Cloud services have become the standard in recent years and are slowly replacing on-premises solutions. And for good reason—cloud products boast scalability, ease of deployment, best-in-class security, and low downtime. When workloads are migrated to the cloud, users also enjoy seamless single sign-on and can rest easy knowing that their data is backed up. There are many workloads that businesses typically expect their MSPs to handle, so we’ve put together a list of some of the workloads to move to the cloud to help you out.

1. Office and Productivity Suites

The first set of workloads to move to the cloud are some of the popular cloud productivity suites and apps, like Microsoft Office, Exchange, and SharePoint. Office 365 neatly packages these under one umbrella suite that provides clean integration and strong security.

Features

After you create an Office 365 account for your new employee, they’ll have access to Microsoft Office desktop and online licensing, Exchange mail and calendar services, and SharePoint and OneDrive file storage with collaboration features. The entire suite of Office 365 mobile apps will also be available to them.

Gaining Back IT Resources

Support and distribution of on-premises Microsoft Office software and licensing can really drain your company’s IT resources. Your ability to maintain an Exchange or SharePoint server depends entirely on your local infrastructure being failure proof, and requires your IT administrators to always keep an eye on security, redundancy of data, software, and hardware. Offloading this task to the cloud would allow your IT resources to focus on other demands that are more strategic and profitable for your company.

Other Benefits

Moving to Office 365 also ties you into Microsoft’s ever-expanding suite of business and productivity apps that can improve your daily operations and create efficiencies. As long as you work with the right service provider, transitioning to Office 365 will be painless.

2. Business Applications

The benefits of moving to the cloud don’t stop with Microsoft Office. Many other on-premises software can tax your IT resources, but you can easily move them to the cloud as well. Just as with Office 365, the cloud versions of on-premises applications also offer strong security, simplified licensing, robust backups, limited downtime, and a smaller IT footprint. Here are examples of the next set of workloads to move to the cloud.

Examples of Cloud Business Applications

Companies such as SAP, Intuit, and Sage are just a few examples of popular software vendors that offer full-featured cloud apps. This means that the apps your business currently relies on likely already offer cloud-based alternatives for ease of migration.

Once you move accounting software like Intuit to the cloud, for example, you’ll no longer have to worry about backing up any data on your accountant’s computer. And instead of searching for your license key and installing it on every machine that needs an app, you can simply authorize specific people to use an app in the cloud as needed.

How to Integrate Your Business’s Custom Apps

Clearly, many existing solutions can be migrated to the cloud with ease, but what about those custom-tailored apps that your business currently uses? Moving those to the cloud has to be more difficult, right? Wrong.

Utilizing APIs

In today’s IT world, custom apps designed specifically for your business can also be changed to support the benefits of cloud hosting with relative ease. Using APIs with cloud-ready app services, you can easily plug your company’s tailor-made software into the cloud and expand its functionality.

Utilizing Cloud VMs

You can also consider moving on-premises software to cloud virtual machines (VMs). This will allow you to take advantage of the reliability and scalability of the cloud with the in-house apps that your company already relies on.

3. Server Infrastructure

The final  set of workloads to move to the cloud are those to do with infrastructure. Many server workloads can benefit from cloud hosting just as business apps and Office 365 software can. As we mentioned before, these cloud-hosted alternatives enjoy better backup, reliability, uptime, disaster recovery, accessibility, security, and management.

Addressing Server Sprawl

Even a small company can have many servers. SQL Database, Active Directory, Exchange, VOIP, file storage, SharePoint, DNS, and others can easily fill several racks, and that’s not even including the secondary failover servers that you’ve bought and installed in an expensive disaster recovery facility.

Every server listed above can be migrated to the cloud. If you rely on in-house SQL servers to provide database support, Microsoft’s SQL Database service can be migrated to without changing your apps. Active Directory is available through Azure AD, which can in turn plug into Office 365 and create a perfect Microsoft environment for your end users, their workstations, and their most important business applications.

Benefits of Moving Server Apps to the Cloud

Making all of these changes will allow you to spend less time managing the hardware resources and install instances and more time refining the configuration of your critical services.

Any server that can run on a VM can be hosted in a cloud VM. The scalability and uptime this provides is virtually infinite. Allow any VM hosted service your business relies on to stretch its legs and leave the limits of on-premise hardware in the dust.

How to Get Started with the Cloud

You now know which workloads to move to the cloud, but moving from on-premises to the cloud can seem like a daunting task. With so many apps and infrastructures, where do you start? And which path do you take? With proven knowledge and expertise, SherWeb can easily help you find your way no matter what you need.

Written by Sophie Furnival Content Specialist @ SherWeb

Sophie is SherWeb's Marketing Communications Strategist.