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Blog June 26, 2023

Lift and Think: The Value in a Thoughtful Cloud Migration

Clinton Teegarden Michael Diiorio
Clinton Teegarden, Michael Diiorio

We’re in a cloud gold rush. Companies looking to drive flexibility, scalability, and innovation are stepping over themselves to migrate part or all of their applications off-prem. Valued at USD 483.98 billion in 2022, by 2030, the global cloud computing market is expected to triple.

But in the race to embrace the transformative technology, many companies make the migration without fully understanding what it means. Rather than think through the many changes and implications inherent in cloud adoption, they continue operating the same way they did on-prem, then wonder why their costs might be higher, their operations slower, and their people less productive.

This disconnect can even lead some firms to blame the cloud itself. But the cloud isn’t magic. You can’t simply move everything out of your data center and assume that’s the end of the story. In fact, it’s only the beginning.

To optimize adoption, leaders should put serious thought into two major areas: Their vision and their people.

Inconsistent Vision Leads to Inconsistent Implementation

“What do we want out of the cloud?”

It seems like an obvious question on which to align company-wide before making a migration, but too many companies jump in without defining a consistent vision. But what happens when leadership wants to use the cloud to save costs, but the engineering department wants to use the cloud to go to market faster?

Lack of a consistent vision can lead to differing business justifications and objectives, fragmented strategies, and erratic implementation. Things can go off the rails quickly, and when teams are not on the same page, it’s much more difficult to diagnose issues and right the ship.

Take major financial institutions, for example. They typically have several lines of business, including banking, loans, and credit. If they migrate to the cloud, the only way to optimize cloud spending is by understanding how much each line of business spends to operate in the cloud. To do that efficiently and accurately, they’d need to implement cost controls and role-based access, assign that access, and track all costs.

But if people in the organization carry out these tasks on their own without aligning company-wide, how can they establish a baseline by which to compare current spending and predict future spending? How can they identify which types of cloud expenditures are normal and which are not?

To build reach a clarity of vision and align across the entire organization, consider bringing in an objective third party. They can speak to all lines of business to pinpoint what everyone wants from the cloud, what to prioritize, and how to measure success. Because when everyone understands the why, it’s much easier to figure out the how.

It’s More About People Than Technology

Moving to the cloud requires major shifts in a company’s technology and workforce. Those who were building and maintaining on-prem technology must transition to new roles, and those new roles require comprehensive training and development. That’s the most effective way for your firm to own the expertise on the new technology that’s now the basis for your platform.

Many organizations neglect this crucial component of adoption or assume that training and development is a one-shot deal. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since cloud technology evolves so rapidly, migrating companies should create a center of excellence to consistently keep training procedures and materials up-to-date with the latest developments. Cloud services are continually deprecated and refreshed, and features continually added and removed, so continuous training is essential.

Cloud adoption necessitates a culture change. Expectations must be set and understood, and everyone from c-level executives to contract workers should be aligned on the new organization structures, roles, and best practices. It’s a completely new mindset, and one that should be entered into thoughtfully, not hastily.

Once again, a third party can help cloud adopters engage the culture change necessary to make a seamless transition and future-proof their firm. Cloud technology practitioners and change management experts can help companies think through how to communicate changes with employees, define and assign new roles, and incorporate effective ongoing training in a way that doesn’t burden anyone with additional workloads.

Your Cloud Evolved

No matter where you sit on the cloud maturity model, we meet you there to help you accelerate adoption, reduce spend, and future-proof your firm. Rather than a one-size-fits-all fix, we tailor our approach to your specific needs, priorities, and comfort.

Working from an adjustable framework established from industry best practices, we apply our expertise to understand your cloud strategy, your challenges, and your goals and vision. From there, we can pinpoint what needs to change in order to bring your cloud vision to life, and create a comprehensive roadmap of actionable next steps to resolve issues, optimize operations, and set you up for continued success.