With the need to keep on top of technological advances and better ways of doing business, cloud transformation is becoming an increasingly popular option for organisations of all shapes and sizes. Whilst cloud is no longer a new thing in the world of IT, it is still an area that is growing and evolving, and cloud transformation is a great example of this. No longer is the focus simply on moving servers and data off-premise, cloud transformation is about transitioning and enhancing business practice as well.
Before we get into what cloud transformation is, it’s probably best we start by explaining what the cloud is and what cloud migration is.
What is the Cloud?
The ‘cloud’ usually refers to servers and storage that are accessed remotely over the internet, rather than being situated locally. Cloud servers are housed in global data centres all over the world. By using cloud computing services, organisations do not have to manage the physical IT infrastructure themselves or run software applications on their own servers. The initial advantages of the cloud included lower upfront and running costs, greater flexibility, and faster installation.
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud Migration refers to the act of moving your business’ existing compute power, data, and applications, to a chosen cloud service provider, taking advantage of the benefits previously mentioned. Whilst there may be some IT enhancements that happen during the migration, moving to the latest version of an application or increasing server performance, for example, the focus is very much on moving existing systems, rather than improving IT and business practice. Cloud migration is a crucial step within cloud transformation, but it is not the entire process.
Cloud transformation builds on cloud migration, and includes the modernisation and optimisation of data management, analytics, and cyber security, ensuring that it meets the requirements and expectations of the organisation’s wider business and cloud transformation objectives.
The Benefits of Cloud Transformation
Cloud transformation is becoming increasingly popular as it helps businesses to avoid IT obsolescence, provide better service, and compete more effectively in the modern, and ever-changing world. Here are some of the main benefits of cloud transformation:
Improved and Increased Efficiency – A good cloud implementation will allow businesses to release new functionality nearly 50% faster than using traditional methods.
Enhanced Adaptability – Systems and data can be adapted to suit your clients and customers, as well as to meet your own needs, by implementing new and appropriate technologies as they become pervasive. Mobile computing is a great example!
Improved Scalability – IT systems can be scaled up and down instantly, to help meet business demands and objectives effectively. The time frame can easily match the demand requirement, for example meeting the short-term needs of a Black Friday sales campaign, or the longer requirement for the launch of a new range of products.
Increased Speed – There is nothing worse than a laggy website, slow e-commerce system, or making it painful for customers and suppliers to access vital data and systems. A good cloud transformation will ensure that the performance of the infrastructure meets the demands of the business.
Boosted Data Security – Many first-time cloud users worry about data security, with concerns about hacking or data loss. However, cloud transformation can ensure significantly higher security for a company’s data, with multiple layers of protection and encryption. Cloud solutions can also provide multiple backups of critical data, reducing the risk of data loss or costly downtime in the event of a disaster.
Enhanced Cost Management – Although there is an up-front cost with cloud transformation, a good implementation will save money in the long term, including the cost of the capital expenditure associated with implementing and maintaining on-site IT infrastructure.
Control of Your Data – Cloud transformation gives an organisation more control over how data is stored, processed, managed, and secured than typically exists on legacy systems.
Better Crisis Management – In the case of an emergency, disaster recovery options for a cloud-based system are far more flexible, and significantly faster, than on-premises solutions. DR is an important part of any cloud transformation project.
Developing a Cloud Transformation Strategy
Significant time and focus are needed for developing an effective cloud transformation strategy, to ensure it meets both IT and wider business objectives.
The starting point for successful cloud transformation is internal analysis and audit. This will establish where an organisation currently stands, benchmarking strengths and weaknesses against competitors, identifying key focus areas and where priority needs to be given within the transformation.
An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of existing IT systems should be made, prior to cloud migration, to make sure that everything continues to work efficiently during the process.
Ensuring that appropriate access policies, security levels, data control, and optimisation are in place, matching the overall business objectives and needs.
Identifying new applications that may better meet business objectives, and planning the implementation as part of the wider cloud transformation.
Training, to ensure that both technical and non-technical staff can use the new systems quickly and efficiently, maximising their productivity and effectiveness.
Establishing appropriate monitoring and optimisation of cloud usage and performance, to ensure the cloud-based IT systems are delivering business objectives in line with performance level agreements.
Cyber security policies, to ensure that existing and new threats are appropriately managed.
Data governance and compliance, ensuring that legal issues around data handling and security are met.
Ongoing review, to enhance and improve performance, taking advantage of new technologies as they come.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Transformation Service
Once an organisation has decided to invest in a cloud transformation, the next step is to find skilled and experienced resources to help implement a successful project. This is more than simply choosing a cloud service provider. The right implementation partner will have skills, knowledge, and a proven track record of delivering successful cloud transformation projects.
How can Mintivo help?
Mintivo have helped many customers with their journey to the cloud, working with them to deliver the benefits of a successful transformation project. With a focus on exceptional services and value, why not read what our customers say about us, or better still, contact us so we can discuss how we can help with your cloud transformation project. We look forward to hearing from you.