Cloud technology is surging

Cloud computing, once primarily consumer-focused, has firmly moved into the business mainstream. Gartner forecasts the global cloud technology market will be worth $214.3bn at the end of 2019, up 17.5% on 2018, and is likely to grow by 54.5% between now and 2022, totaling $331.2bn.

As cloud computing is the new normal and the future of IT, there is much at stake for historical software and IT infrastructure vendors. This is resulting in a bubbling market, with mergers, acquisitions and partnerships occurring that may alter the product roadmaps and pricing of an ever-growing list of cloud computing environments and services. As an example, this year’s $34 billion IBM acquisition of open-source software business Red Hat is the tech giant’s largest deal ever—and the 3rd largest tech acquisition in history.

The benefits hinge on the transition

Digital cloud transformations are proving hugely beneficial to businesses and IT organizations. Cloud computing is significantly more agile, scalable, secure and automated compared to conventional on-premise IT services. It is speeding up innovation and change within organizations and is the path to new business, IT processes, models and markets. And as it offers automation capabilities and releases consumers from low level (hardware) maintenance and operations, cloud technology is simpler to operate and maintain than traditional systems.

Yet, as a CTO, CIO or IT Director, the dilemmas surrounding cloud computing may be complicating decisions on which direction you should take.

Which services and environments offer features that meet your business and IT challenges? Will these or their pricing structures change as industry shifts occur, and how? And with the specter of data loss and international data compliance hanging over business, how can you put security and compliance first as you migrate to the cloud and integrate your organization within it?

All these questions come atop concerns whether a service will offer value for money, if it will meet expectations from above, and how skills and culture can adapt to the change.

What comprises a successful cloud transition?

The challenges surrounding cloud implementation are solvable. All manner of technologies and processes exist, but they require an in-depth understanding of the market to be correctly chosen, and an expert approach to be successfully introduced.

First, the ecosystem. As shifts occur and service providers merge or partner, you need to select cloud services that offer enduring value, scalability and standardization. This can be helped by understanding cloud service portfolios and market movements, choosing mature, reliable cloud service providers and knowing exactly where to turn should disruptive shake-ups occur.

You also need the skills and partnerships to properly harness and efficiently operate the transformed infrastructure. This can come from refining your traditional IT operation provider portfolio so you can unlock the benefits of the cloud, and creating new roles responsible for the cloud, such as Financial and Operations Principals (FINOPs) that optimize cloud consumption and costs.

Safeguarding security is another challenging task. Choose services backed by strong certification regimes and standards. Then implement a range of solutions – identity management, threat intelligence, advanced firewalls and endpoint protection. This approach provides multiple safety nets, ensuring data confidentiality, integrity and availability as well as compliance with local regulations.

Many critical businesses are now massively leveraging cloud services – The US Department of Defence’s $10 billion contract with Microsoft Azure involves hosting critical data into the cloud, and in the bank sector, several banks and insurance in Europe are also considering massive migration to the cloud. BearingPoint has facilitated similar cloud migration programs for critical businesses such as French rail operator SNCF and Covestro, a German chemical leader.

By building the right foundations, you can avoid future issues with your cloud services, so it is key to define a clear cloud strategy that accounts for your organization’s requirements, future business ambitions and strategic partnerships. This involves creating a pragmatic roadmap that considers the cloud eligibility of your application landscape and transitional requirements such as application migration, change processes and transformation program.

Working with BearingPoint to define its cloud strategy and migration roadmap, French Retailer Carrefour subsequently announced a cloud partnership with Google. This has made it the technology giant’s first European grocery e-commerce partner, allowing Carrefour to substantially accelerate its digital evolution and omni-channel customer approach.

Lastly, you must ensure your cloud computing is meaningful to your organization; a new, restrictionless means of benefitting from IT and innovation. Be clear on why you require it – agility, scalability or obsolescence management, for instance. And understand how you want the transition to take place, such as the migration providers, tools, methodologies and overall pace of change considering the prerequisites on your IS landscape.

By doing so, you can avoid your cloud migration program failing due to underestimating the scale and complexity of the transition effort or choosing inappropriate migration organizations and governance – challenges a large global testing & certification firm, the certification leader, safely overcame with BearingPoint’s assistance. 

Get in touch

With an approach like ours, you can implement the right cloud technologies, secure your migration program and make sure your IT organization will be ready for the journey. Talk to our experts to see how your information technology can become agile, cost effective and future-proof today.

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