The key to accelerating the value asset managers realize from the cloud and lowering the risk involved in the migration process, is to agree to a clear vision and understand the strategy it could take to become a cloud-enabled business. Rushed migrations without a clear strategy for realizing value, incomplete planning, or poor execution could end up costing the firm, especially when legacy systems are involved. For asset managers, a cloud strategy really has two key elements. The first one is driven by technology— to improve the efficiency and resilience of IT systems and to improve operations and time to market. Firms can realize significant cost savings by using new architectures or new applications in the cloud. The scalability of the cloud is also beneficial in managing demand volatility and other disruptive events.
The second element is business driven—a strategy focused on the business value firms want to achieve — enabling the business to do new things and do them faster. This is where the innovation, experimentation, responsiveness and business agility of the cloud come to the fore. For example, with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), infrastructure can be provisioned more easily, transforming productivity by allowing you to rapidly experiment with new ideas, test and learn, fail fast, then iterate, improve and scale up. At the same time, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions could help you to leverage many cloud-native innovations “out of the box”, while unlocking more value from data with machine learning and other advanced tools.
While many firms initially focus their cloud transformation programs on IT and infrastructure, realizing business value needs to be a well-defined goal from the outset. The key is to keep both elements in mind. Migration to the cloud may be viewed as a cost-cutting move. However, research by Accenture regarding the “Cloud Continuum” found that companies whose migration strategies focus simply on cost reduction actually do a poorer job than those driven more by a business value agenda. The latter realize about 2X greater cost efficiencies than cost-cutters. At the same time, they are two-to-three times more likely to innovate and re-engineer knowledge work.