Over the past six months, the single most frequent request we’ve been getting from clients is: “We want to move our content management system to the cloud.” Why? For some clients, it’s part of a larger corporate-wide initiative. Many will cite factors such as getting off a dated platform, needing additional scalability, or simply no longer wanting to manage and administer the system. Here’s just one of many articles exploring reasons companies are moving to cloud alternatives.
Before you start planning a move to the cloud, ask yourself these three questions:
What’s the scale of the effort?
What’s the nature of the content to be stored in the cloud?
What are the relevant regulatory requirements?
1. What’s involved in moving to the cloud, and how big of an effort is it?
Short answer — it’s usually a big effort. But a lot depends on your approach. Consider the choice of migrating all of your historical content vs. just starting day-forward. This would mean leaving the old stuff on premises (for a while) and storing only the new stuff in the cloud.
One of the key factors to consider when trying to size up the effort is the number of content-generating and consuming applications. For most enterprise applications, there are 10-15 content-generating applications (line of business systems that spit out contracts or mortgages or statements) and 20+ content-consuming applications (user interfaces). Each needs to be thoroughly understood and then re-wired to talk to the cloud-based content system. This potentially expensive process is the single biggest deterrent to moving to the cloud for our customers.
2. The nature of the content being stored in the cloud is also critical to understand.
Consider simple internal materials vs. highly confidential client information. Security for highly confidential materials can certainly be addressed satisfactorily in the cloud, but it’s a lot more complex.
3. What about regulatory requirements?
Is the cloud provider’s storage 17a-4 compliant? What about the different jurisdictional or geographic laws? Lots of cycles are required to sort out these concerns. It’s all do-able, but it still takes a lot of time.
Ultimately, migrating to the cloud will be a question of when, not if. So begin the planning process now by thinking through architecture concerns, the integrated apps (generating and consuming) and the compliance and regulatory sign-offs. Consider a prototype. And work with your suppliers to understand their cloud-based offerings. We're always happy to schedule a call if you have questions about this topic, or need assistance.