Migrating to the cloud is something that a lot of organizations have either done or are currently in the process of. Where are you on your cloud journey?
When we talk about cloud migrations, we often see confusion in people’s eyes, especially when it comes to cloud-centric vs. cloud-enabled (or cloud-native vs. cloud-based) systems. To make things a little less confusing, this blog post will teach you the proper difference between native cloud and cloud-based systems, and we’ll use the SAFEQ growth platform to help distinguish between your options.
Cloud-centric systems are cloud-born and operated, while cloud-enabled solutions are on-site systems modified to communicate with cloud platforms. Each option helps reduce IT costs while improving IT efficiency.
Are you considering moving to the cloud, but unsure which approach is best for your organization? Keep reading to learn more about your options and how you can quickly accelerate your cloud strategy to include cloud-centric or cloud-enabled printing.
Is Migrating to the Cloud on Your IT Agenda?
A Microsoft study on cloud adoption revealed that among most organizations' top reasons for migrating to the cloud are to...:
- Simplify IT management
- Reduce IT complexity
- Minimize and control IT spending
- Increase employee access to various services
- Boost team efficiency
- Improve customer and employee support
In addition, businesses adopting some form of cloud solution have reportedly done so to simplify daily tasks and virtualize servers to handle IT-related workloads such as security, data storage, and printing with ease.
Understanding why businesses move their IT capacities to the cloud helps us tackle the next big question: what approaches are there? What systems best satisfy your objectives? Let’s look at the characteristics of cloud-centric vs. cloud-enabled solutions:
An application built from the ground up with cloud principles in mind is referred to as a “cloud-centric”, “cloud-native”, or “cloud-ready” application. These applications are designed to be multi-tenant, elastic, scalable, and easily integrated and administered. Within the SAFEQ Platform, the cloud-centric application is called SAFEQ Cloud.
Organizations are increasingly turning to cloud-centric architecture as the cornerstone of their IT infrastructure due to its flexible, scalable, and pay-as-you-go model. This approach accommodates digital and data-driven business needs by leveraging public, private, and hybrid clouds.
From a technical perspective, a cloud-centric business takes advantage of cloud services for the majority, if not all, of its IT systems. Cloud providers enable these businesses to handle multiple tasks, such as cybersecurity upkeep, software configurations, and customer service, to name a few— providing effortless assistance in managing the company's needs.
Cloud-enabled or "cloud-based" applications are those originally built for deployment in traditional data centers but have been modified to communicate with the cloud. What that means is that one or more elements of the application are customized to make it compatible with a cloud environment.
For businesses that have an existing IT architecture and ecosystem, cloud-enabled systems are a great choice when making the transition to the cloud. Cloud-enabled applications offer near-seamless integration with legacy infrastructure, enabling organizations to benefit from improved performance, scalability, flexibility, and cost savings.
Cloud-enabled applications are applications that were moved to the cloud. Coming back to the SAFEQ example, within our platform, the SAFEQ Managed solution can be described as a cloud-enabled system.
What are the Benefits of Moving to the Cloud?
Migrating to the cloud offers numerous advantages. These can be broadly divided into cost savings, scalability, and agility.
By removing the need for hardware resources, companies can save between 15-40% on IT operating costs, as well as reduce their energy usage. When looking at the long-term financial picture, 82% of SMBs report reduced costs since adopting cloud tech.
The cloud allows businesses to scale up or down according to demand—without having to invest in additional hardware or commit to the traditional high upfront investment. This is great news for businesses that experience seasonal or unpredictable spikes in demand, as they can easily adjust their computing resources accordingly, thanks to the SaaS model.
Finally, cloud technology allows organizations to access the latest software, tools, and features with ease. With automatic updates and outsourced management, companies are able to stay competitive and enhance their IT efficiency. According to BCG, large enterprises can use the cloud to bring out services 30-60% faster, compared with relying on bespoke in-house infrastructure.
