Think Holistically When Moving to the Cloud

Stewart Smith

Archive article - published on April 14 2021

A recent survey by CloudTech, part of the TechForge Media portfolio, states that less than one in ten companies employ a holistic digital transformation approach. It’s the rare few organizations that consider applications, network, security aspect, and employee needs across functional areas when moving to the Cloud.

Begin at the Top

Leaders of organizations are adjusting to the new climate resulting from the current pandemic. They realize the importance of a connected workforce regardless if that’s in the office or working from home. According to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, “...25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.” This reality places an increased demand on management to distribute a message of positivity and things to look forward to as businesses adjust to another “new normal”. For instance:

Chief Financial Officers realize that using different practices in their business and technology decisions can result in savings while improving experiences.

COO’s are hyper-aware of their people resources, and they see benefits in more flexible operating and engagement models.

Covid-19 has had a surprisingly swift impact, and businesses at large have had to make significant adjustments. For many workers, everything became virtual: meetings, documents, even hallway conversations. This isn’t a temporary situation. It is a catalyst that will accelerate the transition to more flexible and distributed teams and a greater reliance on cloud computing. Leaders need to prepare for this technological change and create a pervasive cloud culture.

Rethinking How We Move to the Cloud

Companies still using legacy technology are struggling to keep their teams connected—much less collaborating the way they did when working IRL. In fact, Google reports that some 96% of teams experience difficulty communicating in the virtual environment. And, 75% of remote workers say they’re missing out on important information.

While ensuring employees are well-cared for in a cloud migration, IT managers bear the burden of guaranteeing technology’s efficacy. For instance, IDC, who looked at business readiness for a post-COVID age, stated that 66% of North American companies struggle to balance flexibility and security for remote work employees.

In a blog article it posted last week, Google Cloud challenged readers to rethink cloud migration from a more practical and comprehensive perspective. In considering a move to the Cloud, there is a tendency to get caught up in the 5R initialism (Rehost, Refactor, Revise, Rebuild, or Replace), championed by Gartner and others. But, says Google, what organizations need is a more holistic approach, “...when our Professional Services teams engage with customers, we pay little attention to these semantics.” Instead, the cloud service provider advocates that people, process, and technology all should be considered. In other words, a holistic approach.


Narrowly Focused Cloud Migrations Can Be Costly

Spurred by the pandemic, businesses’ interest in cloud migration has never been more vital. There’s a survival impulse within organizations that are making leaders realize they must modernize or die. This instinct permeates departments—R&D, engineering, production, marketing, operations, and sales alike. A problem arises when each functional area embarks independently on its journey of transformation. Digital collaboration across functions is critical to the success of any company.

Accenture surveyed 1,500 global senior and C-level executives. The overwhelming consensus among these executives was that functional groups within their respective organizations were “...competing against each other instead of collaborating on digitization efforts.” That’s a big (and costly) problem for modern business.

Failure to engage holistically in a cloud migration has real implications in the best of times. Those shortcomings are compounded in times of crisis. Here again, Accenture is definitive. Uncoordinated activities lead to redundant investments and a lack of economies resulting in a nearly 6% increase in costs, a 40% shortfall in revenue, and 64% of companies not realizing a return on their digital investments.

Holistic Help

Writer and journalist Chuck Palahniuk once said, “The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.” In a sense, that’s what is happening at some businesses. Heads of departments worry only about their team’s move to the Cloud and ignore the broader organization’s needs. In a way, those leaders are not to blame. Most companies organize budgets, personnel, and resources in clear hierarchies, not matrices. The precedent for collaboration doesn’t exist.

Sometimes, a new perspective can help ensure a more collaborative approach. As a leading Google partner, WALT Labs lends a fresh perspective to cloud migration and application modernization that helps businesses ensure a more holistic digital transformation.  Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation and insight on how your company can make a comprehensive move to the Cloud.

Stewart Smith
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