Over the last year, TNT has seen a shift in technology spending comparable to nothing that we have experienced. The shift towards putting both data and computing power in the cloud is unprecedented. Previously, the only “killer apps” that existed in the cloud for small and mid-sized businesses were online banking and perhaps payroll. Now, directory services, databases, email and office applications, and even file services are online-only services for many of our customers.
TNT's customers have been part of this technology shift. At the start of 2017, only a few TNT customers had mission critical data and applications running on servers that they could never touch or see. Now, over a quarter of all active TNT customers are using TNT to both migrate and use cloud services for their day-to-day functions.
- A manufacturing company is migrating its primary manufacturing application to the cloud. Considering they already have email and business continuity services in the cloud, they are about as “all in” as a company can be.
- A local government put all of their messaging and message archives in the cloud.
- A property management company moved to the cloud.
- A car dealership went “all cloud.”
It seems like all sectors that can use the cloud for day to day operations ARE using the cloud.
Our sales team is seeing the shift as well, as they are helping educate our current and new customers on the advantages of moving to the cloud. We think this trend will continue into 2018.
There is some attrition. Some of TNT’s main vendors (Cisco and Microsoft) are publishing decreasing financials as the world cares less about “owning” the best IT and migrates towards “renting time” on the best IT services on the market. Cloud only ideas are really taking off; not just Instagram and Salesforce. Webroot cloud-only security products are gaining fast traction and monthly networking services that include no upfront equipment charges or installation fees are ideas that business owners have been looking forward to.
The technology shift has affected TNT internally as well. Our engineers earned lots of cloud certifications in 2017 from Datto, Axcient and Microsoft. We felt only limited need to train on non-cloud services, as their future isn’t what it used to be.
Like most companies, we bought and maintained the hardware for our servers, but after reviewing the total cost of ownership in comparison to using a cloud based infrastructure, we decided to migrate to Azure. All business operations are now in Azure, and provisioning new servers or increasing resources to accommodate new business processes has never been easier. Engineers can now focus on more important things like secure operations rather than dealing with failed hard drives or airflow to servers.
As the shift into the cloud grows in 2018, TNT plans to be on the leading edge, and help empower our clients the enhance their business outcomes through IT.