There’s no denying it, there are lots of benefits to yield with cloud services. Here are a few more:
- Remote access (with an IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS model)
- Consistent user experience across devices
- Solutions like SAFEQ Cloud are compatible with all major OS
- Reduced burden on your IT department
- Future-proofed IT infrastructure
- Amped up security and data protection
Comparison: Cloud-Centric Versus Cloud-Enabled
Cloud-native, designed for the cloud, guaranteed success in cloud environments
Elasticity and scalability
Automatically available from anywhere to fit any work environment
SaaS cost model, no upfront investment
Eliminates all needs for physical print servers
Requires internal understanding of cloud architecture (IT team dexterity)
Required internet access
Not easily relocatable from one cloud provider to the next
Low initial cost
Easy and fast implementation time due to existing infrastructure
Leverage existing solution investments
Can become available from anywhere to fit any work environment
Cloud compatibility can be limited
May require costly modifications and changes to existing code
Will likely still require hardware (physical server of its own)
Not guaranteed to be easy to maintain
Making the Move to Cloud Solutions
Now that we’re starting to get a good understanding of what separates cloud-enabled and cloud-centric (or cloud-based vs cloud-native if you prefer those terms) systems, let’s look at the SAFEQ Platform, and the cloud-centric and cloud-optimized solutions within it.
Firstly, SAFEQ is an overarching platform for modernized print capacities. Within it, you can find any print architecture that suits your needs –wherever you are in your cloud journey and digital maturity. Whether you’re looking for a cloud infrastructure route, an on-site print management solution, or a hybrid print ecosystem, SAFEQ is for you.
With that said, our growth platform is made to enable your cloud transformation, no matter your circumstances. If your IT team is on the path toward cloud adoption, here are your options within SAFEQ:
Get Cloud-Ready with SAFEQ Managed
If you’re looking for a way to outsource the maintenance of your print infrastructure, SAFEQ Managed has got you covered. This solution is a cloud-ready adaptation of our on-site advanced print management product. The cloud-ready solution combines the cloud environment with an onsite edge device to get you connected to the cloud.
The solution lifts and shifts your print infrastructure, unlocking the cloud gates while keeping your favorite on-prem print and document capture capabilities available to you. Ultimately, SAFEQ Managed provides your team with full visibility of your print infrastructure from one pane of glass. This makes it easier to control and manage your print ecosystem –and audit print activities within your company.
Become Cloud-Centric with SAFEQ Cloud
For IT teams looking to lead the market in cloud adoption, SAFEQ Cloud is a true cloud (native cloud) print solution. SAFEQ Cloud can be hosted via an on-prem private cloud, the public cloud, or a combination of both (hybrid).
Like SAFEQ Managed, SAFEQ Cloud is a subscription solution that empowers organizations to simplify their print infrastructure and increase IT efficiency. Both solutions are designed to streamline your print environment and consolidate all devices, users, and data into one place.
What makes SAFEQ Cloud unique is the fact that it’s possible to host on a public cloud, effectively making it a true cloud solution. With the public cloud model, your entire print infrastructure is owned and managed by your vendor. That's right - also managed. This technology allows us as the solution provider to transfer management tasks away from our customers and over to us, so you can focus on your core business.
Your team simply accesses your services via your network and shares storage and devices with all the participating tenants. Vendors employ subscription-based facilities via Y Soft and your team accesses it via the vendor and only pays for the licenses you need.
FAQs on Migrating to the Cloud
What are the benefits of cloud migration?
Cloud migration can bring a variety of advantages to businesses, such as reduced hardware dependency, increased scalability and flexibility, improved collaboration no matter the work environment, automation, remote access, enhanced security, cost savings, and more.
How long will it take for my business to migrate to the cloud?
The time it takes for a business to migrate to the cloud depends on its size and complexity, and the services being migrated. Generally speaking, most migrations can be completed within a few weeks or months. With a solution like SAFEQ Cloud, migrating your print can be done in as little as 10 minutes.
Migrating to the cloud is an excellent way for businesses of all sizes to transform their IT infrastructure, simplify the print experience, and control print and capture consumption. Cloud computing is the future of technology, much thanks to lower infrastructure costs, fast-paced innovation and digital transformation, its battle-tested security, and global distribution capabilities.
Its elastic scalability, high availability, and durability make it the perfect step for IT departments to automate and streamline their printing and re-focus their attention on mission-critical projects. Also, with the customizable nature of software, you can tailor the print platform to match your business needs and goals.
With our cloud offering, we’re taking the last step to becoming a cloud-first company. We’re on a mission to help businesses and their people build better ways of working, by simplifying and automating everyday work; and our cloud solutions are at the very front of how we clear the path for your IT team to effectively get mission-focused and let go of print management.
Want to see for yourself? Try the cloud-centric experience for 30 days - free of charge!