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Five considerations for migrating data and analytics to the cloud

A future-proof enabler of data-driven agility and adaptability

Today's enterprises are operating in an uncertain and volatile world, where anything from a pandemic to an influencer tweet has the potential to disrupt an entire business. The ability to act with agility is widening the gap between industry leaders and laggards. To adapt, organizations need advanced analytics and actionable insights to make the right decisions at the right time. Market leaders are harnessing the power of the cloud to seize competitive advantage.

The accelerating cloud journey

Cloud computing has been around for years, but a new normal marked by trends like work from home and unprecedented demand for digital commerce has heightened its importance. Only when cloud is fully adopted can cloud-based data and analytics that leverage predictive insights be realized.

Chief data and analytics officers (CDAOs), IT, and functional business leaders must prioritize migrating to the cloud and optimizing cloud-native environments. And to remain competitive, it needs to happen now.

For those who have always worked in on-premise environments, it's important to recognize that cloud migration takes more than a lift-and-shift approach. Instead, maximizing value from cloud calls for an ongoing transformation that delivers increasingly high levels of business value.

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Based on our work with Fortune 500 clients, we've identified five critical considerations to help you chart a smooth cloud journey.

  1. Develop your strategy for cloud-based data and analytics: Begin by evaluating what data you want to retain, rehost, rearchitect, or retire in the cloud – this is the foundation of your cloud strategy. Look for partners that understand your industry and processes and can run innovation hubs or data labs to test and prove how cloud-based analytics can help your business. Cloud service providers such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon will help too. Look for a partner – like Genpact – who has relationships with all the leading providers. Genpact can help you find a cloud platform that best suits your current and future business needs, with cloud options and add-on services that will help you avoid breaking the bank.
  2. Identify data and machine learning opportunities: CDAOs can use pretrained data, machine learning models, and modular prebuilt accelerators to accelerate cloud migration. Identify opportunities to leverage these capabilities and unlock meaningful insights as part of an augmented intelligence strategy. Establish a cloud-based data foundation that supports prescriptive engines and smart processes to surface insights that help your employees make more informed decisions.
  3. Train and retain the right talent: Many CDAOs who haven't prioritized cloud have seen their best and most versatile talent leave for other companies. Rearchitecting cloud applications requires a blend of industry, technology, and data expertise – a highly desirable skill set. Genome, Genpact's intelligent training platform, trains our data and analytics experts in cloud best practices that they can share with multidisciplinary teams. Putting these skills to good use will support talent retention.
  4. Develop new ways of working: Cloud is a journey, and the real value comes when you rearchitect for a new cloud environment. Set up data and analytics pods – groups of multidisciplinary employees with skills in data engineering, data visualization, data science, business analysis, and industry expertise – that can work to rapidly develop new cloud-native solutions. This helps to cultivate a culture of innovation and agility.
  5. Manage infrastructure costs proactively: Previously, many organizations' main motivation for cloud migration was to lower total cost of ownership. But when you lift and shift solutions to the cloud, the opposite can happen. You can end up with spiraling costs and inefficiencies. Instead, be sure to proactively control the costs of cloud, and the increased return on investment will surprise you.

To help guide your cloud journey, look for a partner with deep industry and digital expertise and proven experience orchestrating change across people, process, data, and technology.

With this in mind, let's look at companies that have successfully made the move.

Putting theory into practice

Freeing up working capital through predictive inventory management

A global energy provider was struggling with reduced inventory visibility and ill-informed decisions due to the limitations of an on-premise data center and an outdated data and analytics strategy. By migrating to the cloud, the organization was able to develop new ways of working enabled by a cloud-based analytics solution that connects data across 80 plants and 35 IT systems to provide a complete, real-time view of inventory.

The solution increased visibility to enable leaders to make more informed, data-driven decisions – equating to a $35 million saving across inventory costs and $13 million saving in cash optimizations. Going forward, the future-proof and scalable solution will help turn data into insights at speed so teams can respond quickly to fluctuations in demand and drive profitable growth.

Transforming experiences to increase customer acquisition and reduce attrition

To deliver an exceptional customer experience, one US bank relies heavily on advanced analytics to uncover insights into its customer base. Previously, the bank stored petabytes of data in hundreds of disparate servers and on-premise environments. When the bank began to reach the limits of its analytics capabilities in an on-premise infrastructure, it quickly decided to move to the cloud.

In its rearchitected cloud environment, the bank has virtually unlimited processing capacity and can control computing costs by only paying for the data in use. Ultimately, they have realized the art of the possible in terms of how artificial intelligence and machine learning can enhance customer insight analytics. To manage this change, the bank was able to retrain employees in cloud-based analytics. As a result, analyst productivity has improved, while the bank has uncovered new insights into how to effectively attract and retain customers and continues to explore how cloud-based analytics can add business value throughout its ongoing transformation journey.

The time is now

An upfront investment in cloud-based data and analytics is a long-term investment in increased business resilience, as the ability to act on insight becomes a differentiator in an unpredictable world. Data-driven decisions – powered by cloud – will increase your ability to develop world-class experiences for your employees, customers, and partners that lead to profitable growth.

Remember, cloud is the future and the enabler of better business operations. The longer you wait to reap its benefits, the greater gains your competition will make and the harder it will be to catch up.

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