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Choosing the Right Cloud Adoption Strategy for your Business

Cloud

January 31, 2023

Be the vision you see. If that is the mantra driving the current accelerated trend of cloud adoption, it goes to say realizing that vision is a journey that is costly, complex, and rife with risks. However, many enterprises already know that. Therefore, the job now is to ensure that the cloud adoption strategy is done at the right time, in the right way, at the right cost, and, importantly, with the rightly anticipated results. Those in the know are well aware that to build a truly cloud-first organization, business goals are to be kept sacrosanct, and the themes that revolve around the foundation of your business will define the success of your cloud adoption. The way one goes about it defines which path you choose to adapt the cloud technologies. By now, it is no rocket science that one should consider the cloud as a means, not an end. An enterprise’s success in cloud adoption is underpinned by a holistic standardization and automation strategy.

To help navigate the pitfalls associated with cloud adoption, an enterprise needs to learn continuously from the efforts, lead the adoption mandate inside and across the entire IT ecosystem, and secure every piece of IT infrastructure, applications, and data. And, last but not the least, scale your services seamlessly. Of course, all this has to be done with zero or minimal disruption to your existing business services. The requisite for this is to outline all information about the expected outcomes, the identities and functions of relevant stakeholders, the complexity of IT architecture from as-is to should-be, and the multiple approvals required at every stage.

Benefits of Cloud Adoption

Cloud adoption can provide a great fillip to enterprises seeking growth and innovation across the board. But this is possible only if all the best practices are followed and executed within the timelines. Beyond these, other advantages can boost your productivity, collaboration, etc. Let’s take a look:

1. Increase in security standards

A proficient cloud environment can help IT departments ensure greater security and compliance across many or all of their functions, thus securing data and other assets from a host of vulnerabilities and threats.

2. Enables centralized management

Cloud adoption is a boon for centralized IT management of cloud assets – applications, data storage, computing, and IoT devices, etc.

3. Provides remote access:

With WFH or hybrid workplaces becoming a new normal, enterprises are no longer bogged down for productivity. With the cloud, remote employees can get 24/7 access to the information and data they need.

4. Pushes greenifying

Remote workforces mean reduced hardware costs, which imply a reduction in TCO and Opex. And this means a far lower carbon footprint, not just in the office premises but the world at large, including the cities where a bulk of the workforce resides in.

Challenges in Cloud Adoption

While many enterprises have successfully implemented Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions or adopted a cloud-first strategy, many are struggling to extract total value from their time, effort and investments put into the cloud. Why? This is simply because they tend to confuse simply shifting IT systems to the cloud vis-à-vis going for a complete transformational strategy. Lift-and-Shift doesn’t do full justice, as it is not designed to unlock the full potential of the cloud. Indeed, in some cases, this approach has resulted in the opposite effect: IT architectures become more cumbersome, complex and expensive to maintain! Thus, sometimes, the migration challenges are more compared to the advantages of cloud adoption. To avoid this pitfall, here are a few pointers that one can consider before deciding on the right cloud adoption strategy.

1. Begin with a business objective

Setting clear and flexible objectives based on business objectives is crucial, which should be backed by a practical migration plan that factors in costs, training, downtime timeframe and risks.

2. To be financially austere or not

The benefits of cloud migration are great in terms of Return on Investment (ROI). But so is the cost involved in realizing them. How does one weigh one against the other? It has to be noted that the cloud’s benefits take time to come to the fore, and in the meanwhile, the costs of architecture changes, human resources, training, migration partners, cloud service providers, and bandwidth costs can be daunting. It is only with proper planning that these overheads can be better predicted and controlled.

3. What should be migrated and what should not

Perhaps one of the most important decisions, this should be done with great deliberation and clarity for both near and long-term objectives. A general yardstick to minimize risks is to migrate applications & data with lesser dependencies, lesser criticality, and aligned with critical goals and those compatible with cloud – all in phases that should be mapped for progress at regular intervals.

4. Securing the data

A highly concerning parameter, data security should not be left to chance, especially when a third-party cloud provider is involved. Ideally, your entire mission-critical data should be hosted in your on-premises environment or ensure the cloud provider has all the necessary security protocols in place during and after migration.

5. Choosing the right cloud service provider (CSP)

With choices galore in the cloud market, due diligence is best exercised when it comes to choosing a cloud provider who is in line with your goals. And with choice comes the flavors and multiple checklists that include budget, services, security, compliance, manageability, expertise and experience, reputation, etc. And yes, it would be prudent to avoid or reduce vendor lock-in by opting for a hybrid cloud.

6. Technical complexity and lack of expertise

Many surveys show enterprises shun and are scared of complexities in cloud adoption. Thus, if in-house resources are not available, it makes sense to partner with an expert and also adapt maximum automation on your cloud journey. This means evaluating a plethora of cloud migration or cloud modernization products that are available in the market that can help to optimize your business services and takes care of technological transformation to the target state based on its in-built capability (libraries, source to target mapping, etc.) and lastly which eliminates the repetitive process and manual intervention to the maximum extent with its core automation functionality.

