Cloud is no longer a future aspiration, it’s an urgent mandate. Cloud is not only essential to successful digital transformation, but the global disruption wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has reemphasized the fundamental value of systems resilience, agility, adaptability and scalability.
In order to accelerate the value you get from cloud, you must know where your business is headed—and why.
One primary goal is improving the efficiency and resilience of IT systems. Most enterprises know they don’t belong in the data center business and they can realize significant cost savings by using new architectures or applications in the cloud.
A second key goal is enabling the business to do new things and do them faster. This is where the innovation, experimentation and business agility of the cloud come to the fore.
For example, with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), infrastructure can be provisioned much more easily. At the same time, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions enable you to quickly leverage many cloud-native innovations out of the box.
The result is a leaner, more agile enterprise, as seen in the case of MONETA Money Bank. Working with Accenture, they defined a comprehensive cloud strategy that aligned with the bank’s strategic ambitions. After migrating 200 applications to AWS, they now launch new products and services faster and are better positioned to support growth.
So, what’s the secret to a successful migration? There are several factors at play, spanning strategy, planning and execution.
A vision without a strategy remains an illusion
Most enterprise migrations are not “big bang” events—they are incremental processes based on strategic value, complexity and risk.
Plan your work and work your plan
Be smart about priorities. It’s important to stratify and prioritize the portfolio in a way that realizes the most value from the migration as quickly as possible. Accenture’s 7Rs approach (see inset) provides a framework for approaching this task systematically.
Don’t forget the data. It’s also essential to consider each application and the data it uses as a bundle. In order to shift data “centers of gravity” to the cloud, enterprises must:
Establish a strategic data architecture to ensure that data is available to all consumers.
Institute data management to ensure the data is robust, high-quality, traceable, and trusted by the business.
Develop an enterprise data governance program to ensure the business owns the data and can leverage it appropriately.
Get the business on board. Migration cannot be a purely IT-driven exercise. Most of the pitfalls encountered in cloud migrations occur when IT and the business aren’t on the same page.
Execution is what brings strategy to life.
Once a thoroughly considered plan aligned to the business strategy is in place, it’s time to execute the migration.
Make the most of your chosen cloud provider. It is critical to find the right partner(s) to ensure your migrations are impeccably designed, prioritized, executed and evolved.
Industrialize the journey. Many companies look to partners such as Accenture to execute migrations with minimal disruptions. Automated tools like Accenture’s myNav and myWizard can be critical in ensuring your migration will succeed at pace.
Think security from day one. Security teams need to be intimately involved in a migration from the onset, defining platform-level and application-level controls, approving cloud architecture choices, and identifying the best candidates for native security automation.
Help your people adapt to the new. A cloud migration changes how the enterprise works. For the IT organization, employees will need to be reskilled to work with new tools and new platforms. Business users, too, may need to adapt to the new systems and services available to them in the cloud.
Beyond migration: Looking to long-term value
Migration is the essential first step in maximizing cloud value. It provides scalability, resilience, security and lower total cost of ownership. But it’s only the start. And it needs to be seen in its broader context: as a means of enabling the IT environment to be run in a different way and unlocking new value for the business.