Outperformers are focusing on cloud services to get ahead

January 5, 2022 | 5 Mins David Daly

Cloud migration has been commonplace for a few years now as companies looked at digitize and move some of their business-critical services into the cloud. It is about modernizing and innovating while also keeping pace with the competition-there is a growing sense that multinational companies can no longer afford to not be in the cloud, such as the broad range of associated benefits that come with cloud computing.

Disruptors and outperformers are prioritizing cloud migration as they sense an opportunity to move faster than the competition by operating their core business practices from one or several interconnected cloud services platforms.  They understand that the future of business will be heavily reliant on software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) driven business models. They are focusing more on the opportunity rather than any impediments- they understand that if they get it right, a cloud-based business model will give them a competitive advantage over their rivals.

In this article, we will take a look at the reasons why outperformers are choosing to prioritize cloud services and how delaying any transition to the cloud could prove costly in the long run for other organizations who are considering it but as yet are not fully committed to it.

Covid triggered migration

The pandemic has changed the business world and radically altered work culture. It was a key factor in the acceleration of business plans for cloud platform migrations. In the past, discussions were held, and meetings took place, but there was no real urgency or project plan. That has changed due to the pandemic- the business environment has become a lot more competitive and consumer behavior is changing.

Consumers and buyers of technology or services are expecting a digital experience-multinationals who cannot provide them with this, risk losing them as clients or potential future customers. Pretty much everything went digital during the pandemic in terms of their personal and professional lives, and this has created an expectation of the same when it comes to their commercial or buying preferences. Public cloud use took off and there was a lot of cloud initiatives in areas like healthcare, e-commerce, telecommunications, supply chain and cybersecurity.

Multinational companies quickly came to the realization that a lack of digital transformation and cloud infrastructure could be a barrier to success, company growth and scale up activity. They understand now that they need to be operating with digital best practices, in a secure cloud environment, on technology stacks and ecosystems that are built for scale.

Transport companies and online e-commerce platforms needed a lot more bandwidth to cope with new demands during the pandemic. They had many concerns that their legacy infrastructure was not capable to cope with this new demand.  There was a strong need who quickly and securely move business critical systems such as online ordering applications into the cloud for greater operational control and oversight.

Committing to investment

Sometimes it is simply a case that outperformers move ahead of the competition because they simply make the decision to commit to investment quicker. Many are already digitally native companies and are fully sold on the clear and present benefits of cloud deployed strategies. They have strong partnerships with service providers and cloud providers and their business models leverage cloud infrastructure to achieve growth rate, market share and revenue growth.

They have done the research and have acquired full buy-in from all stakeholders including the C-Suite. Digital cloud platforms are where they manage their core business services such as HR, finance and global payroll and they also use a cloud model to go to market or engage with their business or consumer target market.

This cloud environment is now fully embedded into their processes and company culture-this is how they see themselves. They have committed to the investment and have now switched their focus onto where this investment can take them. Moving core business processes and business critical services into a SaaS environment can enable them to expand quickly into multiple international markets, something a legacy system or disconnected and disparate technology stacks could not achieve for them in the past. Many have found that because their key competitors have been slow to commit to the cloud, they have been able to move into new territories and carve out market share, undistracted by the competition.

Hiring for cloud skills

Another thing that the innovative companies and outperformers are doing is specifically hiring for cloud skills. They have adopted a cloud model, committed to the investment and made a decision to run business critical processes in a cloud environment. Now, they are backing up this approach by adding the right people into the mix.

This makes perfect business sense- if you are operating in a cloud environment, then you need people who understand that environment. This is about both hiring cloud developers to keep platforms running while also re-skilling existing workers, so that they can leverage and maximize all cloud based digital tools.

Outperformers are also quick to recognize that demand for cloud skill sets is only going to increase, so a focused and effective hiring strategy, seeking out and recruiting candidates with cloud-based skills and DevOps ability has become a major priority at these organizations. Around the world right now, there are labor pool shortages and specific skills shortages, so hiring for cloud skills is challenging and competitive. Those companies who have not yet even moved into the cloud may find themselves at a significant disadvantage if they are behind the curve when it comes to hiring people to help them with a large cloud migration project.

Migration roadmap

Outperformers tend not to hang around once they have made the decision to pursue a cloud strategy! After committing to and securing the right level of investment, they move quickly into a road mapping and hiring phase-and set out to deliver on the plan. It is the right approach, while a certain level of caution is always prudent, nobody is ever rewarded for being slow!

Outperformers will quickly assign a project manager and build a team around this person with the sole objective of performing a swift and efficient cloud migration project. These companies are much more likely to develop a full road map and implementation outline, and then back it up with the people and resources to deliver it. This road map may begin somewhat broad in scope, but it gets narrowed down very quickly to become detailed and comprehensive, ensuring security and compliance are a major part of the framework. With the road map in place, it becomes very clear what type of employees need to be hired to deliver it- the level of advanced skill sets e.g., developer resources become clear very quickly.

If you take the time to monitor how outperformers are handling their cloud migrations, then there are some very useful learnings to be gained from how they do it. It is an opportunity to lay some very strong foundations for any cloud migration project of your own. It could also be a useful indicator of which cloud services providers to approach for advice and guidance.

 

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