remembering that there are three types of cloud access, which are not mutually exclusive:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which involves using the infrastructure provided by a hardware supplier, be it virtual servers, networks, storage. That is, all of the physical resources to build the infrastructure itself without having to make high investments in equipment and maintenance.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) creates a Cloud environment so that each company can shape its applications and access them via the network.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) opens the door to numerous software applications stored in the cloud, which can be accessed from any device. This includes access to the latest versions which update themselves automatically.
At Lantek, we are working on the development of analytical applications that run in the Cloud environment and that allow companies to increase levels of competitiveness, efficiency, productivity and profitability, regardless of their size. The ability to access the network from anywhere via the internet makes plant operations more flexible. The data generated by the factory is saved in the Cloud and some software automatically extracts the necessary parameters.
Lantek 360 is, for the moment, made up of four applications: Lantek Analytics, Lantek Control Panel, Lantek iQuoting and Lantek MetalShop, with the last three still in their development phase:
Lantek Analytics is a software with a series of predefined KPIs that work simultaneously on manufacturing and commercial management.
Lantek Control Panel is an application that allows you to view and analyze everything happening at the plant in real time, noting changes in the processes, allowing you to make decisions faster.
Lantek iQuoting is a tool for creating quotes.
Lantek MetalShop is, as its name suggests, an online shop for metal parts.
The opportunities offered by the Cloud are enormous and its growth is exponential. A report by Gartner, although it refers to the public cloud, gives us an idea of what this implies in business terms. Last year, services grew by almost 16%, recording revenues of almost 230,000 million dollars, with SaaS being the most significant with 43.6%. By 2022, it is estimated that business volume will have increased by over 50%, with cloud application services once again providing the greatest contribution.
Enjoy the ride.