Top 5 Cloud Strategy Tips For the Year 2020

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In this chapter of ‘The Role of Transformational Partners in Organization Change’, we introduce Nordcloud’s vision for Cloud Strategy and adoption. You will learn insights on how Nordcloud approaches cloud strategy work and what are the top 5 key focus areas for the year 2020.

Nordcloud’s Approach to Cloud Strategy

Nordcloud’s approach is usually focused on the following four areas:

  1. Current state analysis. In cooperation with our client, we aim to understand our client’s business model, IT operating model, data landscape, application landscape and current IT infrastructure. This analysis will form a baseline for the cloud strategy work.
  2. Target state. What are current objectives and existing plans for the above areas?
  3. Gap analysis. This part of the work is usually the most important, as we identify and prioritize short-term and long-term gaps. At Nordcloud, we are also doers, and instead of just identifying gaps, we also find quick wins and get the job done in accelerated speed.
  4. Strategy. After the above is done, we form a roadmap for the cloud adoption, create a business case, and align the documentation with overall IT strategy. The roadmap usually consists of an operating model, migration plan, cloud native development operations, continuity and risk analysis, sourcing, risks and a transformation plan.

Overall, cloud strategy work is pretty time-consuming and if you wish to get the wheels rolling fast, we recommend that you look for immediate and short-term improvement areas. Quick wins will support cloud strategy work and help create a positive impact for the project and overall transformation.

Top 5 tips for the year 2020

  1. Define your target state for the year 2020. To define your target state you will need to decide which services and applications will be moved to the cloud, what are the business expectations for services and activities,  and what metrics you will use to measure the success of your current state.
  2. In the year 2020, invest more in strategy, governance and operational excellence and less in putting out fires. It’s almost a trend that enterprise business units are making fast moves and responding to market demands with agile external partners, leaving IT departments scratching their heads and acting in a reactive manner. Whether centralized IT is the right partner for agile cloud adaptation is a debatable matter, but at least enterprise should have a proper cloud strategy, governance and operational model, in order to make sure that cloud adaptation is getting CXO level sponsorship and alignment with business goals.
  3. Continuously assess the current state of your company’s IT organization. Most cloud transformation projects fail due to a lack of skills or inability understand developer requirements and business needs. Upskilling is highly recommended and a necessary part of the transformation process. Secondly, Task Force initiatives have proven to be a very effective way to share information between different parties.
  4. Continuously align and prioritize your cloud initiatives. Cloud strategy work is continuous and requires the ability to prioritize actions based on changing needs in line with larger cloud strategy and governance.
  5. Get started! For any successful cloud adoption it’s essential to gain quick wins, even small ones. Just make sure that you have established internal communication channels where you can highlight and showcase your progress. Remember, a great cloud strategy means very little if you are not able to execute it successfully!

We Nordcloudians wish you all the best for the year 2020 – let’s meet on the cloudy side!

***

To pursue the keys to supercharging your digital success, download our IDC Infobrief Hyperscale Cloud Platforms As An Accelerator For Digital!

Yes, I want to learn more

This is the third instalment in our series “The Role of Transformational Partners in Organization Change”. Read the previous post:

Right Partners Are The Key To Digital Transformation Success

Cloud Center of Excellence Supports Continuous Transformation

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    Cloud Center Of Excellence Supports Continuous Transformation

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    Digital transformation is a must win strategic battle for most of Nordcloud’s customer companies and cloud is the most important enabler of accelerated transformation. Successful transformations require changes in organization culture, operational models, capabilities and adapting workflows to support continuous development.   

    Public Cloud Adoption Pillars
    All three pillars must be in place to successfully adopt public cloud at scale.

    Why You Need Multi-cloud Governance

    IDC believes that by 2023, 500 million new apps will be created. The number equals to number of apps built within past 40 years. 

    Organizations that are looking to roll out new digital products, services and experiences quickly must accelerate digital transformation and provide API-led integration across apps. There is rapidly increasing need to integrate across hybrid, multi-cloud environments. Secondly, changing application deployment architectures challenging traditional integration architectures and IT-organizations and under pressure to support business innovation.

    Biggest possible downfall of cloud adoption is ending up running IT-operations same way as in legacy infrastructure model.

