The fear of being disrupted by digitally native start-ups is pressuring CXOs into looking at building smarter enterprises characterized by productivity, innovation, and new business models. Legacy enterprises are thus turning to digital transformation with the cloud, driven by clear business-focused drivers.
These days, numerous technology trends are forcing IT to become more dynamic, relevant, and business-aware. Some of the trends include mobile computing, agile development, digitally inclined consumers, and yes—cloud computing. Those organizations willing to step up and face these trends are the ones experiencing transformation and growth, whereas those stuck in the traditional ways are beginning to stumble. Despite the long-standing presence of cloud for almost over a decade, many organizations are still at the lower end of maturity scale when it comes to maximizing the benefits of cloud. Let’s understand the types of enterprise players in the cloud initiative.
Pathfinders- These types of enterprise’s CIOs are ambitious and understand the importance and benefits of moving their business to the cloud, but are generally skeptical of taking bolder steps. They often look up to the enterprises who set trends first and attempt to emulate their proven steps of success.
Defenders- These enterprises are aware of the significance of cloud and how transforming to cloud can be beneficial to their organization. However, they are skeptical to make a move in the first place.
Torchbearers- These are smart and ambitious enterprises fully aware of the significance of transforming to cloud and can reap benefits from the cloud. They believe it’s the most influential trend that’s transforming the mainstream business arena. They’re focused on three key areas: 1) enhancing their organization’s intelligence and insight 2) digitizing the front office and 3) strengthening the IT staff skills.
Aspirants- These enterprises have a vague sense of how to transform cloud and remain tactical about moving only parts of the workloads to cloud, to build cloud foundation to ease digital transformation.
No matter where organizations are on their cloud journey it’s time for every organization to ask themselves: How do we scale up to drive the next stage of the digital transformation journey? Gartner’s global CIO survey states that cloud computing is amongst the top priority areas where most CIOs will increase their investments in 2020, with the global market expected to reach $445.7 billion in 2022.
Why Should Businesses Adopt Cloud to Fuel Digital Transformation?
Digital transformations are performed with a range of justifications. Some stem from a need to replace IT systems that have reached the end of their useful life; others from a reluctance to spend on a refresh. However, the theory behind digital transformation is the same for organizations of all shapes and sizes. The aim is to use technology not just to replicate an existing service in a digital form, but to use technology to transform that service into something significantly better. All these can be achieved by embracing the cloud. Businesses can modernize their IT infrastructure, create built-in security and focus on how it might serve customers digitally in new ways.
A cloud-based digital transformation strategy offers great opportunities:
- Speed and agility to scale up infrastructure quickly and increasing business agility and speed to market
- Democratizing access to infrastructure that is highly scalable and secure and allows service providers to operate their data center and the infrastructure they run very cost-effectively
- Better cross-organizational collaboration across departments, processes, and teams
- Reduced costs
- The chance to capitalize on far greater computational resources provided by cloud providers that run data-intensive computing chores
- Replacements for aging back-office applications
- The flexibility to ramp up or down according to business needs
- The ability to handle the enormous volumes of data coming from Internet of Things-related digital sensors
- Resources to support the use of artificial intelligence and other systems that identify business opportunities, solve operational problems and provide winning digital customer experiences.
Keeping Your Cloud Transformation Moving Forward
Unlocking the full potential of the cloud is always going to mean something different to different companies. Every business – no matter how large or small they are – has a certain set of goals they hope to achieve with their cloud journey. Some organizations might have a different perspective and vision of moving into cloud. However, despite the goals of moving to cloud, each organization follows a customized approach for their cloud transformation. Let’s understand some essential steps of migrating to cloud:
Step 1: Adapting a Strategic Mindset- Getting the full value from a cloud migration requires leaders to get involved and develop a strategic approach for their organization. Adopting cloud implementation services from AWS or Microsoft Azure, which helps to make the cloud journey easy with their pay-per-use, self-service, and easy scalability features.
However, there are organizations who still have a traditional IT architecture, and since the applications in this architecture were created for an on-premise infrastructure, it can’t function well in the cloud. Therefore, having a strategic mindset allows business leaders to understand the cloud security concerns and other risks associated ahead of time helps to create a mindset which is ready for a smooth transformation.
Step 2: Selecting a Cloud Model- Moving applications from your data center to the cloud can happen in two ways: “lift and shift” or deep integration. With the lift and shift approach the workload movement is with little or no changes to servers. With the latter, the infrastructure is modified in order to reap the full benefits of cloud migration. Organizations also need to choose between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS – each of which represents a different cloud model, and whether to go single cloud or multi-cloud.
Step 3: Backing Up Data- an organization’s data is more precious than ever. Data is an essential driver of innovation, growth, productivity, insight, and more, and it impacts every corner of a business. Data loss can be a major threat to the business, and it can be the result of a data breach, or can happen during cloud migration projects. Therefore, performing data backups at critical moments during the cloud journey is very crucial and old technologies cannot provide the modern data protection capabilities that can help recover the data.
Step 4: Partnering With a Cloud Consulting Provider- Choosing the right managed service provider (MSP) for your organization is THE most crucial decision to be made. You should look for a provider who will learn about the business, understand the goals and industry, and has a great track record of providing a full range of capabilities.
The cloud journey isn’t merely about moving “to the cloud” but about transforming with cloud. Enterprises must look at creating a cloud-powered future by bringing transformation across applications, data and infrastructure.
It’s becoming more critical for organizations of all sizes and industries to make the move to the cloud because the customer experience will soon depend on it. While there might be challenges and roadblocks, undergoing a cloud transformation, there is a significant ROI in re-platforming. Therefore, take time to consider all options, as every organization has different needs and desired outcomes.