Do you know the right cloud strategy to prevent your digital transformation from failing?
In this article we consider the connection between cloud migrations and modernisation by focusing on cloud migration strategy, different cloud migration types, and how to ensure the successful cloud migration of applications.
Cloud computing is the ‘nirvana’ every business aspires to reach. This is usually because it means they can provide access to data anytime, anywhere. According to McKinsey, by 2024 $8 out of every $10 for IT hosting will go toward the cloud.
The advantages of cloud are obvious. From the economies of scale of on-demand computing to sharing and processing large data sets quickly, and system integration and interconnection for more joined-up working. But it’s the constant need to increase operational efficiency that continues to push cloud to the forefront of digital transformation.
However, the majority of transformations fail.
You might even see cloud as the ‘silver bullet’ to thriving in the digital age. But, nearly three-quarters (73%) of enterprises fail to realise any business value from their transformation efforts. And for those organisations that are successful, it takes about 3-years to begin competing in the digital market.
The downfall of digital transformation
At a very simplistic level, successful transformation is reliant on:
Leading through change is very different to leading during ‘business-as-usual’, and an incredible 87% of organisations acknowledge they don’t have the right leaders. In order to realise your vision, the right people need to be in place. You need the people on the frontline to understand why change is necessary, and see the important roles they have to play in the transformation.
Change programmes don’t just happen because the boardroom announces them. They need the right change-management infrastructure in place, the right capabilities to be able to deliver successful change, and a focus on clear outcomes (rather than outputs) to track progress.
You can’t just plug new technology into your IT infrastructure and claim successful transformation, because digital isn’t a ‘thing’. Digital technology is an enabler that your business needs should drive, to provide secure and scalable IT. This then enables the organisation to be agile and run at optimal performance.
As our world becomes more digitally and data-focused, we have no option but to embrace transformation – cloud adoption in the UK currently stands at 88%, with 67% of users expecting to increase their adoption of cloud services over the coming year. And yet $100 billion of wasted migration spend is expected over the next three years.
What can you do to ensure your efforts are not doomed to fail?
Cloud migration shouldn’t require an ‘all or nothing’ approach
Take a moment to think about the different types of data that exist within your business…
For some data sets, like customer data, sales pipelines and marketing campaigns, it’s easy to make a use case for migration because it allows people easy access to the information they need to do their jobs. But what about employee data, financial data, or commercially sensitive data? Here the use cases become blurred. On one hand, there are effective cloud-native SaaS applications that make it easier to manage and process data, but on the other hand, you may have security fears or question whether it’s appropriate to make that data easily sharable.
You should consider migrating to cloud on a case-by-case basis, for example:
Applications, hardware and software that is out-of-date or nearing end-of-life support.
Always a good excuse for a spring clean and the opportunity to modernise your infrastructure (both cloud-based and on-premises).
Changes to business/regulatory conditions means your legacy application no longer provides the support you need to remain competitive.
Particularly in times of austerity, the cloud is an attractive cost-saving initiative, since it allows you to only pay for what you use while scaling up/down easily.
You can’t guarantee your IT will never fail you. But cloud service providers are built to manage outages and failures without it impacting their clients.
Cloud migration that’s best for your business
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to migrate to the cloud – again, your journey to the cloud should be considered on a case-by-case basis to achieve the right outcome for your business. Broadly speaking, cloud migration falls into 3 approaches:
Lift & shift:
This essentially involves re-platforming your application in the cloud. Your new cloud infrastructure is built to mirror your legacy set-up, so you can quickly restore ‘business-as-usual’. If you take this approach data quality should be a key consideration, because everything (good and bad) will be migrated across. So, it’s a good idea to consider cleansing your data ahead of moving it.
Build-anew (including application migration):
With this option, you start afresh with new software and cleansed re-structured data. It’s a great opportunity to evaluate your current requirements and build a cloud platform that meets those needs, as well as enhance your current ways of working. It is a complex undertaking that requires rigorous testing, which is why you should always seek help from an experienced professional.
Mix ‘n match:
Finally, you might take more of a strategic roadmap approach. You might migrate certain applications to the cloud to ‘test the waters’, then others are built-anew, and some systems remain as-is. The majority (92%) of organisations already have a multi-cloud strategy, which flexes to suit their business – and on average organisations leverage 5 different cloud platforms.
However, it’s not enough to simply migrate to the cloud. If you don’t plan your move thoroughly and optimise your spending, your cloud budget could go to waste. Your business is constantly changing and evolving. Fail to account for that change, and you’ll quickly find your cloud infrastructure over/under-provisioned – with your business suffering as a result. To discover more about how to secure the best cloud migration for your business, download our whitepaper Cloud Migration for Digital Transformation (written in collaboration with Data Migration specialist Jonny Morris).
Set up for success
As a progressive business, we have spent nearly 30-years learning everything there is to know about successful cloud migration strategies. We want to help change the narrative around failed digital transformations. To find out more about how we can support your transformation efforts contact us.
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