Whilst most firms are evaluating cloud options with new software selections, many are not yet fully confident in the current maturity of these products so are electing to start with on-prem versions. However, the selection process may fail to understand how the transition from on-prem to cloud occurs and what costs this exposes the purchaser to.
Contractual considerations should include the licensing model adopted for on-prem and how this is treated when moving to the cloud, eg are you starting with a perpetual licence and then amortising this with the move to a cloud subscription, or will you simply start with a subscription approach. Modelling over 10 years, including hardware (refreshes), can help provide greater visibility of the firm’s costs exposure, and also suggest an optimum cutover point.
From a technical point of view, what happens to customisations when moving to cloud, and especially SaaS solutions? This may be a good challenge to unwanted customisation requests, helping your on-prem implementation to be cleaner and carry less ongoing ownership costs. Is the transition a full install or simply an upgrade? Does data have to be remapped or is it a simple migration handled by the vendor at minimal cost? Integrations will need to be considered, as will an eventual move away from the selected platform when access to legacy data may not be as simple with a cloud-based subscription platform as it is with on-prem solutions in today’s world.