Many business leaders assume that simply replicating their existing IT infrastructure in the cloud is job done. But a more progressive approach is often required to unlock greater rewards.
Two-thirds of the largest organisations in the world have ‘digital transformation’ spearheading their corporate strategy in 2018, according to the International Data Corporation. It’s not just the big companies looking to make the jump, either, it is a priority for businesses of all sizes, including those with legacy estates and technical debt. The great migration to cloud computing is at the beating heart of this transformation.
According to the most recent research from the Cloud Industry Forum, published last February, the overall cloud adoption rate in the UK is 88 per cent and rising. Polling 250 IT and business decision-makers in large enterprises, SMBs, and public sector organisations, the top three reasons for adopting cloud services are flexibility of delivery (74 per cent), operational cost savings (72 per cent), and scalability (65 per cent).
In our experience, many business leaders assume that simply replicating their existing IT infrastructure in the cloud is the fulfilment of their strategy. Others, however, understand a different and more progressive approach is required to unlock greater rewards. By embracing automation and adopting new operating models, continuous improvement around cost, performance, scalability, and security can be achieved.
Having never before migrated data and applications to the cloud (and with no need to do so a second time), a majority of organisations either don’t have the necessary skills in-house to make the move, or are unclear about the range of opportunities opened up through the migration. Without the right support, from a trusted and skilled partner, migrations can at best fail to deliver significant benefit, and at worst end up costing more than expected.
Claranet’s Beyond Digital Transformation research report highlights how European organisations are seeking expert assistance to digitise their businesses, and specifically their migration to cloud. While digital leaders have already migrated large sections of their application estate, businesses just starting the journey are not only behind the curve on their cloud adoption, they are also failing to use many of the applications that their fast-moving competitors now rely on.
Using a specialist company to migrate to the cloud is a worthwhile investment, therefore. For example, almost two years ago one customer simply moved their applications and data out of a datacentre to a major cloud platform, but quickly discovered that it wasn’t any cheaper to run. In fact, it was more expensive than before and they were not able to maximise benefits. As a result, they removed themselves from the cloud and returned to their old datacentre.
Recently, this customer decided to revisit the idea of moving to the cloud so they contacted Claranet. We talked to them about doing more in the early stages of migration and designing with the end in mind, focusing on the applications they were looking to move. By building in automation from the start they were able to become more flexible and agile, and gain significant cost benefits. This client is expected to make about a 30 per cent saving on their current datacentre costs.
Focusing on applications and automation should be the default choice in the first instance, but we recommend customers also anticipate what additional services and tools (such as robust security tools, data management and Machine Learning) they may need further down the line. A clear understanding of the required end state will give the migration a much better sense of direction from the start.
We urge business leaders, across all industries, to seize this opportunity to migrate to the cloud and revolutionise the way their organisation operates. In our experience, working with a skilled partner that has a deep understanding of this operating environment offers the strongest potential for a successful migration.