The actual experience of cloud migration for business
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE REAL REASONS WHY ORGANISATIONS ARE MOVING TO THE CLOUD
Behind the hype, it’s solid business evidence that has convinced a critical mass of businesses of all shapes and sizes to make the leap to a cloud computing environment.
CACI Director Miguel Cardoso has worked with many of them over the past decade. He shares what’s really driven their decisions and the impact of cloud on their performance and prospects.
Security, modernisation, data governance, efficiency and cost reduction are some of the headlines that cloud computing providers use time and again to promote the adoption of platforms, applications, and services in the cloud. They’re great soundbytes, but what do they really mean for real world organisations who want to maintain their performance and drive further growth?
Cyber-security is a key reason that organisations I work with are adopting cloud – it’s a specific aspect of data security that’s becoming an ever-greater concern across all industries. The growing incidence and increasingly sophisticated nature of cyberattacks compel companies to invest in technologies and solutions that preserve one of their most important assets – data. Not all companies have teams with specialised resources in cybersecurity, so cloud computing emerges as the leading option to strengthen security and data protection.
The cyber-security resilience of a cloud computing environment come from the managed security services that leading providers offer. This means organisations without large IT and security teams can take advantage of the latest, sophisticated protective technology, and of focused, expertise that would be unaffordable internally. The cloud provider is responsible for managing and mitigating security issues, bearing the investment costs of the necessary technology and human resources as part of their core proposition. This alone is a strong reason to move to the cloud: organisations can offer their customers a vital and reassuring security message underwritten by the cloud provider.
Innovation and agility are frequently cited as cloud advantages. It’s common sense that every organisation wants these capabilities in an increasingly competitive and demanding market. So how does cloud computing help? The modern data platform it provides means that businesses can adopt the latest solutions and applications that support their business operations – from finance management and CRM to campaign delivery and customer analytics.
Cloud computing is inherently designed to connect data and systems, ensuring faster response times, greater accuracy and more informative reporting. All of these improve everyday operational performance and business management. It’s quicker, easier and more cost-effective to expand capacity, upgrade apps and add new functions, so you’re always working with the best technology tools for your business. Businesses that have moved to the cloud find they can adapt to market demands more quickly, keeping pace with customer needs while controlling profit and performance metrics.
Data storage is another key advantage that cloud adopters find compelling. The cloud has become the place of choice for data storage: when companies migrate their applications to cloud platforms they want to capitalise on the innovative applications and advanced analytics that are available. To make it happen, they need fast and systematic data organisation and accessibility. Creating a connected and complete picture of business-wise performance and customer data is much easier in the cloud. As well as enabling trusted management reporting and business governance based on current data, it supports more effective prospecting and forecasting using advanced predictive modelling tools. Cloud-based systems make these affordable and easy to use for all sizes of organisation.
Cost and efficiency come in a strong fourth place – an interesting development, since in the early days of cloud, they were its leading marketing messages. These days it’s taken for granted that cloud computing will be cheaper to run than the equivalent technological and human resources on-site. But even more important for most companies is the value they gain from more agile and modern systems, solutions and services as part of an overall digital transformation. Recent cloud adopters see significant benefits from the way cloud-optimised systems speed up and automate their processes, reducing the amount of manual rekeying and intervention. This frees up admin time so staff can focus on revenue generation and often creates extra capacity in the business to fuel growth.
These success stories are compelling. But is moving to the cloud synonymous with success? Not necessarily. Working with cloud adopters, I have observed that there are three key dependencies for organisations who achieve all the hoped-for advantages.
- Initial discovery and direction: you need to make an exhaustive survey of your company’s needs and define strategic goals
- The choice of solution: your cloud provider understand your priorities and critical success factors so they can be sure they’re providing exactly what your individual business needs
- Careful planning and project management: you must be thorough and rigorous, including all stakeholder and examining the impacts of change at every stage, from the selection of solutions and suppliers to the migration project and ongoing use
New clients frequently tell me that the cloud is “more complex than we expected”. Often, this is because of poor collaboration with previous suppliers. With our long experience, my team can provide an antidote. When we work on cloud transformation and migration projects we focus on:
- Designing the right approach for the individual client company, with a strong and transparency connection to the desired commercial result
- Using relevant specialist and industry skills to address core business issues for the company
- Selecting and deploying the appropriate tools so they are easy to use, secure and viable in the long term to support an agile business that embraces the need to adjust and adapt in today’s demanding markets
If you’d like to talk to use about realising tangible benefits from moving your business to the cloud, please get in touch.