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Cloud migration for digital transformation: maximizing the benefits

Jason Hatch

Organizations need to align their migration strategy with a broader optimization and transformation strategy. In other words, you should never migrate for the sake of migrating. Rather, each decision related to migrating to the cloud – or not – should be thought of as a critical step on a larger transformation journey.

While cloud migration can and should improve IT operational excellence and reduce run costs, the real value of cloud migration comes when you are able to apply the gains from IT optimization towards IT transformation initiatives. Despite this, we often encounter organizations that have plans to migrate to the cloud without a clear strategy or business case. In cases like this, what should be a transformational change can quickly become a missed opportunity. Here’s how to maximize the benefits of migration for digital transformation:

  • Be comprehensive: Even though you may not plan on migrating all of your applications at once – and though there may be some you will never migrate – it’s important to take a big-picture approach to migration. A solid cloud migration strategy takes into account both the applications you’re planning on migrating and those that you never will. From the very beginning, you should be thinking about the comprehensive business case and where the biggest wins will be over the long term.
  • Apply a transformation lens: Remembering that digital transformation is your end game will help you be smart about the strategy you take. For example, you should start with those applications that would clearly benefit from the cloud, such as those that are critical for maintaining competitive advantage. Similarly, for data center transformation, the goal should go well beyond cost-optimization to include operational and reliability efficiencies that can be achieved when deploying PaaS services.
  • Optimize, optimize, optimize: While comprehensiveness is important, it’s critical to not mistake a holistic approach for a one-size-fits-all approach to cloud migration. While lifting and shifting critical applications will be part of your strategy, a pure lift-and-shift approach will never lead to the transformational outcomes you’d want from the cloud. A more transformation-led approach to cloud migration will focus primarily on refactoring and rearchitecting the applications that are differentiating, fast-moving, and would benefit most from the cloud and cloud-native capabilities.
  • Remember that speed is important: One of the biggest hurdles to overcome before moving to the cloud is the cost of the migration itself, so ensuring that you move as quickly and efficiently as possible will pay off. The faster you move, the quicker you can see transformative change within your organization. The key to success is developing a solid plan: having an in-depth understanding of your landscape, getting stakeholder buy-in early on, and planning effectively for change management.

Being deliberate and purposeful about your migration will ensure that you not only see cost savings and operational efficiencies, but you lay the groundwork for digital business.

If you’d like to learn more about how migration can form the basis for digital transformation, don’t hesitate to reach out. Even better, join me at AWS re:Invent 2019, where Capgemini will be on site to talk about how to leverage AWS to make digital business a reality. I’ll also be speaking alongside McDonald’s about how the company, together with Capgemini and AWS, has created a powerful digital e-commerce platform using Kubernetes, Lambda, etc., and how they plan to leverage this platform to deliver innovative features at great speeds.