This guest post is the second in a series exploring the capabilities of WEBCON BPS by Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP Christian Buckley, CEO of CollabTalk LLC.
The use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings has slowly permeated organizations for quite some time — from cloud-based file sharing tools (Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and of course OneDrive), to free cloud email (Hotmail, Gmail) and other social and business applications, such as payroll and customer relationship management (CRM) services. Cloud is becoming integral to:
Many organizations may be unnecessarily over-thinking their move to the cloud. One of the common pitfalls of organizations is not properly understanding the current system (functional and operational gaps, business processes and workflows), especially with the rapid pace of innovations being added. The result is that we can over-build for our environments, or even more commonly, fail to recognize the need for changes and updates to the customizations and solutions that were painstakingly created to automate and simplify tasks and increase end user productivity.
Most organizations are being very thoughtful about what is moved to the cloud, and how quickly they will move. Talking with customers, it’s not uncommon to hear their concern about transitioning toward the cloud — the need to rebuild and re-architect solutions that were created for SharePoint on premises, but may not work as built in Office 365. If you think about it, much of the success of SharePoint has been because of its extensibility and adaptability, and the ability to shape it to meet a customer’s unique and specific business requirements. But then there is also the fear of multi-tenant environments, with security and compliance concerns of mixing data with that of other companies.
There are still many organizations who have no immediate plans to move entirely away from their on-prem SharePoint environments, even as they recognize that some aspects of their broader business systems have been transitioning to the cloud. Of course, some systems and solutions cannot / should not be moved – due to real or perceived issues with security and compliance, the cost of rearchitecting on-premises solutions and key integrations, or other business or industry constraints. As a result, the business solutions being managed by IT organizations are becoming increasingly complex.
No matter what your path to the cloud, one extremely compelling feature of WEBCON BPS is that your applications run exactly the same in their multitenant SaaS offering, in a dedicated Azure solution, or in your on-premises data center. Wherever you use WEBCON BPS, you are using the same models, and leveraging the same user experience. There are no gateways, relays, or hybrid components to worry about.
All of this is correct, but don’t you need to state that, even if this is true, not everything can (and perhaps even should) be moved?
When examining cloud offerings, companies often find a counterpart to what they’ve used on-premises, but also find that it’s different enough that the effort will be less one of migration and more one of rebuilding.
The world is moving toward SaaS and the cloud. Having said that, virtually every guru, pundit, and thought leader will – when pressed – admit that we’re living in a hybrid world for the foreseeable future. There are completely valid reasons for maintaining on premises environments and solutions, and organizations should not feel pressured to move to the cloud based on artificial timelines driven by technology vendors. After a policy audit, you may be told to move an application into your on-premises data center, or at least a dedicated cloud environment. WEBCON BPS applications will run everywhere, can be migrated anywhere, without losing history and without needing to be restarted.
As Microsoft has shifted their primary development efforts toward the cloud, their advice to customers and partners has been to build for the cloud first, and then bundle those features for on premises releases. While Microsoft’s primary focus will be in delivering the best experience for cloud customers, for WEBCON customers the cloud is the same as for on-prem.
The WEBCON BPS philosophy is to build once, and deploy everywhere — giving organizations flexibility in when and how they move to the cloud.
Read more about how WEBCON supports the build once, deploy everywhere philosophy in the eBook “Top 10 Reasons Why a Power Automate Builder Should Look at WEBCON BPS“: