How to Maneuver in the Fast Lane of Cloud Migration

 For new companies and companies that are just beginning to grow, it’s easy to either build systems in the cloud or move operations to the cloud as the company grows. For a well-established, global business, migration is trickier but well worth the effort. Here’s how your business can quickly migrate to the cloud without compromising continuity of business.

Jumping ship, quickly

Hitachi Solutions, a well-established IT company for the Hitachi Group, needed to realign its business from its parent organization. “We had to leave all our systems and infrastructure behind while maintaining continuity of business,” says Craig Burbidge, VP of Market Development at Hitachi Solutions. For a company like Hitachi that can’t afford to stop operations, moving to the cloud was a lot like changing the tires of a moving car.

The stakes were high because of the company’s deeply engrained standards for how business ought to be conducted, both internally and externally. “It wasn’t like we were a startup and could build and grow our way into these systems. We had to get them in place quickly and keep selling, delivering, billing customers, and exceeding expectations,” says Burbidge.

Within a few weeks, communication, email, and much of the back-end was up in the cloud. According to Mark Veronda, CIO of Hitachi Solutions, “we had no other choice. We needed to get moving. We had a very aggressive migration plan—everything from email to time-and-expense entry to entering customers in our CRM system.” The company couldn’t afford to miss a single beat—after all, “we had a fully functional business and it all came back to maintaining continuity of business,” says Burbidge.

The new order of an established business

The result: business grew 66 percent all while the company realigned. According to Veronda, there were several reasons for this growth. Internally, the ability to leverage tools like Microsoft Lync and SharePoint on a fresh platform led to improvements in communication and collaboration. Meanwhile, on the customer service side, everything from opportunity management and the pipeline to forecasting and serving customers was streamlined by its CRM system.

Today, Hitachi Solutions is global and while some locations, such as India and the UK, are 100 percent in the cloud; others are running hybrid solutions. “One of our big differentiators in the market is our global reach. We’ve even established a Global Center of Excellence.” The company’s international success can be largely attributed to its ability to maintain constant communication with partners and customers throughout the world.

“We have a very aggressive growth plan,” says Burbidge. “That’s both a combination of organic growth as well as through acquisitions, so with this platform it’s very important that it suits us for where we are today, but will also help sustain our growth and scale where we scale.” Moving to the cloud wasn’t just necessary for realignment, it was laying down the tracks for future growth.

For a company, like Hitachi, that’s well established and plans to get bigger, the move to the cloud must be quick and decisive. An aggressive growth plan requires an aggressive migration plan. Fortunately, there are tools that make it possible. So make your plan, gather your tools, and get migrating.