Joe as he is usually referred to, is a Principal Consultant for Keyrus, a global consultancy that specializes in developing innovative data and digital technology solutions for performance management. He has worked for Keyrus for half a decade and previously worked at Sainsbury’s in their Property Data Analytics team where he was one of the first Alteryx users in the organisation. He has over 9 years of experience with Alteryx and has several accolades such as being in the Top 10 Alteryx weekly challenges and being in the top 10 Alteryx community solution authors. In 2019, Joe was awarded the designation of Alteryx ACE which is awarded to the top product users and thought leaders.
If you are an existing customer and have the on-premises products such as Alteryx Designer and Alteryx Server, moving to the cloud will be a multi-step process. This process will involve a number of steps and phases and will be a multi-year project.
The first question to address is why move to the Cloud. Most organisation are somewhere on a journey from being on-premises to hybrid or fully on the Cloud, typically being dependent on legacy systems and functions that organisation performs. However, the benefits from being on this journey to the cloud are reduced costs for hardware and maintenance; reduced spending on undifferentiated heavy lifting of IT; and accessibility anywhere, with any device with higher performance and availability. All this plus a centralised data security to ensure that the greatest asset in the organisation, your data, is secure. What this means is your organisation can focus on their core function and mission with the ability to share insights to make data-informed decisions faster, in a controlled and secure manner.
The current scenario for an organisation with on-premises products such as Alteryx Designer and Alteryx Server is the annual cost of an Alteryx server licence is their smallest amount. On top of this cost, you must provision a windows server and then maintain this windows server and ensure updates occur. If you need to scale out your Alteryx server due to increasing demands from the Alteryx user base in your organisation, this adds to the costs of setting up and maintaining an Alteryx server. If you have users that want to use the latest version of Alteryx Designer because of features that would make their role easier. Then you must go through a process of upgrading your Alteryx server, ensuring there is no downtime of any critical workflows or Alteryx applications.
This is where moving to the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform is beneficial to an organisation. You get the benefits of this amazing product Alteryx, without the need to maintain or support hardware. Users can always utilise the latest version with latest and greatest features. Plus, you have the advantages of the cloud, such as a unified platform that is enterprise grade.
As mentioned, moving to the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform will be a multi-step process and has three phases.
As a minimum, you will need to upgrade your Alteryx Designers and Alteryx Servers to 2023.1 or newer to use Cloud Execution for Designer.
With Cloud Execution for Desktop, Alteryx Designer users can create a connection to the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform, save and open workflows between Designer and the cloud platform, and schedule and execute those workflows in the cloud.
This provides existing Designer customers with a path to the cloud that protects existing investment and opens opportunities to leverage other Alteryx Cloud services. This should also reduce the footprint and the dependencies on an Alteryx server within in the organisation for existing server users.
For new users in an organisation, you will want to onboard them to the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform only, thus removing the need to migrate them a later date.
If you are already an existing customer of Alteryx Designer and Server, you will want to start to audit the existing workflows. In this audit you will want to see which workflows could be migrated and create a back log with priority and effort scoped out. However, your existing users can use connectors to the cloud apps of Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform such as Machine Learning and Auto Insights to leverage the benefits of the cloud within their desktop Designers. This is addition to running workflows on the cloud with Cloud Execution for Designer.
As part of your audit in Phase 1, any simple workflows that can be converted to Designer cloud should start occurring in phase 2. The audit should have identified these as being low effort and the priority should dedicate the sequence these are converted.
With the conversation of any simple workflows to Designer Cloud and the use of Cloud Execution for Desktop, you should see a reduction of jobs on your Alteryx Server. This should make it easier to manage in the organisation and make it easier to perform updates.
You should continue to onboard net new users to Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform and continue communicating to existing users, to utilise connectors to the cloud apps or Cloud Execution for Desktop, so they see the benefits of cloud while still working with the on-premises products.
In phase 3, after you converted your simple workflows to the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform you then will want to tackle your complex workflows. Your audit should have identified if these workflows can be converted but found these would require more effort.
With further workflows converted to the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform this should reduce the footprint on your Alteryx server. Your audit should have also identified any workflows that have become surplus to requirements and can be permanently removed.
From performing this multi-step process, you should likely see that 70-80% of your existing on-premises Alteryx workflows should have been converted to Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform with potentially 10-20% remaining on premises.
Hopefully, you found this blog useful with setting a path to moving to the cloud with Alteryx. Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss moving to the cloud with Alteryx, or the wide range of solutions we can provide using fantastic tools such Alteryx.