Posted: 31 Jan. 2022 3 min.

Confessions of a cloud pragmatic and a recipe for success

Topic: Cloud

Can the cloud accelerate your business processes, improve your data quality, and deliver the kind of security and privacy you are looking for? Absolutely.  

Can the cloud just as easy turn out to be a complete mess that only adds complexity to an already confusing IT operation? Definitely.

If you meet people that tell you that by moving to the cloud your company will automatically become more agile and innovative, don’t believe them. There is not a direct cause-and-effect relationship between moving to the cloud and gaining business benefits.

However, I do believe there is a recipe for success if you choose to migrate some or all your applications to the cloud, and I’m here to tell you what that recipe is. 

The cloud is an evolutionary process
First a short recap to put matters into perspective.

If Cloud 1.0, the first generation of services, consisted of processing power and storage on a basic infrastructure, Cloud 2.0, the second generation of services, was the addition of database functionality to that basic infrastructure.

One could rightfully argue that these two stages represent small steps of evolution and not Big Bang revolutions. If you know what you are doing, you could manage the same type of workloads in your own datacenter – maybe more cost-efficient, maybe less. But basically, it would be the same IT operation.

Today, we have reached the Cloud 3.0 era. An era with a software defined toolbox that simplifies and automates integrations and data management capabilities you would otherwise have to code in the two previous eras.

Even though this shift seems more dramatic, I would still label the movement from Cloud 2.0 to Cloud 3.0 as an evolution and not a revolution, because you could theoretically deliver the same functionality on premise.  

Cloud Frontrunner DNA
The real game changer within cloud computing is to fully understand what the cloud platform can do. New technologies will appear in a constant flow, a Cloud 4.0 era will emerge at some point, and it will all change absolutely nothing if you don’t know how to utilize the toolkit.

That’s exactly what defines the kind of Cloud Frontrunners some of my colleagues have written an article about. Cloud Frontrunners are businesses that achieve better outcome from their XaaS initiatives and more competitive advantages than Cloud Chasers and Cloud Followers.

Cloud Frontrunners have a skillset and operating model that make them capable of selecting solutions and suppliers, managing costs, measuring returns, and securing their operation. They hone their strategy, they adapt, and they master execution such as establishing data security policies, continually monitoring their solutions, and tracking utilization.

Migrate one vertical at the time
When I talk to businesses their main concern with moving to the cloud is often the fear of losing operational stability. In most cases they already have operational stability, and they are reluctant to risk some of that control by migrating to the cloud.

My advice to those businesses – and my recipe for success – is to do the migration one business vertical at the time to create new verticals without any IT legacy. If companies can create cloud-based verticals, they can begin to operate with the same kind of flexibility as any of their competitors. When you migrate one business vertical at the time, you mature the organization, you learn, and you gain valuable insight that can be used when you migrate your next set of business verticals and so on.

All industries have a combination of production systems at their core. These systems need to be migrated at the same time. But whether you start with your core systems or your customer facing systems depends on the individual business case. The important thing is to plan and then attack the migration process piece by piece.

Within each business vertical you must make sure that data quality is high. The software defined toolbox of the Cloud 3.0 era is only as powerful as the accuracy of the data it uses to, for instance, automate business processes or change the customer journey. If the data quality is poor, or if data from different sources are not harmonized properly, the data exchanging process, that was supposed to work swiftly, gets lumpy, complex, and time-consuming. Data structure is everything.

Safe travels. 

Forfatter spotlight

Halvor Moen

Halvor Moen

Partner | Head of Strategy and Operations practice in Norway

Halvor is a Partner within Consulting in Norway and the Industry lead for Retail and Consumer Products at Deloitte Norway. He has extensive experience helping clients improving their operations advising on strategic, operational and technology related issues. The work has often focused on improving processes, both strategic and operational, and supporting them with the infrastructure needed to ensure the necessary efficiency. His experience includes scoping, planning, managing and delivering large and complex projects.

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