What is driving cloud adoption? If you put this question to your average CIO, you will likely obtain an answer referring to IT cost management and the rationalisation of IT infrastructure and operations. Put that very same question to any line-of-business manager, however, and chances are that digital transformation will be at the core of their answer… which the cloud happily happens to enable in many ways.
Not surprisingly, both answers are true to a certain extent. And perhaps just as unsurprisingly, doing both is where the real added value of cloud migration lies. In other words, companies need to meet both managers’ objectives by digitally transforming the way they conduct their business while effectively managing their new ways of consuming IT costs.
Proactively supporting the business.
In order to move their digital transformation strategy forward, line-of-business managers must embrace new or emerging technologies, such as big data, process automation, chatbots, blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), which are effectively enabled in the cloud. Also, business managers want the leverage unique flexibility capabilities of the cloud to reduce their time to market. All while continuing to manage and maintain their legacy information systems and applications in the process.
CIOs, on the other hand, have launched cloud initiatives primarily in order to rationalise their data centres. Yet those initiatives are also born out of a very real need to proactively support their company’s Lines of Business (LOB). Today more than ever, the demand is indeed on IT to become a service provider to the business. And the emergence of cloud technologies, providing scalability and agility, has profoundly changed that discussion. To the point that the business now demands that IT chooses the best technology options for its current needs. This means that CIOs need to be able to show that they understand the cloud and have explored it thoroughly as an alternative to other internal or outsourced computing options.
As explained in a previous post
, digital transformation has become essential to business transformation. It is also, as we at Sopra Steria like to believe, the real or in any case the main driver for cloud adoption. Simply put, you can no longer efficiently guide your company through that profound and far reaching transformational change without adopting cloud technologies in the process.
More specifically, in order for a digital transformation to succeed, you need the new or improved business capabilities those cloud technologies are leveraging, such as a shorter time to market of new services, a capability to absorb workload peaks in a marketing campaign, an increased level of security and other clear customer benefits. In my next blog post, I will elaborate on a number of of those benefits that we focus on to gain quick wins for our customers, allowing us to better differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
That is, in short, how we bring cloud migration to the table: as a potent enabler of digital transformation. To that end, we also propose a number of different migration strategies.
These can be quite basic, entailing only the encapsulation and rehosting of existing applications, for instance. In that case, only operational benefits, typically reducing the cost of IT, are sought and achieved. Alternatively and simultaneously, a company may aim for more strategic or transformational benefits. These usually imply a migration journey that is much more effort- and cost-intensive, but with long-term benefits that by far outclass any benefits that could be obtained by operational transformation alone.
The identified migration paths will then point at the most relevant cloud technology to be used, from basic virtual servers (IaaS) up to full-fledged applications (SaaS), or custom highly scalable container-embarked applications (CaaS). Even more cloud-native capabilities are under the hood, but that’s a story for another discussion.
By providing strategic-level counselling, we help our clients to draw the actual roadmap from their specific current situation to the best cloud environment in support of their transformation. In so doing, we not only help them gain the quick wins of cloud migration but also reap its long-term benefits.