by Paul Gysen
- Cloud & IM Consulting Lead
As I explained in my previous post, a successful digital transformation requires the new or improved business capabilities that cloud computing is able to provide like probably no other new technology at the moment. A shorter time to market and an increased level of security are but two examples of such capabilities that are clearly benefiting businesses migrating to the cloud.
In all, we at Sopra Steria have selected six business capabilities that we like to focus on when assisting our customers with their cloud migration process. The reason is twofold: firstly, they allow our customers to achieve a number of quick wins in their digital transformation process. And secondly, they allow us to better differentiate ourselves and stand out more easily from the competition.
Three-step engagement model
In order to deliver those quick wins (as well as some long-term benefits, make no mistake), we have developed a 3-step engagement model for our customers. It consists of a consulting phase, a transformation phase and an operations phase.
More importantly, however, it focuses first and foremost on generating significant value in a really short timeframe. Whereas today, for instance, it still takes up to two months to produce the results of a first consulting cycle, we are now actively looking to shorten that cycle to one month at the most.
The actual outcome of such a consulting cycle is a list of quick wins that can easily be implemented during a first transformation cycle. After another relatively short period of time – say, a couple of months - that should naturally lead to a first operational cycle. By that time a second consulting cycle should have already started, triggering a second transformation cycle, and so on.
The idea here is that by identifying these quick wins in close collaboration with your client, a certain number of business capabilities or customer benefits can be assessed and validated by that client. Here are six benefits that we typically try to identify when running through the consecutive consulting cycles:
- Time to market: By leveraging cloud technologies, you can easily divide by five to ten the time needed to bring a new product or service to market or to implement a new technology. Databases are a typical example: whereas the traditional approach would have you design and implement the whole database yourself, today most cloud service providers offer database-as-a-service solutions, considerably reducing the time to put a database in place and simplifying its administration.
- User experience: By allowing a consistent way of integrating different applications, they feel much more integrated to your users as well. A fine example is Microsoft’s integration of Office 365 with Azure services like Active Directory and SharePoint.
- Trust: Actually, when you look at the security features offered by cloud service providers, those can hardly be beaten by on-premise solutions.
- Always-on: An always-on approach ensures that the level of redundancy and availability provided by the cloud service provider is extremely high.
- Smart TCO: The kind of flexibility offered by the cloud allows you, for instance, to shut down part of your IT environment when you don’t use it, so you no longer have to pay for it.
- Future-proofed: Updates automatically provided by the cloud provider remove your maintenance responsibilities