Three Questions to Ask if You are Considering Migrating to the Cloud in 2020

The past few weeks have certainly been interesting to say the least. Every department within a mortgage bank has been stretched like never before as lenders look to convert swollen pipelines, and deal with mounting forbearance requests all while shifting entire office bound workforces to remote. Before Covid-19 approached these shores, cloud migration was a steadily growing discussion point in many lenders, as more and more organizations were enticed by the benefits, but it would be a tough sell to say it was it at the top of every companies short term to-do list. In addition, while many organizations certainly had some provisions for mobilizing a remote workforce in their Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity plans, they certainly were not prepared for the scale of what has been required of them in recent times.

While we have seen many companies make the recent transition to remote look straightforward, a number have struggled as they deal with the challenges of infrastructures, networks and applications not designed to work in the manner they are now being asked. It would be entirely fair to say that the events of the recent past will absolutely change organizations approach to preparing for this type of eventuality. More and more companies will look at the options open to them around remote working and cloud-based technology and luckily for them the number of vendors and options are ever expanding. The pace of cloud innovation and development from global giants like Microsoft and Google is truly unprecedented. These, paired with a new urgency, pose challenging dilemmas as well as exciting opportunities for mortgage companies thinking about making the move to the cloud.

If you’re considering moving to the cloud in 2020, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Will you tackle your cloud migration and management internally, or outsource it?

As we move into 2020, many independent Mortgage Banks are feeling the pressure to undergo digital transformation – or be left behind. This is further complicated by the fact that internal IT teams rarely have the skillset or bandwidth to support such fundamental change. So, the question becomes: should you invest in the right people to manage your cloud internally, or outsource the tasks to a company specializing in cloud migrations and management?

More and more, we’re seeing companies choose the outsourcing route. They’ve seen that success most often occurs when internal IT teams shift their focus from maintaining systems to adding value to the business. In fact, many feel the future role of IT will be to work with internal stakeholders to identify business challenges and then seek out technology solutions to solve those challenges. As an alternative to having internal IT teams focus on maintaining network connectivity, patching servers, supporting desktops and so on, businesses are finding that when they outsource these activities, it frees up time to focus on core value-add capabilities. What does your ideal cloud scenario look like?

While cloud-based technologies and infrastructure are critical to the future success of most businesses, each use case should be evaluated for economic and business advantages. In highly regulated industries, such as mortgage banking, with data residency or sovereignty requirements – or where businesses operate in remote areas where internet connectivity is not reliable – the cloud may not be the right option for certain applications.

To solve for these issues, many organizations are turning to a hybrid cloud deployment. Most companies, whether they know it or not, are already in a hybrid cloud scenario for certain functions – think for a CRM or Exchange Online by Microsoft for email. These independent technologies may require integration but are deployed in different clouds by different providers.

Determining the right application and deployment scenario is critical to adding value to your business. Choosing the right option will shorten your path to success and deliver critical economic and technical benefits. What strategies will you use to get to the cloud?

There are numerous strategies that can be used when evaluating the future of your existing applications. However, there are three approaches that are often recommended:

• Re-hosting – This is usually the first and most logical step for organizations looking to migrate to the cloud, especially if there are other external factors creating pressures like a datacenter contract expiring or datacenter issues. Re-hosting involves taking an existing application, and simply moving it to the cloud. The workloads being migrated are generally kept on premise or in a partner-hosted data center. By moving existing business applications to the cloud, you minimize disruption for end users, since they don’t have to learn a new application, while also getting the benefits of a modern cloud infrastructure. Once existing applications have been migrated, it’s easier to start an optimization project, since the applications, data and networking are already in the cloud.

 Re-platforming – Once an application has been rehosted, the next natural step is to look at re-platforming. (You could also, of course, bypass re-hosting and go straight to re-platforming.) Re-platforming involves taking an existing application to the cloud and then modernizing the underlying technology. It looks to take advantage of the new platform to improve performance, reliability and reduce costs. Cloud service providers like Azure, AWS and Google have a suite of technology available for re-platforming databases, storage, backups, disaster recovery and so on.

• Repurchasing – This involves looking at the business fit of an existing technology and deciding if it will continue to fit going forward. Sometimes applications can be made to fit and other times they need to be replaced with modern cloud-based applications. Think: moving a legacy accounting solution to Loan Vision versus custom developing a CRM solution.

When an organization doesn’t have the internal IT capabilities or capacity to handle these activities, working with a knowledgeable provider can ensure a successful outcome. Looking Ahead to 2020 and Beyond

Cloud innovation is moving at the speed of light, with the mortgage industry being no exception. IT teams have much to think about. In addition, the role of IT is changing, and companies are expecting their internal teams to deliver on digital transformation mandates. For each cloud opportunity that’s created, challenges emerge. By understanding cloud options and engaging with the right experts to support internal capacity or bridge knowledge gaps, successful organizations will not only keep up, they can outperform.

About the Author


Tyler entered the Microsoft Dynamics channel in 2002, gaining experience with Microsoft Dynamics PArtners in AX, GP, NAV, and SL over many years. For several years, he also worked as an award-winning Client Account Manager with Desire2Learn’s enterprise sales team. In 2014, Tyler joined WatServ, bringing with him knowledge from the channel and an ability to help customers maximize their benefits fro Dynamics in the Cloud engagements. Tyler is now responsible for the sales of Application Services. 

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications.  

 As one of the largest global providers of hosting and managed services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, AX, GP and NAV, WatServ has been providing end-to-end services for over a decade, enabling businesses to take their Dynamics applications to the cloud.  WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with 1000’s of users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit


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