Prioritize These 3 Factors in a Cloud Adoption BlueprintBy Marco Reis | Wed, 06/30/2021 - 09:15
Through good times and bad, recessions and pandemics, periods of social unrest and national tragedy, one thing remains constant in business: the need for organizations to reduce costs while focusing on innovation and growth. It’s a tricky tightrope to tiptoe across.
Forward-thinking companies are always looking to increase their efficiency through innovation, but this quest for innovation also involves seeking new ways to work through an economic operation. To achieve these efficiency strides with innovation, companies face challenges such as process improvement and standardization, organizational restructuring, automation, and more focus on strategic activities.
To overcome those hurdles, a thorough innovation blueprint is essential. Only when teams have a clear view into innovation projects and can track progressions and false starts does momentum build to an unstoppable pace. A comprehensive cloud strategy is a key piece to producing more efficient workflows that enable innovation throughout an organization. Brainstorming that cloud-based framework, which must include efficient ways to store, analyze, and archive troves of data that is gathered and generated during innovation, can be taxing, but it pays dividends sooner than you might expect.
Move, Modernize, or Evolve
An effective and comprehensive cloud strategy can help address the inevitable challenges that pop up and empower businesses to achieve their cost, innovation, and growth objectives. Granted, the definition of a cloud strategy must be based on the identification of modern, increasingly agile technologies and architectures that allow companies to innovate much faster (and with a cost advantage).
Understanding the business moment is fundamental in defining the cloud strategy. Defining the speed in terms of “move, modernize, and evolve” literally involves the alignment of business and technology strategies. You must weigh all options from a cost-analysis angle to ultimately decide the right action. The idea is to modernize legacy systems with as much impact (and as little extraneous effort) as possible.
Once the process of moving to the cloud has commenced, many considerations will influence the new business model: application pattern definition, application-service alignment, discovery and migration strategy, security objectives, data source analysis, and many, many more. Security is an especially important (and often overlooked) element when devising a cloud strategy, as companies must be keenly aware of the threat landscape to patch up vulnerabilities that arise.
An Agile, Accelerated Cloud Strategy
A comprehensive cloud strategy also helps empower more efficient workflows across an organization. The move to the cloud through an agile and accelerated strategy will allow companies to provide faster responses to their customers, with a much faster response time in relation to market demand. It also will improve the efficiency of the organization’s processes and operations and grant it greater control of its technological activities.
Consider the case of a leading company in infrastructure management. This company relies on acquisitions and joint ventures that require agility and flexibility. It’s a low-margin business that impacts significant investments in IT for modernization but aging infrastructure caused frequent service interruptions and hindered its customers. With the implementation of its cloud strategy, this company now achieves a service model based on a standardized catalog with quicker response to offers, the centralization of file servers to improve the security of information assets, and a 30 percent cost reduction in total IT.
For forward-thinking business leaders who are working on their cloud strategies, consider a blueprint that prioritizes the following factors:
1. Cost reduction. When you are tasked with updating your application, you are faced with many questions: What technologies do you adopt? What applications do you create new in the cloud? Can technical debt be reduced? The answer should be yes, you can reduce your technical debt. You can optimize applications and migrate to the cloud quickly, with measurable impact, including lower compliance risk and reduced application migration and modernization costs. Find those savings.
2. Operational efficiency. Ask yourself what benefit you get from modernizing your applications. Executing an application modernization strategy can significantly increase operational efficiency, optimizing the use of both licenses and infrastructure while simultaneously reducing maintenance costs and complexities within the operation.
3. Scalability and availability aligned to the business. How can you manage a cloud environment that allows you to leverage the benefits of the cloud and react to the market more quickly? By having a presence in the cloud, you have a stable, resilient, and highly scalable platform that allows you to react to market needs in a totally elastic way, with the bonus of a decrease in incidents at the service desk.
In the end, remember the beginning: The early definition step of the cloud strategy is essential for the successful execution of the entire process. A complete and integrated strategy will include operating model, modernization strategy and application evolution, future services model, security, and data strategy — just some of the topics of concern to savvy business leaders. The alignment of these themes with the business model is essential for attaining the expected benefits.
Once this cloud strategy is in place, the sky is the limit.
Marco Reis is the head of Wipro Mexico. He is an executive with broad experience in business management and IT through his work with SAP, Infor, Accenture, IBM, and many more. Reis specializes in IT strategy and governance; consulting and system integration; infrastructure and application management; and supply chain transformation.