Cloud transformation is no longer an option or a task that can be left on the back burner. It has become a strategic imperative for organisations of all sizes to remain competitive in any industry – whether by improving business agility and scalability, reducing IT costs, enhancing security, and more. Cloud computing technology also provides innovation in the fields of customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI), storage and backup, and development and testing.
A successful cloud transformation, however, is not a one-time task but rather a comprehensive journey comprising multiple stages and numerous interconnected components. Without careful planning and execution, it can become an arduous and time-consuming endeavour. Therefore, we will discuss the seven cloud consulting best practices you should consider in order to maximise its value for your business.
The Trillion-Dollar Potential of Cloud
Cloud offers vast opportunities for every business and industry, but companies have barely scratched the surface. New research sheds light on the areas where true value resides and provides insights on how to seize it before competitors do.
- The global cloud computing market is valued at more than $545 billion in 2022 with public cloud end-user expenditure expected to reach nearly $600 billion in 2023.
- The number of IoT connected devices is forecast to surpass 75 billion by 2025 and by the same time, total global data storage in the cloud will reach 200 zettabytes.
- By 2030, Fortune 500 companies could realize more than $1 trillion in run-rate EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), thanks to cloud transformation.
To capture this value, CEOs are advised to set ambitious targets, build a strong economic case, embrace cloud-native ways of working, and invest in standardised and automated cloud platforms. Early adopters stand to gain a disproportionate share of this value, especially in the face of competitive pressure and a rapidly changing business landscape driven by digital players. Here are four cloud-enabled drivers that could collectively generate more than $1 trillion in value for businesses:
Cost optimisation. A successful cloud transformation has the potential to significantly lower costs by eliminating inefficiencies associated with traditional on-premises models and leveraging the automated capabilities and higher asset utilization of cloud service providers. Research indicates that increasing the share of Fortune 500 applications in the cloud from 10% to 60% could result in $56 billion in benefits for application development and maintenance and $12 billion in infrastructure expenditures.
Growth acceleration. Adopting cloud consulting best practices can unlock new growth opportunities and accelerate product development for organisations. With a “fail fast” mentality, cloud provides on-demand access to vast infrastructure capacity and computational power, enabling companies to experiment with applications and business models at lower costs and greater speed. Embracing cloud eliminates the need for large upfront capital outlays, empowering executives to launch or expand businesses with agility.
Reduced downtime and breach costs. By 2030, companies could save approximately $650 billion through cloud’s improved resilience. They can see a 57% and 26% fall in downtime and breach costs, respectively. Cloud security services, like DevSecOps, enhance platform integrity and mitigate technology risks with a modernized, consistent tech stack across environments.
Performance improvement through emerging technologies. Organisations with agile operating models can form nimble teams to develop proofs of concept for emerging technologies, attracting and retaining top talent. Cloud maturity enables companies to embrace transformative technologies with the potential for significant performance improvements, like quantum computing, through infrastructure migration and adaptable operating models.
Many businesses have faced difficulties in their efforts to adopt and scale cloud computing, resulting in delays or even complete halts. Some organizations have remained stuck in an experimental phase without a clear vision for their cloud journey, while others have struggled to articulate a compelling business case for expanding their cloud usage. Transitioning to the cloud can also be a daunting task, especially for leaders who are used to the traditional on-premises IT infrastructure. With data breach incidents happening worldwide, everything will be at risk – your brand, customers, revenue, and goodwill.
However, industry experts put an emphasis on embracing the cloud to secure the future of a business. A successful cloud transformation can lead to faster reaction times and more flexibility, and in turn, help ensure long-term stability.
With the right guidance, IT leaders can reap the benefits of cloud while mitigating risks. This article will outline seven steps to a successful cloud transformation.
Evaluate your portfolio of applications, systems and infrastructure
The first step towards successful cloud transformation is to assess your technology stack. This involves identifying, documenting, and classifying each application, system, or infrastructure based on its version, lifecycle stage, hosting type, technical fit, functional fit, and business criticality.
Once you have completed the assessment, you can start developing a migration strategy and roadmap. This will involve determining which tech stack to migrate, when to migrate them, and how to migrate them.
Determine your business objectives
Even with careful planning and execution, cloud transformation can only be successful if you have a clear understanding of your organisation’s current goals and objectives, as well as its future plans.