7. Dealing with compliance

As regulatory compliance mandates get tougher in many countries, cloud adoption can be a highly daunting task for the fear of breaking norms. All throughout the adoption process, you, along with your cloud partner, should ensure the protection of all regulatory compliances at rest or in transit, conduct strict and regular audits, and log any and all incidents.

8. Resistance is usually in the air

Initiating and accepting huge changes are abhorred by enterprises, and with good reason. However, to grow, change is a question of when not if. A full leadership buy-in right from the start can pave the way for a smoother rollout and is likely to result in greater success. Not just leadership but even employees’ knowledge of the value that the change brings will introduce significant positive changes.

9. Dealing with downtime

No matter how careful the planning, there is always the risk of Murphy’s Law rearing its head! For enterprises, any downtime can have serious consequences in terms of revenues and reputation. In view of this, it is best to adopt a process that minimizes disruption and ensures business continuity by testing migration offline and deploying end-to-end automation tools.

10. The post-migration perspective

Once the migration is achieved, there are always lingering concerns related to data privacy, security, and monitoring capabilities of the applications running on the cloud. These can be best addressed by ensuring total observability on the build, deployment, and running of applications and data on the cloud with the right tools and real-time dashboards.

Cloud Adoption Strategies – How to Choose the Right Approach for your Business?

Once the ‘why’ is clear, one may not think about making another decision. While the destination may be clear, the journey may have many forks. Thus, sometimes it would be prudent to take a breath and ponder before pushing the pedal. Hence, CIOs should develop a cloud strategy that serves as a foundation for governing the use of cloud services across the enterprise. As mentioned earlier, it should stem from the business objectives, and the IT infrastructure should have its say in formulating it. Here is a framework that can be implemented to get through the hurdles.

Aligned all the way to business

Digital transformation is easier said than done. Nonetheless it is here to stay. Irrespective of whether you are a digital business or a traditional brick-and-mortar version, almost everyone is using digital services to drive growth, innovate, compete, and cut costs. Get your focus right for your kind of business.

Prioritize cloud migrations

With cloud comes elasticity – the key to cost savings. For many off-the-shelf applications, one should consider cloud adoption only if necessary. For others that are business critical, their migration should be prioritized so that you pay for what is important and that they are done at the earliest. This also means dealing with legacy apps that are still running but are not deemed safe anymore.

SaaS is a smart play

For all non-revenue generating applications, SaaS can be a smart choice because when non-core applications are outsourced, considerable savings can be generated. Email, service desk, CRM, payroll, etc., today come with SaaS options. However, over the years, one should also consider other factors including servers and hosting, operations, licenses, etc.

As your enterprise works through these consideration factors, they should be chalked down to 4 essentials.

  • Current State: Assess current cloud/IT capabilities and evaluate operational readiness
  • Desired State: Define your ‘should be’ and the scope for improvement
  • Gap: Spot gaps in the current capabilities and how to plug them in line with business objectives
  • Initiatives: Prioritize planning and execution to reach the desired state, with desired results

Like most complex initiatives, a successful cloud adoption all boils down to how one approaches the pre, during and post-adoption process and how each phase is carefully aligned with business objectives, stakeholders, budgets and technical expertise. Ad hoc cloud adoptions are simply not a great way to go about it. From the boardroom to the office or factory floor, it has to permeate every facet of the enterprise.

How Hexaware’s Cloud Offerings Can Transform an Enterprise Cloud Journey at Scale

Amaze® for full cloud enablement is Hexaware’s outcome-driven strategy to enable organizations to reap the benefits of cloud transformation through automation, managed services, blueprint templates for building cloud architectures and ringing in cultural change. The separation of applications and infrastructure from digital innovation through traditional architecture, deployment and operations has led to a disconnect in transformation speeds. We transform the traditional ecosystem at scale and with speed and aim to break the separation between legacy and cloud environments.

Cloud migration is going to be a very important factor for enterprises for the next several years. For the enterprise to be successful in the cloud journey, it is imperative that it chooses the right platform, partner, framework and strategies that could help accelerate the migration/ modernization with zero chance of failure. Our amaze® platform, a US Patented IP, plays a significant role in helping enterprises to mitigate their cloud migration risks and challenges and provides a very elegant and industry-best solution.

The amaze® platform is cloud-agnostic and supports public, private & hybrid clouds, which help enterprises leverage the complete benefits of the cloud platform with a 3-in-1 approach of building resilience into their IT portfolio of infra, apps, and data and solving complex business critical problems and enabling innovation.

Visit our business page to learn more about our cloud transformation solutions that help enterprises to transform & address the disconnect between their on-premises and cloud environment.

About the Author

Karan Pithadia

Karan Pithadia

Karan Pithadia works with Hexaware’s amaze® R&D Engineering function as a Sr. Functional Analyst. He is responsible for product marketing activities, like creation of go-to-market assets and its promotion across different social media platforms. He demonstrates multi-tasking in managing various marketing deliverables. He is actively involved with SMEs to plan & execute contents for communicating Hexaware’s amaze® product suite services to the external world for better brand recognition.

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