Is your Organisation Digitally Mature?
Last year was for many companies are now looking to accelerate their digital transformation to support the now prioritised strategy of a digital workforce with remote working. Now in 2021 we see a more strategic and considered approach to cloud adoption, data analytics and automation, allowing organisations to become digitally mature.
While the majority of large organisations are already going through an extensive programme of digital transformation to become true digital natives. We see considerable opportunities for SMEs to also accelerate their adoption of such technologies to become a digitally mature firm and benefit from flexibility of cloud infrastructures and scalable solutions.
Benefits of Cloud Adoption
Digital maturity provides a range of benefits.
Adoption of Cloud can be a foundation to delivering data insights, analytics, automation and predictive analytics from machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. Moving to cloud will make innovation and invention quicker and easier, that will drive sustained competitive advantage, allow you to better service your existing customers and explore new business opportunities that drive additional sources of revenue for your business.
One of the benefits to moving onto a cloud platform, is to exploit the various analytics and data science capabilities they offer to deliver additional insights from your corporate data. However, each cloud provider delivers a different set of capabilities and has varying abilities across computer vision, natural language processing, predictive algorithms, IoT and edge computing for AI algorithms as well as data science workbooks and tooling. These need to be reviewed to ensure they align with your machine learning and data science requirements.
Adoption of the cloud also brings a potential benefit of previously separate databases and data warehouses being co-located. This opens an opportunity to leverage insights from these siloed datasets that was not easily achievable before. The potential of deeper insights from corporate data repositories can serve as a distraction from the core cloud migration programme if not handled properly. Obviously realising the value from the programme is key, but it needs to be done in a way that does not risk slowing down the overall progress.
However, we understand that migrating existing systems while looking to explore new capabilities on the cloud is a complex process and for many businesses will require additional help from skilled and experienced teams who have delivered similar migration projects before. Planning is key to your success, but also there is a need to train your existing IT staff and developers to ensure you are gaining full benefits from migrating to cloud infrastructure.
Detailed Cloud Migration Planned is Needed
We know from experience, that migration of a number of systems and applications onto the cloud can be a highly complex programme of activities requiring, in many cases, the underlying applications to be re-engineered to work well on a cloud architecture. Not only do the existing applications need to be reviewed and assessed for required re-engineering, but the cloud architecture also needs to be designed. For large organisations, you may wish to adopt a hybrid or multi-cloud platform strategy, which needs additional considerations and design elements.
All of this preparation work need to be planned and executed before you start the process of migrating the systems onto the cloud infrastructure. This creates a complex portfolio of dependent projects that need to be detailed and managed as part of the digital transformation programme.
A success cloud migration is driven by a range of considerations including; understanding the system requirements, designing the correct cloud architecture and having a complete plan for the transition. There are many key factors to cover as part of the planning to deliver a smooth transition from on premise applications and systems to cloud based platforms.
- Review the functional capabilities of the different cloud providers, from a data infrastructure, governance, and analytics perspective
- Design the new cloud architecture with scaling built in to allow automatic increase and decrease in resources based on demand
- Prioritise the application and systems to migrate based on benefit and complexity
- Perform any application / systems re-engineering that is needed ahead of time before the migration
- Determine the correct switch-over strategy as migrated legacy application platforms are decommissioned
- Consider a multi-cloud strategy that both protects you from platform level outages but also helps with cost arbitrage
- Build a capacity to exploit the benefits of cloud adoption, focused on improved reporting and analytics
- Update the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning to factor into the resilience and redundancy delivered by optimal cloud architectures
- Ensure your development teams are trained on the ways to benefit from cloud-based infrastructure from an application perspective as well as to be able to support such infrastructures.
Training your Staff
While cloud migration is seen as a highly technical work stream, there is need to educate and train the wider development teams and IT staff within the organisation to understand how to build cloud based applications. Without this the true benefits of the scalable infrastructure and rapid deployment may not be fully realised. The DR and continuity approach can also be revised as part of deploying a new cloud architecture and multi-region and multi-site cloud infrastructure, essentially building in a robust, redundant, fault tolerant and resilient capability from the ground up.
Additionally, building a data science team and/or retraining existing IT staff to become data scientists will open up further benefits to your organisation to better extract value and insights from the data you have. Making better informed and quicker decisions, in this dynamic environment, could make all the different to the performance of your company.
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