    Every public cloud platform requires work to prepare the platform for use. Biggest possible downfall of cloud adoption is ending up running IT-operations same way as in legacy infrastructure model. In multi-cloud set-up teams operate in agile way and governance is more distributed from infrastructure team to for example software developers. Therefore it is essential that governance model sets guidelines on how cloud environments are created, what kind of developer tooling is available, what are the best practices for architecture, automation, security and cost management.

     

    Target Operating Model 

    Building on our long experience in cloud transformation and implementation projects Nordcloud have defined an operating model that allows Nordcloud’s customers to achieve the set targets fast and with certainty. Key Elements of the target operating model are: 

    • Cloud Center of Excellence: Focused on cloud governance and service development, the Cloud Center of Excellence core will support the continuous transformation, Cloud Center of Excellence development and cloud native platform development 
    • Cloud Managed Support: Acceleration of customers cloud native managed service capability development 
    • Training Services: Cloud native competence education with focus on competence analysis, upskilling and onboarding to digital projects 
    • Migration & Modernization: Identification of application modernization patterns and migration & modernization planning 
    • Cost Governance: Support for identification of cost optimization opportunities, project TCO calculation and new cloud proposal estimation 
    • Data Services: Focused on Data platform & services architecture design, pilot data project identification, planning of the data platform and Data as a Service models

    Governance during Cloud Journey

    Transformation is hardly ever straightforward and requires careful planning. Initially it is important to 

    1. align cloud strategy with business strategy
    2. define cloud service model
    3. plan model deployment. 

    Big part of the work is identifying concrete capability gaps in the current set-up and creating joint capability gaps and creating an capability development plan which includes upskilling, adding and replacing resources. 

    Nordcloud Cloud Journey
    Cloud Journey from drivers to outcomes.

    When strategy and governance models are designed and validated, it’s easier to move forward with building cloud landing zone and start onboarding users to cloud. Clear guidelines provide base for operating in organizations cloud environment and furthermore help to move forward with new business innovations and transform the way of working. 

    In the following parts of ‘The Role of Transformational Partners in Organization Change’, we will introduce how to align cloud strategy with business strategy, how to build solid cloud service governance and support models and how to promote cloud awareness.  

    To pursue the keys to supercharging your digital success, download our IDC Infobrief Hyperscale Cloud Platforms As An Accelerator For Digital!

    Yes, I want to learn more

    ***

    This is the second instalment in our series “The Role of Transformational Partners in Organization Change”. Read the previous post:

    Right Partners Are The Key To Digital Transformation Success

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    Get in Touch

    Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








      The Key Factors to Supercharging your Digital Success

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      Innovation, agility, and cost-efficiency don’t have to be tradeoffs in digital transformation

      This IDC Infobrief, “Hyperscale Cloud Platforms as an Accelerator for Digital: the Role of Transformational Partners“, sponsored by Nordcloud,  dives into the success factors of DX transformation.

      The majority of European CEOs face enormous expectations to transform their organizations into agile, digital-driven champions.

      digital transformation

      IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on digital transformation (DX) initiatives will reach more than $1.2 trillion by the end of 2019. CEOs are increasingly under pressure to deliver the financial outcomes associated with these digital transformation investments. 

       

      To be successful in leveraging new cloud platforms for DX initiatives, get three key areas right

      1. Skills

      2. Governance

      3. Finding the right transformational partners.

       

      Download the IDC Infobrief to find out how you can deploy these key factors to drive higher revenue.

       

      Download the Infobrief here

       

       

      Digital Transformation with Nordcloud

      We are ranked globally #2 by Gartner capability assessment in Mode 2 use cases such as supporting agile applications and cloud native transformation. We can help you move away from legacy applications and update your workflow with modern, cloud-based applications that are tailored to solve your most challenging problems. Benefit from scalability, and easier and more flexible management.

      How can we help you take your business to the next level? 

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      Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








        Benefits and risks of lift & shift migration to public cloud

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        Lift & shift is a common option for moving on-premises apps in the cloud while avoiding application re-designing. The aim of Lift & shift is to provision, import, and deploy applications and infrastructure resources to match existing, on-premises architecture without modification. Our customer companies choose to lift and shift in order to reduce on-premise infrastructure costs and then re-architecture application once it is in the cloud.  

