What’s different with our client conversations these days about migrating to the cloud? In a word, “urgency.” As we discuss in the accompanying video, the dialogue has shifted from, “What’s the value of being in the cloud?” to, “How can you get me there as fast as possible?” And companies want it to happen at scale—migrating not just dozens, but hundreds of applications, and prioritizing complex applications that previously would have been phase-two or phase-three undertakings.

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Migrate to AWS: Aligning business with IT when migrating to the cloud

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In some cases, though, companies aren’t actually getting the full value they deserve from a cloud migration. In fact, according to Accenture’s Cloud Outcomes research, two-thirds of companies are not realizing the full benefits of the cloud. What’s the holdup?

Aligning IT and the business

Security and compliance are big hindrances, according to our research, as well as legacy infrastructure and application sprawl. But, as Accenture and AWS executives discuss in the video, an obstacle often overlooked is misalignment between IT and the business.

The IT side may not fully understand how each piece of the migration effort fits into the bigger strategic picture. The business side may not understand how various technological choices affect timing and effort. There could be a lack of communication around how the migration will actually be executed. Or the right partners and business units may not been selected to work with IT on the migration, helping them prioritize what applications to migrate or use cases to enable first. If the migration is executed in a siloed fashion, that can reduce potential value and even undermine the entire business case.

There are long-term impacts, as well. Cloud migration is a cultural change, and when your teams and people are not aligned on how migration is happening, what it’s meant to achieve, and what a successful migration looks like, it’s difficult to transform how your people work together and to support positive culture change. 

Getting everyone aligned

Alignment accelerates your migration to AWS and sets you up for success: improving the efficiency and resilience of IT systems, while doing new things and doing them faster.

How can companies get IT and the business walking in lockstep? Here are five tips based on Accenture and AWS experience.

  1. Build the business case together. Collaborate from the get-go to make abstract concepts like “agility” become specific use cases that show how you’re going to deliver value. This helps IT and the business at large feel equally informed about the business case for migration and invested in realizing its success.
  2. Ensure IT is aligned with your business strategy. Migrations are not “big bang” events. Rather, they are an incremental exercise based on strategic value, complexity and risk. Aligning IT with your broader business strategy can help ensure that each wave of migration, and each new capability unlocked, is delivering value and moving you closer to your goals.
  3. Ask the right 7R questions. Consider the seven Rs: retire, retain, rehost, replatform, replace, refactor and reimagine. Our 7Rs framework builds a systematic approach to your migration strategy. When IT and the business work together to make choices, it creates a clearer picture of where you can get quick wins, and what interdependencies to be aware of.
  4. Prioritize your plan based on potential value delivered. The 7Rs framework is also valuable for the complex task of prioritizing which applications to migrate, and when. No single migration strategy works for every organization. Strike the right balance between strategic business relevance to your industry and the complexities and risks likely to be encountered.
  5. Include the entire extended value of cloud. One of the biggest values of cloud is its ability to enable business agility and innovation. But that value is also the hardest to build into a cloud migration business case or program because it’s dependent on many things like end-to-end organizational changes, learning how to innovate, and building the technical muscle needed. Bear in mind cloud’s extended, long-term positive impact on business performance.

Bring your partners into the discussion

In addition to these five tips, we highly recommend bringing in a knowledgeable and experienced partner, like Accenture, to help get IT and your business aligned.

The right partner knows where alignment needs to occur and can lead with optimal approaches to ensure everyone across the organization is on the same page.

Realizing the most value from an AWS migration starts early in the process. Get IT and the business onboard in the initial stages as you build a plan, then help them communicate and work together as time goes on. The success of your AWS migration may very well depend on it.


Copyright © 2021. Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks of Accenture.

This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors.

This document refers to marks owned by third parties. All such third-party marks are the property of their respective owners. No sponsorship, endorsement or approval of this content by the owners of such marks is intended, expressed or implied.

Chris Wegmann

Managing Director – Accenture AWS Business Group

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