One of the more popular buzzwords that we have heard over the last year is “transformation.” You may have heard this referred to as “IT transformation,” “digital transformation,” or “business transformation.” So, what does this really mean? It really depends on who you talk to, as you will get different answers from different people. But one thing that everyone will agree on is that it has an impact on processes, rules, automation, and culture. So, you may be asking yourself how to go about approaching transformation.
If we look back several years we saw this transformation take place around virtualization. This was the shift from traditional bare-metal servers running single applications in your data center to a shared pool of resources running virtual machines. This was a significant transformation that allowed us to consolidate and become more efficient in the way we ran and managed our infrastructure. Soon after, cloud computing became all the talk. This brought about a huge transformation that allowed for utility computing. This helped organizations move from a capex spending model to an opex spending model.
Cloud computing brings on a dynamic infrastructure that provides agility and responsiveness which requires us to think differently about how we manage and operate our infrastructure. As we all know, the road to cloud is not a straightforward process for everyone. There may be some speed bumps along the way, but with the right planning and knowledge, success can be obtained. Most importantly, ensure that you include all your company stakeholders along your journey. This includes IT, security, legal, compliance, and management. Focus on how your security and compliance needs, rules and regulations may need to be adjusted in a cloud environment. It’s no longer a question of if you will move to cloud, but more so when you will move to cloud. But your success depends on your reason for doing so and it’s crucial that you identify your drivers to cloud.
There are many business drivers that are fueling the move to cloud, but there are a few common ones that most every business should be looking at. As you begin your journey to the cloud, identify your drivers—it may be one or multiple drivers—that will help you define your approach and focus on some of the challenges you may encounter when moving to the cloud:
If you are not able to innovate faster than your competition, it’s quite possible you will lose market share and become irrelevant. With the growth in containers, analytics and artificial intelligence, businesses are discovering new ways to reach their consumers at a much more rapid pace. Cloud computing is allowing businesses to respond to customer demand.
If efficiency is driving your move to cloud, what processes will you be able to improve that will increase performance? Taking advantage of automating deployment processes, handling complex configuration management and automated scaling of resources as demand dictates will bring about increases in efficiency.
Is customer satisfaction important to you? If you are not able to provide your customers with a satisfied user experience, you will lose customers to your competitors.
If cost is motivating you, are you prepared to make a shift from capex to opex? How will you control and optimize your cloud costs?