        Typical example of Lift & shift is copying virtual machines (containing applications and data) and storage files (just data) across the internet into a pre-deployed target public cloud account. Although Lift and shift can be done manually, the process can and should be automated with tools such as AWS Server Migration Service.

         

        Benefits of Lift and shift cloud migration

        While Lift and shift is not the only way of migrating to the cloud, it can be the fastest and cheapest migration method. Compared to replatforming and refactoring business are limited cost, effort and complexity. Some of our customers also find that it is easier to re-architecture applications once they are running in public cloud, mostly because during the process of migrating the application, data and traffic, they also develop better skills.

        Summary of benefits:

        • Migrate fast to public cloud
        • Reduced risk compared to replatforming and and refactoring
        • Lower initial cost compared to replatforming and and refactoring
        • Thanks to multiple cloud native and partner tools available, the process can be highly automated with limited or no downtime.

         

        Risks of Lift and shift

        Lift and shift is appeals because it is easiest way of migrating to public cloud, but it isn’t without its risks and opportunity costs.

        Most typical challenge we see with Lift and shift is that existing applications are not properly resized for public cloud, as outside the cloud applications are often over-provisioned for peak load. In worst case scenario the application architecture is not cloud ready or cloud friendly resulting in degraded performance, or operational issues.

        Secondly, just copying applications and data without understanding what’s what, means everything is pulled to the public cloud, including insecure configurations and malware. Therefore lift and shift project should not be conducted with lack of effective security governance, risk management, compliance with company’s security policy.  

        Also actual costs may be more than estimates, which can be caused by inaccurate resource estimates, providers changing prices due to upgrading, or bad performance resulting in the need for more resources.

        Thirdly, applications that are lift & shifted to the public cloud may be able to take full advantage of the cost-efficiencies of native cloud features such as autoscaling and ephemeral computing.

        Summary of risks:

        • Inefficient and expensive cloud consumption.
        • Lack of understanding of the cloud. Inefficiency of work, or data leakage with wrong operation due to lack of cloud knowledge.
        • Poor cost & workload estimation to due to lack of cloud skills or understanding of application data.

         

        Nordcloud has proven services that can effectively mitigate lift and shift risks. Our post migration capacity optimisation service reduces cloud spend to optimal level and our training and advisory services can train IT organisation and create operating model that leverages cloud benefits. We believe that lift and shift is a valid option for IT organisations that want to progress fast.

        Read about Nordcloud Migration Factory here

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        Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








          Cloud Journey: the 5 steps to nailing digital transformation

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          Many organisations recognise that becoming more agile is vital to a successful digital transformation. This agility comes hand in hand with the cloud, but businesses find it challenging to find the right operational model for leveraging this.

          Getting the most out of the investment into public cloud requires changing or adjusting many aspects of work outside of technology. Supporting this cloud journey is the core focus of Nordcloud’s Consultancy & Advisory services.

          Our cloud advisory services have been built around the common experiences and customer needs which we have seen in hundreds of public cloud projects we’ve undertaken since 2011. We also work and in close co-operation with the hyper-scale professional service, like those of AWS, Azure and GCP. These experiences we have refined into the method we call Cloud Journey.

          The 5 steps of Cloud Journey

          Our five-step process is an approach which is both in line with industry best practices and based on our real-life experiences from real projects.

          1. Strategy

          Strategy is about setting and validating the goals and high-level roadmap for your organisation’s cloud journey. Our services for this phase include cloud strategy projects, vision workshops, and building directional business cases for cloud adoption. We also help with identify the capabilities needed for reaching those goals.

          2. Foundation

          For us, foundation is about both the technology and the organisation and processes for public cloud. In practice, this means defining things like a cloud governance model, the role of cloud competence centre, defining policies, security controls and the scope for the cloud core infrastructure in terms of tooling and architecture (for example networks and accounts).

          3. Innovation

          Innovation means taking full advantage of the capabilities of the public cloud and being able to quickly build new solutions for your business needs. For this, Nordcloud offers help with design services, setting up DevOps practices and in taking advantage of the data related possibilities of cloud.

