The Cloud, IT agility, Cyber Security… all these reinforce the importance of digital transformation for companies.
Studies conducted by consulting firms specializing in IT universally agreed that: in a window of two to three years, more than half of the applications will be developed and managed directly in the cloud. More than 80% of IT budgets will be spent on Cloud solutions. Transformation projects are simply complex. The diversity of expertise involved, the velocity of innovations in technological services, and the implications of driving change over time come into play. By using a good methodology and choosing an experienced IT partner, the cloud is within everyone’s reach. Here are some important keys to remember to drive cloud transformation with confidence over time to achieve business success:
1) The Essential of Transformation is Not Just Technology
It is a proven fact. If the cloud was a technological adoption curve, it would be much simpler and faster. However, this transformation must be approached from a systemic angle. The ecosystem addresses changes on several levels:
The company itself often goes from an “in-house” policy to using a third party, which is a real cultural change. The shortened service life cycle forces companies to change the way they produce, test and launch services in the market. Swiftness becomes a factor of success.
Change of Required Skillsets
A real challenge for Human Resource. How to train and develop the team who are not familiar with cloud to adopt new technologies? How to maintain internal group dynamics without risking unparallel progress of teams responsible for a cloud project? These are just a handle of questions to ask and anticipate.
Modernization of Organizations and Methods
DevOps promotes agility and speed of development in a context of continuous integration and deployment thanks to fewer errors via automation, faster development cycles and continuous dynamics. But this also implies elimination of silos functional teams and acculturation.
Modernization of Technologies
How to modernize your digital transformation? Should physical architectures be maintained for critical data? Thinking about moving to the cloud, but which cloud services providers to choose? Beyond the question of which cloud services provider, what cloud services to use: virtual servers, platform services, containers? The implications of these considerations are different in terms of your budget. Would you choose to spend additional cost on cloud server port with the same level of operating cost, or would you adopt micro services and decrease up to 60% of your operating budget?
2) Determine Target, Trajectory and Indicators of Success
Whenever you are planning to go on a trip, you first determine your destination followed by travel itinerary with budget concerns. Same for transformation, the cloud is a way to business success but not a destination. What business goals your company aims at could be: reduction in time to market, increase in uptime in online services or improvement in user experience. Having your objectives set with measurement of success will help you determine your cloud-first or cloud-all strategies.
3) Measure the Gaps to Transformation
In point 1, we have seen that transformation is not just about technology. The gaps are therefore to be identified and measured against below factors to make sure a smooth transformation. Organizational culture: Is the cloud strategies led by the general management with vision and mission vertically aligned inside the organization? The processes in place: are the processes developed long ago agile enough or still compartmentalized? Skillsets: Are your employees being trained to adopt innovative technologies? Are there ambassadors to promote your cloud transformation internally? Measuring these gaps will clearly refine the trajectory to be adopted over time.
4) To Be Accompanied … Over Time
All the evaluations to be carried out throughout your digital transformation journey require time, methods and expertise. Partnering with an expert such as an MSP (Managed Services Provider) allows you to benefit from their solid experience in the evaluation process and during your transformation implementation. Training DevOps, Container, Migration to the Cloud, Security Assessment are all consulting areas that allow you to trace project trajectory and deploy your applications in selected cloud platforms swiftly and securely. Do not forget management of your cloud application operations. Does your company have the expertise to lead and collaborate with selected cloud providers, monitor applications, respond to incidents, manage applications capacity and performance? While cloud providers are responsible for services provided via their respective cloud platforms, your applications performance is not taken care of. However, an MSP can help.
5) Beware of SLAs
IT agility for businesses is undeniably attributable to the cloud. It is important, however, to understand cloud providers’ contractual SLA commitments on cloud availability, performance and security. These are often not comprehensive enough to fully cover your infrastructure, platforms and applications. A Managed Services Provider takes the ownership to deploy, manage and monitor the entire applications chain together with you for your business performance and results.
6) Hybridization Is A Key
The future is not mono mode, mono cloud, mono infrastructure and mono provider. One size cannot fit all. Each company is unique and requires a tailor-made solution that addresses its challenges during different phases of transformation. Hybridization is a key which allows you to select the best suited services for your needs. Turn it into reality. It is not impossible to design and manage multiple cloud platforms nowadays. Partner with your MSP for customised solutions. With deep expertise and sophisticated skills, MSP makes sure your hybrid clouds are integrated securely and seamlessly. To achieve business success, leverage cloud opportunities ahead and drive your cloud transformation with these 6 steps in mind to ensure Availability, Performance and Sustainability of your business applications. More importantly, consult your IT advisor for solutions of your own.