What’s the best way to move a company into the cloud?
Many companies try to do it in one fell swoop: they pick a “go live” date and work furiously to make one giant leap from their legacy environment to the cloud. In practice, though, modernization is a journey better traveled in stages—and with collaborators ready to help.
There are three classic points of progress, each one essential and each offering its own benefits to your business and your teams. While each company will have its own path, depending on its existing IT, workflows and goals, most should expect to pass each of these three stages on their way to life in the cloud.
1. Leveling Up
If your IT team is used to working with traditional mainframes, then moving key applications and workflows into private or public cloud platforms is going to push the fast-forward button on their technical skills. This will be everyone’s chance to get their hands dirty with new languages and use new tools, ideally with support from a development partner.
It’s a classic challenge-and-opportunity situation, not just for individuals on your team but for your business as a whole. As your IT team learns to use more flexible and cloud-based technology, you’ll find you’re able to move faster and drive more innovation.
2. Speeding Up
Expect your agility and your financial models to change—in a good way. Instead of spending to maintain legacy on-premise mainframes, your dollars will be invested into moving (and improving) all your data and processes into the cloud, where progress reigns. As costs are shifted from infrastructure into applications—which is preferable from a developer’s standpoint, anyway—everything will scale faster and more affordably.
Your response to changing business needs will also speed up. The cloud can help you be more responsive to customer (and vendor) needs—a critical key to success in today’s B2B and B2C marketplaces. Having the infrastructure to support customer-centric efforts, such as taking advantage of new technologies like AI and mobile, will enable companies to meet customer expectations with flexible brand experiences that move both sales and market leadership forward.
3. Partnering Up
Public cloud solution providers like AWS and Microsoft agree: any major move of critical workloads from mainframes to the cloud is best led by a trusted third party, one with the core competencies needed to transition smoothly. This lets the company focus on cultural and change management issues and prepare for a comfortable transition while not feeling forced to move everything at once.
This process begins with evaluating and mapping the legacy functions which can move off the mainframe, and then moving them over to the cloud, workload by workload. For up to nine months (or even more), the third-party partner can manage remote infrastructures while discovering the other efficiencies and software savings that can be generated by the move. In the best case, the new infrastructure will “look” to users like the friendly old mainframe environment, even as the new cloud applications provide the superior performance they were developed to achieve.
Setting It All Up
No move to the cloud is ever simple. But with these three points in mind, it won’t have to be convoluted, either. Whatever your aims in moving to the cloud, you’ll be building competencies for the future and setting up your organization for the faster, more strategic growth that comes with automation and superior business intelligence.