          4. Migration

          Migration focuses on ensuring the existing application portfolio is also treated to the benefits of cloud. A typical advisory service would be (for example) planning the migration project, assessing the application portfolio for migration (6R analysis), or building a detailed business case for migration. We also help customers lead the transformation of their IT assets and organisation as cloud migration is different from a data centre migration and the work does not stop with the completion of the migration project.

          5. Optimisation

          After migration, optimisation helps with the transformation of ways of working, as does refactoring applications and improving the cloud core infrastructure itself. The goal for optimisation is ensuring cloud produces the needed business outcomes. Typical services could include cost optimisation services and best practice reviews, or for example, helping define and implement the next steps in the evolution of customer’s cloud centre of excellence.

          By working exclusively with the public cloud, we aim at maximising value for our customers. With this is mind, the goal for our advisory services is to produce actionable, practical recommendations.

          Cloud advisory and strategy at Nordcloud

          Our Cloud Enablement Services help your organisation to take advantage of the public cloud. We have a number of cloud advisors at Nordcloud, who are on hand to assist our customers with their journey to the cloud.

          Ready to get started on your cloud journey? Contact our cloud experts here!

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          Get in Touch

          Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








            Cloud Computing News #3: Cloud strategy is a must-have

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            This week we focus on cloud strategies.

            How and Why Leaders Must Implement Cloud Computing

            “Organizations that do not have a high-level cloud strategy driven by their business strategy will significantly increase their risk of failure and wasted investment,” says David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

            According to Gartner, a cloud strategy defines the business outcomes the enterprise seeks, and how to get there. Instead of thinking about it as installing new technologies, adopt a cloud service from an outcome perspective. What do you want the cloud to accomplish, and the enterprise to gain?

            Gartner highlights 4 key points for creating a cloud strategy:

            1. Select the right cloud option: it is vital that technology strategic planners select the option most aligned with the enterprise goals and needs .
            2. Think bimodal: a cloud strategy must address both modes based on the overall business strategy and the degree to which the business is focused on aggressively pursuing digital business.
            3. Categorize cloud service options based on benefits and challenges.
            4. Define guiding principles for the ideal way for cloud adoption to occur within the enterprise.

            Read more in Gartner´s white paper Cloud Strategy Leadership

            Multi-Cloud Strategies Grow

            Wall Street Journal reports on two recent separate surveys on the adoption of cloud services:

            According to a study by Forrester

            • 86% of firms already in the cloud have a multi-cloud strategy.
            • Over half of the respondents said they have been spending between $10 million to $100 million a year on multi-cloud services.
            • Why multi-cloud then? Reasons for that vary from safeguarding data by backing it up in cloud storage across different vendors, to taking advantage of different services offered by competing platforms, or simply as a bargaining for better prices.

            IHS Markit Ltd., a London-based data and analytics research firm found that

            • Midsize to large companies currently use an average of 8 different cloud providers – and this number is expected to rise to 11 within the next two years.
            • Most firms plan to “adjust their cloud strategy” within the next two years, aiming to improve performance.

            Read more in WSJ

            Public cloud infra quarterly revenue has more than doubled in the past 3 years

            According to the cloud market growth data by International Data Corporation (IDC), digital transformation is moving enterprises into the cloud.

            “Public cloud has been growing the most. Digital transformation initiatives such as edge computing and machine learning have been bringing new enterprise workloads into the cloud, driving up the demand for higher density configurations of cores, memory, and storage”, says Kuba Stolarski, research director for Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies at IDC.

            Vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products for cloud IT grew 45.5% year over year in the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18), reaching $12.9 billion. IDC also raised its forecast for total spending on cloud IT infrastructure in 2018 to $57.2 billion. Of this forecast, the public cloud will account for 67.0% of the total, growing at an annual rate of 23.6%

            Public cloud infrastructure quarterly revenue has more than doubled in the past three years to $9.0 billion in 1Q18, growing 55.8% year over year. Traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure revenue grew 22.0% from a year ago.

            Read more in IDC

            Cloud enablement, advisory and strategy at Nordcloud

            Our Cloud Enablement Services help your organisation to take advantage of the public cloud. We have a number of cloud advisors at Nordcloud, who are on hand to assist our customers with their journey to the cloud.

            Read more about our services here or contact us here.

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            The main purpose of UX writing is to ensure that the people who use any software have a positive experience.

            Get in Touch

            Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.