Many companies are now looking to accelerate their digital transformation to support the now prioritised strategy of a digital workforce with remote working. A significant part of this strategy is to transition the organisations systems and applications from on-premise to cloud based infrastructure to make them easier to access by employees outside the office environment.
This will no-doubt be part of an overall focus on reinvention and rejuvenation to overcome the uncertainly and restart your business to thrive post-pandemic. Adoption of Cloud can be a foundation to delivering data insights, analytics, automation and predictive analytics from machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies layered on top of the cloud infrastructure. Moving to cloud will make innovation and invention quicker and easier, that will drive sustained competitive advantage, allow you to better service your existing customers and explore new business opportunities that drive additional sources of revenue for your business.
However, we understand that migrating existing systems while looking to explore new capabilities on the cloud is a complex process and for many businesses will require additional help from skilled and experienced teams who have delivered similar projects before. Planning is key to your success, but also there is a need to train your existing IT staff and developers to ensure you are gaining full benefits from migrating to cloud infrastructure.
Detailed Planned is Needed
However, we know from experience, that migration of a number of systems and applications onto the cloud can be a highly complex programme of activities requiring, in many cases, the underlying applications to be re-engineered to work well on a cloud architecture. Not only do the existing applications need to be reviewed and assessed for required re-engineering, but the cloud architecture also needs to be designed. For large organisations, you may wish to adopt a hybrid or multi-cloud platform strategy, which needs additional considerations and design elements.
All of this preparation work need to be planned and executed before you start the process of migrating the systems onto the cloud infrastructure. This creates a complex portfolio of dependent projects that need to be detailed and managed as part of the digital transformation programme.
We list a number of key factors to be considered during the planning phase on our Cloud Migration page.
Some of the Benefits of Cloud Adoption
One of the benefits to moving onto a cloud platform, is to exploit the various analytics and data science capabilities they offer to deliver additional insights from your corporate data. However, each cloud provider delivers a different set of capabilities and has varying abilities across computer vision, natural language processing, predictive algorithms, IoT and edge computing for AI algorithms as well as data science workbooks and tooling. These need to be reviewed to ensure they align with your machine learning and data science requirements.
Adoption of the cloud also brings a potential benefit of previously separate databases and data warehouses being co-located. This opens an opportunity to leverage insights from these siloed datasets that was not easily achievable before. The potential of deeper insights from corporate data repositories can serve as a distraction from the core cloud migration programme if not handled properly. Obviously realising the value from the programme is key, but it needs to be done in a way that does not risk slowing down the overall progress.
Additional factors to be considered in your IT strategy to maximise the benefits of Cloud adoption are listed on our Cloud Migration page.
Training Staff to Maximise the Benefits of your Cloud Platform
While cloud migration is seen as a highly technical work stream, there is need to educate and train the wider development teams and IT staff within the organisation to understand how to build cloud based applications. Without this the true benefits of the scalable infrastructure and rapid deployment may not be fully realised. The DR and continuity approach can also be revised as part of deploying a new cloud architecture and multi-region and multi-site cloud infrastructure, essentially building in a robust, redundant, fault tolerant and resilient capability from the ground up.
Additionally, building a data science team and/or retraining existing IT staff to become data scientists will open up further benefits to your organisation to better extract value and insights from the data you have. Making better informed and quicker decisions, in this dynamic environment, could make all the different to the performance of your company.
Find out more
If you would like to learn more please see our Cloud Migration page. We also have additional blogs which discuss other aspects of deploying a robust digital workforce and more generally our perspective of Covid-19 and how AI is helping the healthcare sector
About the author
This article was written by Prof Andy Pardoe, CAIO & Chair of Combined Intelligence. Andy has many years experience with Big Data transformation and migration projects together with delivery of analytics and AI solutions.
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