Do you need a new cloud strategy?

December 10, 2020 Claranet Limited

Danny Nicholson
Principal Cloud Specialist

This year we’ve all been disrupted by COVID-19, personally and professionally. The changes have been fast and, in some cases, severe.

While markets such as retail and hospitality have been badly affected by lockdowns, we’ve also seen some shining stars and brilliant innovation. For example, the usual way to think about restaurants includes envisioning a seating area next to a kitchen. However, restaurants are also kitchens whose products can be delivered to customers in several ways and using a variety of business models. Eat-in, order on-line, take-out and delivery, and locally focused catering are just the start.

The global economic slowdown has forced technology leaders to reassess priorities and projects to respond to changing employee and customer needs. Yet most organisations are not slashing their budgets; in fact, IDC research suggests that cloud spending remains relatively resilient, and where there is growth in IT spend, most of it is in the cloud (4%).  

At Claranet, we feel it’s time to consider the benefits of being more aggressive in the near term and either build, review, or completely reshape your cloud strategy.   

Here’s why: 

  • Public cloud allows you to scale your technology landscape up and down, as employee and business requirements change.

  • Accelerating an organisations journey to a cloud digital landscape during these slower times will build a platform that allows your business to get ahead of its competitors faster when the economy improves.

  • Hyperscale cloud providers give you access to the latest cloud-native technologies with significant economies of scale for most applications and workloads. This enables speed to market as well as flexibility, which is a must in this highly unpredictable climate.

But first, consider these five pillars: 

  1. Get to know your applications: Assess which applications would benefit most from migrating to cloud, do not consider budgets just yet. Consider cost and time benefits, user experience, and revenue potential from being able to think of an idea, build and test an idea, then retire an idea, all in a day.

  2. Wear the business shoes: Don’t think about technology, look to the top applications and workloads for cloud migration and order them based on current and projected 12-month business conditions and customer expectations.

  3. Consider your partner ecosystem: Cloud adoption is not for the faint-hearted, especially if you are considering transforming and rearchitecting your business services to containers and microservices. If you lack the in-house expertise and skillsets to do that properly look to partners, like Claranet, to augment your talent and work hand-in-hand with you to show you the way.

  4. Pick your Cloud: It sounds obvious, but there’s more to it. If you need to utilise multiple cloud platforms, then ensure you have a valid business-driven reason. A multi-cloud strategy is probably a step too far at the beginning. Look to your application portfolio and select a provider that’s best suited to 80% of your workloads. If you can make do with using one cloud provider, it will reduce complexity and costs.

  5. Consider agility but with guardrails: As cloud matures, more roles across the organisation are getting involved in architecting, planning, and deployment, including line of business executives. DevOps tools and methodologies help provide the optimum operating model for rapid, iterative workflows, but tools won’t get you all the way. Enterprise leaders must help create a culture of agility, collaboration, and individual accountability on shared goals. In our experience, a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCOE) in any organisation is key to this successful ‘controlled’ transition to cloud, and importantly to ensure the cloud strategy is owned and delivered on aligned to business objectives. 

So, what next for your new cloud strategy? 

Understandably, many of us are spending our time wondering and worrying about what’s going to happen next. If we can, let’s take advantage of the time we have now to think about and plan for the future. We will inevitably find new business opportunities and revenue growth in areas we hadn’t considered in the hubbub of what was our lives. 

No two cloud transformations will be the same. However, they won’t be alone in the problems they face and the markets they want to thrive in. Begin by talking to a specialist cloud partner, like Claranet, to help build out best practice frameworks like CCOE, and how your business can implement a robust cloud strategy. Take stock of where you are today in terms of the technology landscape and establish a 12-24 month roadmap for your future business vision. 

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