Over the past year many organisations began their journey to the cloud.

Some of this was brought about by the sudden impact of the COVID pandemic and an urgent need to support a distributed workforce, and a realisation that incumbent infrastructure was not able to support the business. For others, it has been part of planned digital transformation efforts to be more agile, reduce costs and perhaps grab a competitive edge.

Whatever the reason, it’s important that those charged in making the decision for their organisation to migrate to the cloud are crystal clear on the business strategy and the organisation’s goals. Whilst it’s clear to many that the cloud can accelerate digital transformation, we do see organisations make poor choices, which can then be costly.

One of the key problems is that too many assumptions are being made. For example, there is a belief that the cloud provider is doing everything. Whilst they are doing it to a point, in some industries that’s not the case. For example, they may only be storing your data for 30 days, which is an issue in regulated sectors such as government and financial services.

We’re also discovering lots of holes where the cloud hasn’t been configured correctly, such as no consideration to regulatory requirements or privacy laws. There is this untrained belief that the cloud is ‘click and go’ and the hyperscaler will take care of everything. That’s just not the case and it’s incumbent on the organisation to ensure its cloud implementation is appropriately configured and has the right governance in place.

If it’s not, it can expose several other issues.

For instance, if not properly optimised, it may result in cost blow-outs because you’re spending money on services you don’t need, such as extra virtual machines. On the flip side, you may be missing out on cloud services that can deliver more value to your business. A good example is the ability to spin up a Kubernetes cluster to use artificial intelligence or machine learning.

Do your cost analysis

If you want to do ‘a lift and shift’ to the cloud, it’s important to cost it out properly. That may seem an obvious step, but it’s a common mistake and is costing organisations tens of thousands of dollars.

For example, in one case a customer was spending approximately $30,000 a month for its cloud setup, simply because they hadn’t properly optimised it and were unnecessarily paying for services and features they did not need. After a few weeks working with them and making a number of changes, and fully aligning the cloud to the business strategy, we reduced the monthly bill to $10,000.

Our position on the decisions we make all comes back down to what’s right for the customer.

We must understand what the organisation is trying to achieve by a cloud migration and then select the right technology that will deliver on the business objectives. You cannot advise on technology decision without first understanding the business problem. If you don’t understand what you’re trying to solve, how do you know what technology is going to work?

That’s a fundamental problem in a lot of cloud decision-making.

Extracting Value from The Cloud

Extracting value from the cloud isn’t always an ongoing operational matter.

You need to be clear on the business case and mapping out how you’re going to use it in an effective way. It’s also about cost optimising, configuring your cloud and then leveraging cloud services to derive greater value.

This in turn ensures you can plan your budget in advance and avoid ‘bill shock’. That requires having the right governance in place up front.

You need to know how you’re going to extract value, what you put into the cloud, what remains on-premise, and then ensuring you’ve got all that compliance and governance in place relevant to your industry sector.

As we said at the outset, there are lots of organisations migrating to the cloud. That’s a good thing.

But at the same time, there needs to be caution in making that decision, and ensuring it’s being designed to deliver tangible value for the organisation and keeping long-term goals in mind.

Done correctly, it will reduce the complexity of your cloud migration and ensure a secure foundation to build on.

And moving to the cloud is not a ‘set and forget’ task. You will need to continuously take responsibility and monitor and optimise costs, services, and security.

Talk to us about your cloud strategy.  Contact us