To establish business priorities, you need to conduct discovery exercises with stakeholders from across the organisation. This will help you to get their input and ensure that your cloud transformation is aligned with their needs and expectations.
Set quantifiable goals for progress and success
How do you know whether you’re successful in your cloud journey and your digital transformation? By setting realistic, measurable goals based on your organization’s current performance benchmarks and tracking your progress against these goals.
To ensure that you are on track to achieve your desired results, here are things to consider:
- Cloud initiatives should be measured against primary business objectives, not just ROI, to ensure that they are delivering value.
- Cloud costs are not fixed and can be actively managed, so it is important to measure and track costs to identify opportunities for cloud cost optimisation.
- Cloud success can be measured by tracking a small set of metrics that are closely tied to application latency, operational integrity, service availability, time to market, customer experience, among others.
- Business agility and leanness can be measured by tracking metrics such as lead time, value stream map, and funding to identify areas for improvement.
- Risk reduction in the cloud can be measured by identifying and measurably reducing the sources of risk in the categories of security, resilience, and compliance.
Decide which cloud architecture is right for you
- Offered by a cloud service provider, accessible over a web connection or browser.
- Physical server maintenance is handled by the provider in their data centre.
- Multiple clients share space and bandwidth through virtualization.
- Public cloud is cost-effective due to shared resources and elastic pricing.
- Utilizes virtualisation but dedicates resources to a single client, avoiding shared environments.
- Private clouds can be located within the client’s own firewalls, managed by a cloud service provider.
- Offers isolation from other clients, preventing interference from resource-intensive operations.
- Private clouds tend to be more expensive than public clouds due to dedicated resources.
- Combines both public and private cloud configurations.
- Allows shifting of workloads between public and private instances in real time.
- Particularly beneficial for clients with varying computing needs or applications that require both private and public cloud capabilities.
- Enables flexibility in handling seasonal computing requirements or unexpected periods of heavy demand.
Public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Public cloud is more cost-effective but offers less control, while private cloud is more secure but more expensive. Hybrid cloud offers the best of both worlds but can be more complex to manage. Ultimately, the best cloud architecture for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements.
Adopt an integrated cloud and cyber strategy
Organisations with mature cloud and cyber strategies exhibit higher levels of resilience compared to those with only advanced cloud or advanced cyber strategies. These organisations excel in utilizing advanced technologies to enhance resilience and agility (75% versus 53% overall) and in predicting future trends, risks, and threats (70% versus 49% overall).
To make the most out of all these cloud consulting best practices, focus on security by design through integrated collaboration, aiming to overcome organizational silos and enhance transparency. By consciously integrating cybersecurity, this approach determines the shared responsibility model with cloud vendors, establishes IT infrastructure guardrails, and manages DevSecOps processes with the right mix of talent and technology.
Close the cloud skills gap
According to 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud, Hosting & Managed Services, Cloud Skills 2022 survey, 44% of respondents list “difficulty finding qualified candidates to bring in as new hires” as the top challenge in addressing cloud skills gaps.
An organisation can only make progress in its broader business and technology initiatives by enabling its IT environments with cloud expertise. How?
- By providing incentives for training and establishing regular channels of communication between business and IT roles.
- By investing in learning experience platforms to streamline skill development and capture data on implemented skills.
- By considering cross-team apprenticeships to spread cloud skills throughout the organization.
Pick the right cloud service provider.
In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, the right cloud service provider is critical to your organisation’s efficiency, security, and scalability. Consider choosing a cloud partner based on their industry expertise, reputation, and future roadmap to ensure a long-term partnership that drives innovation and growth.
Cloud Transformation: A Strategic Imperative For Businesses Of All Sizes
The cloud has become the go-to platform for businesses of all sizes. It offers numerous benefits, including greater flexibility, more agility, and new opportunities for innovation.
However, successful cloud transformation is not just about dumping your legacy tech and moving permanently to the cloud; it is a journey of reimagining your business, unlocking new value, and enabling smarter ways of working. With a wide range of cloud migration solutions and cloud consulting strategies available right now, now is the time to go the cloud way to remain competitive and future-proof your business.
Get started towards a successful cloud transformation journey by partnering with a trusted cloud expert who understands the heart of your business. Talk to an Intelliworx specialist.