Cloud
Sep 15, 2021

Beyond migration: Three steps for cloud modernization

Cloud is the foundation of innovation. But how can technology leaders use cloud in the right way to transform their enterprise?

Many begin with a lift-and-shift approach, especially as they explore cloud migration to develop their data on cloud strategy. However, a lift-and-shift approach won't deliver a compelling return on investment.

Leaders must look beyond migration to modernization. This means connecting people, processes, data, and technology to keep up with the pace of change.

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 they need 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 cloud to business outcomes. You can use 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.

For example, take an entertainment company that relies heavily on its venues. Amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, with many revenue streams cut off indefinitely, 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 data-on-cloud strategy. The company can now collate, analyze, and act on data at speed to develop new customer touchpoints and personalized experiences. Something only possible with the power of cloud.

The secret to success is the understanding that 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. An approach that unlocks maximum business benefits.

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 the engineering expertise to develop new cloud-based solutions is key.
  3. Develop a cloud culture: Accept that cloud 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.

About the author

Vikrant Karnik

Vikrant Karnik

Global Cloud Leader

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