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June 26, 2018
Don't be afraid to reboot your cloud strategy
By: Siki Giunta, Frank Redey and David Olivencia

It’s safe to say that cloud adoption is unquestionably going mainstream. Gartner states that $204 billion worth of IT spending will shift to cloud this year; with that number expected to double to $216 billion by 2020. Nevertheless many organizations are wondering what’s the future for them when it comes to cloud and, for the most part, the road ahead is unclear. Talent shortages abound. Numerous large companies dabbled in the cloud but retained their legacy hardware and on-premise infrastructure. Some have taken a tactical approach and have not altogether committed to the operating model changes necessary for long-term growth. Others have been biting at the edges but are still wary of scaling up to enterprise solutions. For numerous, 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 extraordinarily long journey, but it does require a strategic rather than a tactical approach.

Common signposts on the cloud migration journey
Some particular signposts on the journey to cloud can help guide you on the way. These include:

Cloud strategy
Thinking strategically about cloud involves a number of critical issues, such as desired business outcomes, investment priorities, deployment model, service providers, talent sourcing and cloud policies. From an IT viewpoint, cloud technology requires IT teams to approach business technology strategy in an entirely different way, focusing on three layers:

  1. Infrastructure

  2. Applications

  3. Operations

Business case
Companies need to justify the cloud’s value proposition, especially as it relates to big investments in legacy technology systems such as data centers. The business case includes assessing common fiscal measures such as total cost of ownership, ROI and payback period. To grow stockholder and business value, companies should think about cloud advantages, key performance indicators and value realization.

Operating model
Companies need to ensure they have an updated operating model that can grasp leading-edge technologies and approaches such as 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 moving to the cloud.

  • Application migration factory
    Whether the need involves one application, a group of applications or the whole portfolio, companies need the capability to (1) migrate and/or modernize applications to be cloud-ready; (2) replace current apps with SaaS/PaaS; or (3) build new, cloud-native applications.

  • Modern application architecture
    Modern application architectures should be formulated to build systems by combining 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 ask people who are not only experts within certain domains, but who also understand the linkages among those domains and overall cloud strategy.

 
 

Infrastructure architecture
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 data assets can span vast cloud providers, making it vital to provide a secure architecture and in-depth protection of resources.

Organization, roles and skills
Cloud computing and supporting as-a-Service business models need both changes to organizational structures and strong change management for the areas of the organization affected.

Management and governance
A holistic management and governance approach as part of the cloud journey can not only help manage 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.

Moving to the cloud is a complex effort and must be thoughtfully planned and executed
Companies need to carefully consider each component of the cloud journey both separately and in relation to others, because parts 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.

Gain information about rebooting your cloud strategy here.

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