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It’s Time to Break Up with Your Legacy System By @Infor | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]
The cost savings that come with cloud solutions are gaining the attention of many cash-strapped companies

It's Time to Break Up with Your Legacy System ... and Turn to the Cloud

In every era of innovation, disruptive technologies have had their disbelievers who resisted adopting new concepts. But in today's business world, "being disruptive" has really empowered many businesses to make tough decisions, investments, and lead the changes that need to be seen organization-wide.   Now, many disruptive technologies are truly the foundation for growth - like cloud.

Unfortunately, the same pioneering attitude from the executive team doesn't always trickle down to the internal IT departments. For example, the companies that manufacture, supply, and service some of the most remarkable high-tech equipment in the world often heavily rely on outdated IT systems to run their own internal processes.

In order to achieve the innovation you seek to bring, it's time to break up with your legacy system and antiquated applications, and challenge your once traditional business models to be more competitive, agile, and disruptive. But in order to find this success, this change needs to be seen from the top down in an organization, and everyone needs to be on board.

Reexamining IT Infrastructure
The cost savings that come with cloud solutions are gaining the attention of many cash-strapped companies. New emphasis on organization and cost control is driving many decisions, including deployment options, and severe budget cuts are forcing many executives to reexamine their entire IT infrastructure - looking for ways to control costs, curb spending, and even find outlets to include new revenue streams or add services. But pursuing new business models means new IT solutions and new IT investments. Capital investments, in this challenging economic state, can be difficult to absorb. This is one of the reasons cloud computing (an operating expense) is starting to look more appealing to cost-conscious companies that know they want to upgrade their systems but don't have the money to make a major investment.

Still, it's been difficult for many companies to officially make the move to the cloud. For some, the early reluctance may have been born out of security fears, especially since many organizations deal with valuable data that can be vulnerable to attack by hackers. But, what many still don't realize is that the IT industry has stepped up to the challenge, and now technology providers have met the demand for the most secure and strict technology solutions to protect data-even when it is hosted in a cloud environment.  With the right, trusted technology partner, your data is safe because it's their priority.

Smart organizations can no longer depend on aging legacy systems and homegrown solutions to pull them through to meet these new goals.

Are You on Board?
Where does your company sit in this continually evolving spectrum of disruptive technology adoption, including cloud deployment of IT solutions? Are you in the forefront of progress and seizing new opportunities or lagging behind - falling victim to indecision and a paralyzing wait-and-see attitude? It's important to lean on the analysts, colleagues, and software vendors to get you to where you need to be. Here are some steps you can take to help you make sound decisions concerning your deployment options:

  1. Educate yourself on the facts. Don't settle for anecdotal tales.
  2. Make sure the research you collect is current. Outdated information is still out there. This is a fast-changing industry with fast-changing issues and even faster-changing solutions. Look for dates on the materials you read.
  3. Seek relevance. There are many verticals and microverticals across industries. Look for examples that are relevant to you. For example, do you design bicycles or supply parts to the people who design bicycles? Both are important.
  4. Be flexible. Understand that IT solutions have changed substantially in recent years. What you thought you wanted may no longer be the best option. Be open to following where your research leads, even if it leads in a totally new direction.
  5. Allow time. Don't let a compressed schedule force you into making hasty decisions. Take the time to research your options thoroughly.
  6. Involve a team. Choosing new IT solutions - and deployment options - is a major undertaking. Bring in team members to share the workload and to share ideas. Team selection projects also lead to streamlined adoption and implementation. Buy-in is important.
  7. See the complete picture. Consider many factors, including the total cost of ownership, flexibility, and functionality. Consider long-term growth as well as short-term needs.
  8. Choose suppliers with specific expertise. Every industry is different and complex. Work with vendors who understand it, inside and out.
  9. Be prepared for the unknown. No one truly knows what the next disruptive technology will be. Innovations in IT happen at an astounding rate. Your best option is to choose solutions that are flexible and vendors that are forward-thinking and investing in product innovation.
  10. Move. Delaying action is a mistake. Indecision costs money - and may cost you your position within the market. Your competition is hungry and eager. They are waiting. If you are slow to react to the changing market pressures, you run the risk of being left in the dust.

Venturing into new spheres certainly beats being left behind. For many, the view from the cloud seems pretty clear; it is the logical choice for companies looking to reinvent their processes, target new markets and better use their limited resources. The cloud is cost-efficient, safe, and effective. Isn't it time you explored some cloud deployment options?

About Lisa Pope
Lisa Pope is Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Sales, Infor CloudSuite. She is responsible for the global strategy and sales of Infor’s Cloud Solutions, as well as overall value positioning of Infor’s UpgradeX program, allowing existing customers a simple path to the cloud. With 25 years of experience in the software industry, specifically in vertical industries including manufacturing, distribution, retail, and healthcare; she brings direct sales, services leadership, and cloud knowledge to the Infor team.

Prior to Infor, Pope served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales Strategy at QAD, where she managed the overall cloud sales strategy and the North America region. She also spent 10 years as Vice President of Strategic Account Applications at Oracle.

Pope holds two bachelor’s degrees in business and communications from the University of California – Santa Barbara.

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