Companies can derive many advantages from migrating their applications to the cloud, and platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) have made that relatively easy for businesses of all sizes. But often, I see businesses – even enterprise-class companies – simply do what’s called a “lift and shift.” They re-platform their applications to the cloud without truly examining how it can transform their business, whether in terms of bringing new offerings to market or engaging with customers.
Unless these activities are linked, decision makers can miss opportunities to make their IT resources more agile, efficient, and ready to respond to the future needs of the company. That’s why I recommend the following steps to any client considering moving its applications to the cloud:
- Define where the company is now – and where it is headed. Start by establishing a thorough understanding of your company’s current situation – both the business and technology landscapes in which it operates. As part of this, gain a clear and accurate picture of the company’s current IT assets, determining how well they serve the business and their costs. Then articulate where the company should be headed to identify opportunities and gaps.
- Examine your applications. Conduct a holistic application assessment, preferably with a third-party partner who has experience with cloud-driven transformation. This assessment should determine what a healthy application portfolio looks like based on business objectives and compare it to what the company is currently using. Which applications should be rationalized? How should they be modernized?
- Create a roadmap. Then, based on finding from the current-state analysis and application assessment, build a clearly articulated transformation roadmap. Not only will it explain how the cloud migration and modernization will take place but, equally importantly, it will explain why such a migration should be undertaken and detail the expected benefits. The roadmap should go beyond technical considerations like the process of modernization to also address business transformation.
In many cases, technical and business considerations are inextricably linked. Take, for example, serverless architecture, for which AWS has more than 50 services. Every organization serious about business transformation should have serverless as part of its strategy. Though not all applications are good candidates for serverless, whenever possible I recommend taking a serverless approach for all native cloud development because of the agility it affords as a fully managed service requiring very little IT oversight. For example, we worked with a global consumer manufacturing organization that creates robotic devices for home automation. It shifted to serverless because it faced scalability and extensibility issues. After opting for AWS Lambda, the organization significantly reduced both the number of engineering resources required as well as infrastructure costs. Good candidates for serverless architectures can be uncovered during the assessment phase, but generally anything that is event-driven works well, including the internet of things (IoT), mobile apps, web-based applications, and chat bots.
When embarking on cloud transformation, it’s critical to do the holistic, up-front work to ensure you’re embracing cloud with the business in mind. From there, you can develop a roadmap truly focused on business transformation by incorporating technologies such as serverless.
Capgemini has worked with organizations of all types to begin their transformation journeys with AWS by leveraging Capgemini’ economic Application Portfolio Management (eAPM) assessment methodology. eAPM is a highly visual, AI-driven tool that provides in-depth insight into IT portfolios to identify opportunities for optimization and transformation. For more information, please reach out or visit our website.
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Phil is a technology specialist with experience managing, deploying, consulting, and selling technology services to large private and public companies.