Beyond migration: Three steps for cloud modernization
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Beyond migration: Three steps for cloud modernization

Vikrant Karnik

Former Global Business Leader of Cloud and Technology Services



When exploring cloud services, many business and technology leaders begin with a lift-and-shift approach. This means taking applications or workloads exactly as they are on-premises and simply rehosting them in the cloud. However, a lift-and-shift approach won't deliver a compelling return on investment.

A foundation for innovation

Leaders must look beyond migration to modernization. Even cloud migration partners like AWS are now focused on building businesses that truly run on the cloud, where people, processes, data, and technology are all connected and cloud-enabled to keep up with the pace of change.

With a modernization approach, your business will have a solid cloud foundation ready to embrace new technologies like generative AI.

But modernization isn't easy, and many face the following challenges:

  • Cost: If you've already embarked on cloud migration, you'll need to justify why you now need more time and money for modernization. Developing a convincing business case is sometimes tricky
  • Talent: To deliver cloud modernization, you need the right people with the right skills. Unfortunately, I've never seen a business that has all the cloud talent it needs internally
  • Complexity: Modernizing in the cloud can seem like a mammoth task, especially as you need to maintain business as usual while simultaneously updating and digitizing

To overcome these challenges, it's time to connect the cloud to business outcomes. That means constantly thinking about how cloud technology will empower your employees to do better business.

For example, you could use the cloud to underwrite a policy more efficiently, switch trade promotions faster, or get a deeper understanding of a customer's buying pattern.

This makes cloud modernization a commercial imperative rather than a nice-to-have.

I have an example of cloud modernization in action from a global entertainment company. Amid the COVID-19 lockdowns – which may seem like a distant memory for some but have a long-lasting impact for many – it needed to find new ways to engage with customers.

Working alongside the company's marketing department, my cloud team helped redesign the company's cloud strategy. The company was able to collate, analyze, and act on data at speed to develop new customer touchpoints and personalized experiences in record time – much faster than its competitors – something only possible with the power of the cloud.

The secret to success is the understanding that the cloud is a journey that stretches way beyond the IT department. It's why my team builds bridges between departments for a collaborative approach to cloud modernization.

Here are some steps I encourage you to follow if you're struggling with cloud modernization:

  1. Build the business case: When you make cloud everyone's concern, the support will follow. Show colleagues and functional leaders how cloud modernization will benefit their role or business area. And don't forget, transforming the employee experience will transform the customer experience too.
  2. Invest in the right talent: Embrace partnerships that will help you make the best use of your internal talent by supplementing it with external insight and expertise. And remember, it's not just cloud expertise that's required. An understanding of your industry, function, and engineering expertise to develop new cloud-based solutions is key.
  3. Develop a cloud culture: Accept that becoming a cloud-enabled enterprise is a journey. And for this journey, you need a cloud culture – a culture that embraces change and innovation. A fail-fast mentality will help you stay many steps ahead of the competition in terms of business growth and resilience.

Of course, migration and modernization go hand in hand – as this investment bank story demonstrates. But you need to continually push beyond the limitations of a lift-and-shift approach for truly future-proof modernization.

Unfortunately, many businesses expect these outcomes from technology alone and neglect to put the right business case, talent, and culture in place to achieve them. But when you fuse together cloud, industry, functional, and engineering expertise, this is where the magic happens.

Genpact leaders have been discussing a variety of cloud topics with Constellation Research. To catch up on the series, visit

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