Shelf's Ask the Expert interview series explores a variety issues that impact workplace productivity. In this interview with Michael Spadaro, CEO of Profound Cloud, Shelf Founder Colin Kennedy picks Michael's brain on migrating from on prem IT infrastructure to the cloud, with a particular focus on Google Apps. Michael touches on a number of topics including: 1) indications that it's time seriously consider migrating to the cloud, 2) best practices for implementing this IT transition, and specific things to keep in mind when moving to from on prem to Google Apps.
Over the past few weeks I've had a couple of "IT infrastructure" conversations that started something like this:
User: Since Shelf already integrates with Google Drive and Chrome, should we consider migrating to Google Apps?
Me: And don't forget that we are releasing our Gmail integration in the next few weeks! But to answer your question, it's certainly worth considering. It's not a coincidence that many of our first integrations are with the Google suite of products. With that said, you should definitely speak with your IT department or a certified Google consultant if this is something you're seriously considering...
These conversations got me thinking...When is the right time to get serious about migrating your on prem infrastructure to the cloud? And what are the primary factors people should take into consideration when debating such a move? So I sought out Michael, a friend and Google Apps specialist to give me the skinny in this interview. I can't possibly rehash all of the salient points made by Michael (that's what the video is for), but here are some of my personal takeaways from our conversation:
- If you're part of the management/C suite of your organization and you're not providing your employees with the productivity tools they feel they need to do their job effectively, take heed. They are probably using them anyway, just in an unsupervised manner.
- Just because a particular department or subset of users has adopted (or is pushing hard) for certain cloud apps, it doesn't mean that you need to transition your entire organization over to a cloud app infrastructure. Part of the beauty of the cloud is that you can take a staged transition approach...or you can even migrate select subsets of the organization, if other departments are content with the existing IT set-up. In other words, it's not an "all or nothing" decision anymore. Thanks to the cloud, you have more flexibility to tailor IT to fit your users wants/needs.
- Email tends to be a natural starting point when transitioning to Google Apps, in part because so many people already have adopted it for their own personal use. Moving to Drive and the document collaboration suite requires a bit more planning and training, but the benefits can be even greater because of all of the new functionality that is afforded to users.
- Moving from a traditional document suite to Google Docs/Sheets/etc. is the perfect time to reconsider your organization's workflows...and how they can be improved moving forward.
Migrating from on prem to Google Apps is a BIG decision, so there's tons more we can (and probably will) talk about on this topic in the future!