Cloud migration: A operating model, beyond cost savings

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Mumbai: Cloud adoption continues to witness rapid and continuous growth across enterprises and businesses in recent years. Cost reduction and efficiency are among the many benefits that cloud migration offers.

However, those organisations that migrate to cloud-primarily as a one-time cost savings activity need to rethink their cloud approach as per a new report.

Competitive disadvantages

A new report from Accenture reveals that those organisations that primarily migrate to the cloud as a one-time cost savings activity risk competitive disadvantages.

Compared to such organisations, the report has identified a select group of organisations that treat the cloud as a new operating model to continuously reinvent their businesses. For them, the cloud is beyond cost savings as they are using capabilities across public, private and edge cloud to innovate and realize business value.

The findings of the report titled “Ever-ready for Every Opportunity: How to Unleash Competitiveness on the Cloud Continuum,” is based on a survey conducted in late 2020 and early 2021. From 25 countries, nearly 4,000 C-suite executives in both IT and non-IT roles across private and public-sector organisations in 16 industries participated in the survey.

Cloud Migration

The report explains why looking at cloud as a one-time migration to a static destination — essentially as a cheaper, more efficient data centre — is limiting. Organisations that are using the cloud in varied forms strategically have competitive advantages against those using the cloud as a cost savings activity.

“Most organisations today deploy some mix of public, private and edge clouds, with little integration between them,” said Karthik Narain, global lead of Accenture Cloud First. “As a result, innovation, data and best practices achieved in one part of the organisation aren’t benefitting others — thereby impeding value realization.”

Cloud – A Continuum of Technologies

However, Narain points out that a small percentage of organisations are positioning themselves to reap the greatest value from the cloud. “By viewing cloud as a continuum of technologies that span different locations and types of ownership, dynamically supported by cloud-first 5G and software-defined networks to support the ever-changing needs of their business.”

As per the report, organisations plan to migrate on an average more than two-thirds of their workloads to the cloud over the next three to five years. But only half are using the cloud’s full potential in its various forms to transform their day-to-day business operations, carry out knowledge work and modernize applications to meet business needs.

Continuum Competitors

Accenture defines the organisations leading the way in the cloud as “Continuum Competitors.” These organisations — about 12-15% of respondents, depending on region — stand out by extending the experience they gained from the public cloud to their private data centres and edge locations to transform daily business operations.

As a result, they achieve substantial gains from their continued cloud engagement and outperform competitors. Continuum Competitors are also much better positioned to withstand future shocks, according to the research.

Continuum Competitors include organisations such as Carlsberg, for example. Beyond operational cost savings, the Danish multinational brewer cites its freedom to innovate and experiment as one of the cloud’s key advantages, enabling it to launch new initiatives and campaigns in hours, rather than months.

Continuum Competitors are also much better positioned to withstand future shocks, as per the research.

According to Narain, a company’s future competitiveness hinges on choosing the right type of cloud for the right applications and cloud-based services. Such as artificial intelligence, smart contact centres, edge computing, robotic computing, extended reality and others — from across the continuum and implementing the advanced practices needed to leverage those technologies.

“By using cloud-first strategies, companies can build better customer experiences, smarter business processes and more sustainable products,” said Narain.

Here’s what Continuum Competitors have at their advantage:

  • Two to three times more likely to innovate, automate and re-engineer knowledge work;
  • Achieving between 1.2x (North America) and 2.7x (Europe) greater cost reduction than organisations focused mainly on data migration;
  • Aiming to achieve more operational and financial goals, including targeting up to 50% more business measures, such as increasing customers and going to market faster than their peers;
  • Up to three times more likely to use the cloud for at least two sustainability goals, such as using green energy sources, designing for lower power consumption, and using servers more efficiently to reduce energy consumption.

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