Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Jason Hatch, VP, Cloud Center of Excellence Lead, Capgemini Americas.
As companies begin shifting more of their workloads to the cloud, many are still just dipping their toes into the pool or still preparing to embark on the cloud journey.
That’s because cloud migration can be a daunting process, especially when considering that many organizations that have completed their migration still have workloads that remain on-prem, which cannot scale.
However, the movement away from on-prem systems has highlighted just how significant the increased return on investment (ROI) is on those that are now cloud-based.
That said, organizations contemplating a change in their workload dynamic should take a critical look at what they can shift to the cloud in order to reap the benefits – such as eliminating excess costs and increasing organizational collaboration.
What is holding back the organizations that are slow to move their workloads to the cloud? In simple terms, on-prem workloads function as an anchor for an enterprise – where many business-critical systems live. These systems take time to shift, and businesses can’t run without them while they migrate.
There’s a lot to navigate, and enterprises need to know how to organize and structure their workload migration in the most effective way.
Industry example: energy & utilities
Let’s say a power company built a new data center six years ago. Based on the financial lifecycle of that investment, that data center will be a budget item for another 10 years, slowing down the urgency to shift to the cloud.
But power companies find themselves in a difficult position, because while cost is certainly a factor, the potential benefits of moving more workloads to cloud are clear.
Last year during the winter storm in Texas, as data centers crashed, major power companies shut down. But having more data distribution and access to that data through the cloud can reduce risk when unexpected disruptions like weather events occur.
Here are three factors leaders should consider when trying to move additional workloads to the cloud:
A golden, but time-consuming opportunity
Gartner forecasts the global cloud services market to grow beyond $480 billion this year, and for many companies, nearly half of their workloads haven’t shifted over. There’s so much volume, especially at large enterprises, that it can be a time-consuming process.
But companies recognize the benefits of moving to the cloud and are starting to re-platform, re-architect, and take advantage of cloud services and capabilities for their migrated workloads.
How quickly they can make the move remains to be seen, but the faster it accelerates, the more value they can capture.
Cloud is just one part of transformation
When migrating workloads, it’s paramount to avoid doing the same thing in the cloud that’s being done on prem.
Activating a single workstream or project won’t provide the value of a transformative cloud program that integrates into other business and technology elements such as business strategy, applications, infrastructure, operations, and data.
This comprehensive, holistic model can help organizations maximize the value of the workloads they’ve shifted over – earning greater buy-in from the business to accelerate future migrations.
Developing cloud projects without integrating these other components is like sitting on a stool with only one leg, but with a broader approach to transformation, organizations will maximize cloud’s full potential.
Impact outweighs risk
Business and IT leaders realize they can keep doing what they’re doing and still get a lot accomplished.
To step up and commit to a massive cloud program and put the organization through significant change takes courage. There’s plenty of internal risk, as there’s always substantial cost associated with a transformation of this scale.
The collaboration required in the cloud is also an adjustment – as applications, infrastructure, and data teams must work together seamlessly – but the companies that break down those former IT silos and develop a cloud culture will set themselves up for success.
The evidence is overwhelming that the organizational impact of a well-built cloud program is powerful, but to get to that point requires some bold leadership and risk tolerance. Without the willingness to take the leap, the workload migration process will stall.
It’s a fascinating time in the history of cloud, as we’re still in the early stages of seeing what many of the world’s top corporations can truly accomplish when most of their workloads are off-prem.