A move to the cloud promises many advantages, but making the most of them post-migration requires the right strategy
A shift to the cloud is widely regarded as enabling organisations to build new services at scale and reduce the time to market through greater agility and automation of processes. Beyond these functional benefits, cloud adoption is also an enabler of new, innovative digital offerings.
However, cloud migration is just the start of the journey, with many organisations failing to develop a full cloud strategy and potentially missing out on all the benefits, a new Computing report has found.
To realise the vast array of potential improvements from cloud computing and keep pace, or even move ahead of the competition, requires a strong post-migration vision of the organisation's cloud landscape.
The always-on need for transformation
Today many organisations across a wide range of industries are well down the cloud migration road, Computing has found in its report. The need for remote working and demands for digital transformation over the last 18 months have spurred on cloud adoption as organisations have needed to rapidly adapt to the new realities.
But change is a constant, and the increasing complexity of enterprise technology and decentralisation of workplaces is pushing organisations to evaluate what should be kept
on-premises or be migrated to the cloud. Added to this is the need to develop new products and solutions, embrace customer centrism and the demand for new efficiencies and cost savings.
As every organisation is different, the right cloud approach, whether it's cloud-only, hybrid, multi-cloud or single cloud, will depend on its needs and the overall digital maturity.
Although the speed and make-up of digital transformation and cloud adoption may differ, research conducted by Computing has shown it is nonetheless vital to have an efficient cloud management strategy in place.
Success hinges on defining the strategy
Organisations don't simply step into the cloud. They face a multitude of challenges - everything from budget constraints and application migration at the outset to managing interoperability with the added platform complexity and all-pervasive security issues across new and legacy environments.
Despite the inevitable challenges, the report found organisations stand to gain a genuine competitive advantage through cloud adoption. Not least of these is cost savings by doing away with hardware and utilities and the greater efficiency, even with the upfront investment.
Organisations also report that customer insights, improved security and faster time-to-value for applications are some of the other areas they are gaining a competitive advantage through cloud adoption.
Ultimately, cloud success is determined by what happens once a migration is complete, and this hinges on having a complete strategy in place from the outset, the report has shown. Cloud migration is actually just the first part of an overall cloud strategy for an organisation. An effective strategy to maximise the cloud investment and ultimately create a genuine competitive advantage, requires a broad cloud strategy that incorporates a strong, defined vision of the post-migration cloud environment.
Computing found that a comprehensive cloud strategy should account for the integration and management of multiple workloads across cloud and on-prem environments, ongoing IT budgets costs, and developing an organisational culture that is primed to capitalise on the benefits offered by the cloud. Getting this right enables an organisation to differentiate itself from its competitors, many of whom may be falling short.
Computing research shows results requires strategy
While the vast majority of businesses are now deploying some form of cloud computing, and cloud migration is set to continue, it is no longer simply enough to just deploy the technology. Increasingly, businesses need to maximise the full benefits of the cloud, and optimise that environment, to keep pace with their competition.
The push for digital transformation may be driven by the need for scale, security, agility or innovation. Yet cloud adoption should be seen as a means for organisations to grow in faster, safer, more scalable ways - and ultimately to do more with less.
The key to cloud success is a clear strategy driven by a strong business case for advancing and optimising the use of cloud services across an organisation.
For more valuable insights on gaining a competitive advantage in the cloud, see the full Computing research paper, created in association with Intel: Ahead in the cloud: How to lead your organisation to competitive advantage in the cloud.