It’s safe to say that cloud adoption has moved beyond the “hype cycle” and into the mainstream. Yet many organizations are wondering what’s next for them when it comes to cloud and, for the most part, the road ahead is unclear. Talent shortages abound. Many large companies dabbled in the cloud but retained their legacy hardware and on-premise infrastructure. Some have taken a tactical approach and have not fully committed to the operating model changes necessary for long-term growth. Still others have been nibbling at the edges but are still wary of scaling up to enterprise solutions. For many, it’s time to reboot their cloud strategy.
It’s important to bear in mind that getting to cloud is a journey. It’s not an impossible or overly long journey, but it does require a strategic rather than a tactical approach.
Common signposts on the cloud migration journey
Some common signposts on the journey to cloud can help guide you on the way. These include:
Thinking strategically about cloud involves a number of critical issues, including desired business outcomes, investment priorities, deployment model, service providers, talent sourcing and cloud policies. From an IT perspective, cloud technology requires IT teams to approach enterprise technology strategy in an entirely different way, focusing on three layers:
Companies need to justify the cloud’s value proposition, especially as it relates to existing large investments in legacy technology infrastructure including data centers. The business case includes evaluating traditional financial measures such as total cost of ownership, ROI and payback period. To maximize shareholder and business value, companies should also evaluate cloud benefits, key performance indicators and value realization.
Companies need to ensure they have an updated operating model that can embrace leading-edge technologies and approaches including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), orchestration, workflow, cloud optimization tools and DevOps.
Packing your bags for cloud migration? Be sure to take these application approaches with you.
Legacy applications disposition
Companies should look at their entire application portfolio and determine the disposition strategy as well as the timing, order and grouping of applications being moved to the cloud.
Application migration factory
Whether the need involves a single application, a group of applications or an entire portfolio, companies need the capability to (1) migrate and/or modernize applications to be cloud-ready; (2) replace existing apps with SaaS/PaaS; or (3) build new, cloud-native applications.
Modern application architecture
Modern application architectures should be formulated that build systems by integrating various microservices and by using container architectures as well as new and growing PaaS capabilities.
Next-gen application development
This focuses on high-value and high-impact cloud-native solutions in the mobile, data science (analytics), AI, machine learning and IoT domains.
#During their journey to cloud, organizations should consult people who are not only experts within particular domains, but who also understand the interdependencies among those domains and overall cloud strategy.
In addition to thinking about on-premise and public cloud, companies must make many other decisions about IaaS capabilities and services in areas such as network, storage and compute.
Security, risk and compliance
Cloud environments and information assets can span different cloud providers, making it vital to provide a proper security architecture and in-depth protection of resources.
Organization, roles and skills
Cloud computing and supporting as-a-Service business models require not only changes to organization structures but also robust change management for the organizational areas impacted.
Management and governance
A holistic management and governance approach is needed as part of the cloud journey to manage not only multiple cloud environments, tools and providers but also the growing number of services each cloud provider delivers.
Cloud managed services
Cloud managed services provides skilled resources that augment in-house functionalities and IT infrastructure to be managed in collaboration with a third-party managed service provider (MSP) via cloud platforms. A broad spectrum of MSPs exist, so companies need to carefully consider which characteristics are most important for the MSP they choose.
In the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, Worldwide 2018, Gartner names Accenture a leader for completeness of vision and ability to execute on managed services for our clients.
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Moving to the cloud is a complex endeavor and must be thoughtfully planned and executed
Companies need to carefully consider each component of the enterprise cloud journey both separately and in relation to others, because components can intersect at many different points. Such an integrated approach enables companies to create a unique and successful cloud roadmap; ensure their plans are executed based on a strong foundational strategy; and ultimately experience an efficient and timely transformation that is aligned to their business goals and desired outcomes. Accenture stands at the forefront of developing cloud solutions and services to guide our clients at the pace of innovation on their journey to cloud.
Read more about taking a strategic approach to cloud and find out if it’s time to reboot your cloud strategy here.