We’ve all read those articles about digital transformation. The ones which extol the virtues of a continuous change programme underpinned by a technology roadmap to drive business improvement. It sounds marvellous. After all, we all acknowledge the benefits and value that data and automation can bring. But the tricky bit for many organisations is simply getting there.
Cloud is becoming an imperative for many organisations, driven by the C-suite as they realise its potential to provide business benefits. Their IT team know that moving to cloud, like any other major IT transformation, is not a quick fix but requires strategic planning. They need to move to cloud in a staged manner whilst continuing to deliver what the business requires without interruption and avoiding any unpleasant surprises or unforeseen costs along the way.
Remember the rush into outsourcing – rather cynically (but often justifiably) referred to as ‘your mess for less'?One of the key reasons outsourcing failed to deliver what it promised was that, in most cases, the outsourcing company simply took on an organisation’s existing infrastructure, without first making sure that it was fit for purpose.
One of the reasons more and more organisations are adopting cloud services of one flavour or another is that the costs can come out of operational expenditure in nice little monthly packages instead of giant wedges of capital expenditure. Cloud also has the benefit of scale, enabling us to obtain better protected and more reliable services faster than we can often build them on-premise for the equivalent cost. However, that doesn’t mean we need to pay the recommended retail price.
How much of your business is in the cloud? Many organisations are now using it for email, document sharing, even CRM – but how about your legacy applications?
Congratulations for reading beyond the title! No-one finds business processes very exciting (except perhaps ITIL experts such as our own Neville Armstrong) but they’re key to business success and getting your in-house processes aligned with those of your chosen cloud provider is a vital aspect of moving applications to public cloud.
Most organisations moving services to cloud over the next few years will find themselves managing a hybrid solution - a mix of in-house, third party and public cloud services. This means they’ll need to find an integrated way to manage their cloud portfolio, because every supplier will claim ‘it’s not my fault” when a problem arises, and they could waste a good deal of time tracking down the culprit.
Any organisation considering moving applications to the cloud will begin with the questions: when is the right time and what services should we move? If you can extend the life of your existing infrastructure while reviewing your options in the medium term, a useful first step is to move your Disaster Recovery (DR) to the cloud.
Have you been tempted by the falling costs of public cloud services? The big players are improving their offers all the time, and with some also setting up UK data centres to meet forthcoming GDPR requirements, server/instances of a few pounds per month can look like a very good deal. And for many organisations and many services, it is.