Accelerating critical systems to the cloud is more important than ever. According to Gartner, just 12% of organizations are highly prepared for Coronavirus. Embracing cloud and modern development immediately increases resilience and agility while minimizing costs. Nomura Instinet has cited that CIOs expect to reduce their use of on-premises workloads in 2021 to 35% down from 59% in 2019.
Avanade has nicely synthesized the new business situation for large enterprise through its Rethink point of view, articulating the 5 priorities to drive organizational resilience and responsiveness in a post-COVID-19 world. While I reflected on feedback from our clients, the innovation and maturity we reached in the cloud domain, I thought I would share with you my perspective on how the cloud must be leveraged for each of the Rethink phases (Respond, Reset, Renew).
Our clients are reaching out to us for help on common imperatives: speed in transformation, reliability in execution, security in everything, and a carefree, simple and single commercial model. Our cloud services have reached a transformational level, streamlining technical aspects to focus on the value to our clients. In this article, I specifically highlight what has changed in this space recently underlying Satya Nadella’s quote, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” I hope that this will enable you to sketch a vision for the evolution of your IT systems (applications & infrastructure) to transform IT into a business enabler.
While the crisis has highlighted that company leveraging the cloud could adapt easier to the situation, recent evolution in the Migration space have also changed the face of cloud adoption. What has changed?
- New adoption frameworks: End-to-end, integrated migration proposition from discovery and delivery to managed service with simple commercial bundle to address the immediate challenges, reduce capex and secure a sustainable move.
- Rapid cases: The necessary B-Case elaboration process now benefits from ready-to-go model, requiring less details as input thanks to a large databank based on previous experiences.
- Automation: Discovery, delivery and run have reached maturity and allow to drastically lower the cost of migration while improving planning & quality management.
Having moved large workloads to the cloud, including business-critical legacy applications, what are the new opportunities that the cloud provides?
While the business case execution will ensure that the cost associated with running IT reach a new (lower) horizon, it is generally after migration that cloud adoption will start to unveil its power. The new mechanisms of easy provisioning, elasticity of scale, and pay-per-use model will introduce new behavior:
- Optimizing your costs: Cloud adoption also comes with new challenges for organizations to face such as unlimited cloud consumption, features and services overpurchased, shadow IT and fragmented purchases. Adopting a FinOps approach will allow you to optimize resources and decisions, create visibility and control, as well as adopt a proper governance for long lasting success. With a reduction in spend, you will be able to execute the same workloads.
- Innovation: Microsoft is investing in the enhancement of its Azure platform more than any other organization does in tech. This investment must become part of your innovation strategy. Experimenting with new business models within this new context requires an innovation architecture that enables our clients to achieve continuous and sustainable innovations that meet their transformation objectives. Appropriate techniques such as design thinking and product design are game changers to accelerate real innovation.
- Unlock positive impact: Thanks to your migration and the FinOps approach, you can now benefit from additional budget to start working on the top line. However, leveraging the cloud does require a closer relationship between the business and IT.
Industry trends are much more driven by social and technology change, the way people consume goods or energy has rapidly evolved. Expectations from the health industry and public sector are higher than ever; Manufacturing is reconfigured to attain new levels and different styles of production; Financial services are investing in new tech to stay ahead of competition while struggling to integrate with legacy systems. Reducing IT costs, leaving rigid IT processes, improving the ability to innovate are top drivers contributing to the new normal. To significantly raise the bar and “Renew the Business,” new approaches are enabled by the cloud to bring necessary business agility. They are provided through new sets of services such as:
- Digital decoupling (a.k.a Sidecar architecture): Enabling cloud deployments alongside and integrated with existing infrastructure, including mainframe and data platforms.
- DevSecOps: Rapidly adapting to market demand implies automation of your software production line and an evolution of the collaboration model between business, development and production teams. A key element is also security: this new model prevents having a security gate at the end of a long development cycle. Security has to be shifted left in the development process, become a natural item of each stages and be automated (SAST, DAST, etc.).
- Adopt an industry agile attitude: Create prescriptive architecture for common scenarios to speed time-to-market. Continually evolve the product portfolio around new value streams, innovating/scaling quickly – collaborating with new partners and responding to constantly evolving customer needs.
Integrating the power of Azure cloud into your IT systems is not an opportunity to be assessed today – it’s a necessity. It will drive sustainable growth, help manage your IT costs, allow you to experiment with new digital products, unlock new business opportunities and new commercial approaches, create business cases/techniques and offer technical automation for facilitating migration. Large workloads are now migrated with serenity in a short timeframe, allowing IT to rethink their approach to work with the business to achieve more.
Executing migration is shorter than ever, unlocking the potential of Azure is not to be considered as a North Star objective on a cloud maturity journey, but rather be embedded in the original business case to drive innovation, gain market share and become a strategic growth program for the enterprise.