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Blog June 28, 2018

Transformation to the cloud. Which is more important, the destination or the journey?

In our digitalized world, where even the most outrageous hypes are quickly realized as everyday commodities and everyone is raving about the future, the journey itself seems barely relevant. I think that underestimating the journey is the worst mistake we can make. It is easy to talk about the benefits of new technologies on the cloud, while referring to organizations that have successfully made the transformation. In reality, they have had a rocky journey and usually succeeded only partly on their set business goals.

Public cloud services have long been in the spotlight and liberal use has been made of the terms IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, depending on the business requirements and technological capabilities of the organization in question. We can talk about two different levels of utilization. The first level is so-called "lift and shift", whereby a traditional IT infrastructure has made the transition to a cloud infrastructure model. This involves little need for change, but very little cost-effectiveness and additional business values are achieved. Success is usually measured using a maturity model with a variety of miscellaneous, technology-related indicators.

In most cases, this is followed by another level – a genuine transformation to the cloud involving the creation of new business applications, data structures, integrations and changes in business processes. Efficiency, scalability and completely new business scaling capabilities are thereby achieved. This is referred to as adaptation, whose metrics tend to be more business-oriented and quantitative than maturity indicators.

Few experts or organizations have genuine capabilities and even fewer have wide experience of their own in planning all of the changes needed to make optimized and innovative use of public cloud services. However, without such changes the benefits remain small. It is also easy to be blinded by the market hype and the concentration of expertise on a particular solution. Poorly executed projects can even lead to negative final results, without attaining any of the promised objectives.

So what am saying here? When thinking about digitizing your business and making efficiency gains through public cloud services, don't focus only on the destination – anyone can tell you what that is. The real benefits are gained through careful and holistic attention to the journey. This requires many types of expertise and, in particular, the courage to declare that changes are needed in your own operating models and processes. Easiness and a strong technological focus are always a sign of a badly executed journey. A good one can be recognized by its impact on business processes and everyday operating models. In addition to your own organization, your partners and customers will benefit from a well executed journey.  

 

Pete Nieminen

Pete Nieminen

Pete@enfogroup.com

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