The cloud transformation progresses more slowly than planned for many companies, and the desired success is not achieved. These are the six most giant stumbling blocks that prevent successful implementation.
The modernization of the infrastructure and application platforms is at the top of the IT agenda for most companies. Cloud platforms and services that promise high innovative strength, efficiency, agility, and scalability are increasingly important. Many companies are therefore taking the path to the cloud. The success of a cloud transformation depends on several factors. A structured approach and the avoidance of typical errors are fundamental. Here are the six most giant stumbling blocks that can lead to the failure of a cloud project.
Lack Of Strategy In A Cloud Transformation
A fundamental problem with a cloud transformation is often the lack of a strategy. The goals associated with cloud use are often not sufficiently defined by companies. Such goals can be increased efficiency, cost reduction, or the use of new functionalities and technologies. It’s a good idea to identify applications that will be moved to the cloud in advance to incorporate the requirements into the strategy.
This also involves clarifying the following questions: Which cloud model is best suited: private, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud? And which cloud service does the organisation need: IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), or SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)? Should a vendor lock-in be avoided? In addition, the strategy phase should always include a business case analysis with a detailed ROI calculation. Last but not least, it is necessary to define what an exit strategy looks like – and this is precisely the point that companies usually wholly ignore.
How To Do It With Click-Click Cloud
A click-click-cloud approach is expected. Many cloud providers offer portals through which services can be booked quickly and easily. However, users often do not check whether the offer is optimal for their own company regarding function and integration options in the application landscape. The costs, own regulatory requirements, or data protection aspects are usually not sufficiently considered in a click-click cloud process. This quickly creates confusing cloud environments that are difficult to control later and do not bring the desired cost savings. In some cases, expenses are even increased by thoughtlessly booked tools.
Lack Of Change Management In A Cloud Transformation
Every cloud transformation directly impacts workflows, organisation, and administration. Despite this, many companies overlook the need for change management. For example, if cloud use is only viewed as a purely IT issue, the project is almost inevitable to fail. A cloud transformation always affects the entire company and thus the most diverse departments from IT to controlling and procurement to human resources. Cloud transformations are, therefore, always a structural issue that requires adjusting business processes and thus active change management. The fact that cloud use requires adequate employee know-how and training measures may have to be taken is often not considered.
Transition As Cloud Transformation
It is a fallacy to equate transition with transformation. A cloud transformation involves more than outsourcing a server to a hyperscale. A company can thus relieve the hardware in its data centre or escape from ageing infrastructure, but such a transition does not represent any significant added value. On the other hand, a targeted transformation goes beyond pure hosting and uses the actual cloud advantages such as economies of scale or time to market. Above all, however, it is also about using new technologies and services that support technological change. Examples of this are:
- Cloud-native application development and provision.
- IoT integration.
- Applications in AI and ML (machine learning).
The Jumble Of Different Tools
Not the exception, but rather the rule: In cloud transformations, companies use various tools, from cloud readiness to migration to DevOps tools. Such a toolset is rarely selected after a professional and technological evaluation. It is often not checked whether the necessary employee know-how is available for use. Without a rigorous and company-wide coordinated approach to using tools that focus on your own company’s specific requirements and implementation options, a cloud transformation will be more complicated than more straightforward.
Cloud Transformation: Lack Of Governance
Many companies lack a governance strategy – including for cloud use. However, comprehensive and end-to-end governance is essential for a cloud transformation. It includes the exact definition, establishment, and monitoring of rules that support corporate strategy implementation and offers a high-security level. Specifically, it is about authorization management with the company-wide definition of roles and the regulation of user access. An essential aspect of governance in compliance with compliance regulations resulting from the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU-GDPR). It was evident that policy-driven identity management and compliance requirements are imperative, especially in the cloud context.
“There are many pitfalls with cloud transformations. With the six stumbling blocks mentioned, we want to give companies initial support on what they should pay attention to. One thing must be clear: Even a single stumbling block that a company overlooks can significantly delay an entire project or even cause it to fail,” explains Eric Berg, Vice President Consulting Expert at CGI. “Every cloud transformation is a demanding project and requires a strategic and structured approach for successful implementation. Because of the complexity of the challenges, it can be helpful for a company to resort to external support. The prerequisite is that the service provider can also demonstrate and document the relevant expertise.”