• Tech & Trends

Lost in the Cloud? Why Mapping YOUR Transformation Journey Is More Important Than Ever

By Samta Bansal

The past 10 months have accelerated the race to cloud. That’s all the more reason to pause and check that you’re moving in the right direction.

Cloud migration these days is something of a no-brainer. For most businesses, it’s no longer a question of whether to migrate to cloud. The real issues are around the how, when, what, where and even the why of cloud. And it’s in considering these questions that the richest strategic insights — and the best business outcomes — are to be found.

2020: A Quantum Leap for Digital Transformation
Almost a year beyond the outbreak of the biggest pandemic in living memory, we see that remote access, remote working and remote connecting have suddenly become the new normal.

While many organizations had already started migrating, recent events have really accelerated the need to be fully operative in the cloud. But with this new rush to cloud, there hasn’t been time to focus on both considering the long-term strategy and deriving the best value for your business. It’s a really important step that’s being missed.

In my experience, defining exactly what you need from cloud in the long term — how it will work for you, what it should deliver — is key. This has always been the case, and it’s come into particularly sharp focus over this last year.

2020 was certainly the year of cloud acceleration. We know that organizations of all sizes were really put to the test, and forced to deliver years of digital adoption in a matter of months, or even weeks.

It’s no surprise then, that IDC predicts the current trend towards cloud adoption will keep expanding through 20241, with 2021 expected to be the year of multicloud2. The need for secure, scalable, on-demand services and optimized IT costs has never been greater. Nor has the need to support and service a fast-growing remote workforce.

But the issue is this: Many of these advances were quick fixes. They were smart and responsive, of course, under the circumstances. But ultimately, they were temporary digital solutions to patch the gaps and keep the business on the road.

So where does that leave us today? What’s next for ambitious digital enterprises that have survived the digital stampede and want to thrive in a post-pandemic world?

Beyond Migration — Discovering the Next Best Step in Your Transformation Journey
Paradoxically enough, your best next move in the race to the cloud might simply be to pause, reconvene and take stock.

Having to make short-term decisions based on immediate needs is nothing new. In our experience, it’s the single biggest cloud mistake that organizations have been making for years. Often, this occurs because everyone in the business has a different idea of what cloud can deliver:

  • Business units may have digital budget to spend and consumer pressures to meet.
  • Data leaders are expected to support sales with detailed customer analytics.
  • Infrastructure engineers may be tasked with rationalizing and reorganizing the architecture.
  • Governance teams may be firmly focused on enhancing compliance protocols and protecting the brand reputation.
  • You may even need to expand into new geos, products or service lines.

Of course, individually, all of these motivations are perfectly valid. But in terms of cloud migration, they can result in very diverse, conflicting decision paths, which will have a real impact on the success of the journey. Without collaboration and agreement across the whole crew, you can see how easy it might be for the ship to veer off course and, ultimately, go adrift.

What’s really needed is a holistic approach. That means bringing all parties on board and starting a conversation. It means creating a comprehensive view of all the digital needs and goals across the business and developing a balanced approach, with agreement on what to move to the cloud, with what priority, and what to keep on premises.

But when it comes to cloud, finding that collaboration is easier said than done.

Don’t Aim for THE Cloud, Aim for YOUR Cloud
The real point with cloud is that there is no one journey — just many possible journeys. Identifying the right destination, the right path, and delivering a detailed map of the journey are arguably the toughest — and most important — steps you will ever take towards cloud.

Luckily, that step doesn’t have to be taken right at the beginning of your journey, or alone.

As is often the case, you may have been forced to take your first steps to transformation before you were really ready to take a call on the best way forward. Depending on your state of cloud maturity, you may need to make different strategic decisions later in the journey, changing direction as your circumstances change. Within your organization, you might even end up with different cloud strategies operating at different maturity levels, with, say, IT and marketing making very different cloud decisions.

It’s Time To Rethink Everything
But the good news is, it’s never too late to take a step back, re-evaluate and find a better way. In fact, with the benefit of some transformation experience under your belt, you might find you’re even better equipped to make some very critical decisions about your cloud presence — and future.

Get Everyone Around the Table (or Microsoft Teams Screen)
What’s key at this stage is to gather all your stakeholders, who will all have a unique lens on what problems need solving and how to do it. It’s important to come together and figure out what challenges to focus on and what direction to take, and then create a programmatic approach to cloud to get you there.

That’s where an experienced guide like Hitachi Vantara can deliver incredible value. Having delivered almost 700 successful transformation journeys over the last 25 years, we’ve seen again and again that there really is no one journey that works for everyone.

The best way to cloud is the one that meets your unique needs and objectives, delivers your strategy and has the backing of a team of driven, committed and collaborative stakeholders. So our professional guidance will nearly always focus on supporting you to define those goals and outline the best path for you.

Our End-to-End Cloud Migration Portfolio – At Your Service
And of course we have the tried and tested approach: the proven framework, 360-degree discovery tools, deep insights into hundreds of possible scenarios, partnerships with hyperscalers, and the unique depth and breadth of our cloud migration portfolio, which includes everything from infrastructure to data analytics to app modernization.

In fact, Hitachi has everything you need to get you to that point of understanding, keep you on track, and make sure the entire cloud journey happens — with the best possible outcomes.

To discover more about your current level of cloud maturity and receive a personalized report, complete our IDC Cloud Assessment.

Samta Bansal is Global Consulting Marketing Leader at Hitachi Vantara.

1 IDC: Worldwide Whole Cloud Forecast, 2020-2024 (https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US46020420)
2 IDC Expects 2021 to Be the Year of Multi-Cloud as Global COVID-19 Pandemic Reaffirms Critical Need for Business Agility (https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prMETA46165020)

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