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Upward and forward… the cloud way

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The Philippine business ecosystem today is at an interesting crossroads. What makes the “Philippine story” unique is the presence of numerous mid- to large-sized traditional and family-run businesses, which are on the cusp of transitioning to the big leagues. Leaders of these companies have been exploring various ways of redefining their organizational competitive advantages. This exploration has led to a frenzy among business leaders to identify the potential disruptors that they can harness to redesign their future competitive edge.

At this point, there’s a general consensus that the adoption of technology is a means to future-proof any business. However, Filipino organizations’ diverse portfolios and rather inorganic growth journeys have prevented most from unifying the technology fabric across their organization. Limitations of available in-house skills and technology solution providers whose repertory of jargon complicate technology selection. Finally, the problem of cost: In today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, where yesterday’s predictions do not hold true anymore, these challenges seem unsurmountable.

One of the biggest disruptors in the arena of technology that seems to answer these concerns is the use of the cloud. Cloud technologies have transcended from the realms of verisimilitude to reality. The cloud allows for easy deployment, unlimited scalability and metered or pay-as-you-use model of fees, making it easy to adopt and yet affordable.

In our line of work, we have been advising growing organizations across the world in search of a technology refresh. We have helped them build a fit-for-growth technology strategy and have helped them plan their cloud transformation journey. We have followed through the strategy and supported organizations in successfully migrating their application portfolio to the cloud.

Based on our experience, we have identified eight steps to help organizations move seamlessly to the cloud and harvest the best value possible.

1. Assess your application portfolio — Cloud services can be deployed in public, private or hybrid mode. It is, therefore, necessary for business and IT leaders to work together in identifying which of the applications they are using can be deployed in any one of these configurations. The decisions are driven by both internal (e.g. business criticality, cost, etc.) and external parameters (e.g. regulation, network connectivity, licensing, etc.). At this stage, the leaders should carefully choose and leverage a cloud decision framework to plan how the future state for its application infrastructure will look.

2. Rationalize your application portfolio — Many organizations continue to carry the burden of legacy applications no longer relevant for businesses or are severely defunct. As the organization readies itself to embark on the cloud transformation, they need to weed out such applications that are irrelevant and identify upgrades required for other applications in their portfolio.

3. Choose the right cloud service provider — For the organization to harvest benefits from cloud transformation in the long run, they need to evaluate the alignment of their own application strategy with that of the service providers’. In this step, one must evaluate the service providers’ breadth of infrastructure, regulatory and security compliance, and variety of services (under IaaS, PaaS, as well as SaaS) provided.

4. Choose the right migration partner — Once a service provider is identified, the organizations should invest in the right application migration partner to help walk them through their cloud transformation journey. It is essential that organizations select a partner with an in-depth understanding of not just the industry to which they belong, but also the finer nuances of their business. The potential partner should be able to exhibit an intimate understanding of cloud platforms, applications, and have proven capabilities of coming up with creative solutions based on their various service offerings.

5. Plan your projects, program and risks well — The organization needs to work actively with the partner and identify the potential risks and roadblocks that one might face during the cloud transformation program and plan for risk mitigation strategies. The leaders should note that the cloud transformation is a complex journey, and not doing it right at the first attempt could prove to be a very costly affair.

6. Collaborate with all your stakeholders — The organization needs to work closely with the cloud service provider, the migration partner, as well as its internal stakeholders, to kick-start and systematically and seamlessly implement the cloud journey.

7. Refresh internal capabilities — The cloud transformation does not end with migration. While the partners assist in the migration, it is up to the organization to refresh the available in-house skills and capabilities to ensure that it can continue to harvest the benefits of cloud.

8. Redesign IT Operations — Cloud transformation reimagines the organizational DNA, forcing them to reimagine their IT Operating Model and change how they cater to the needs of their current and future customers.

All these above-mentioned steps are easier said than done and warrant significant commitment from top leadership. It is oft said that “what got you here will not take you where you want to go.” Therefore, the only way from here on is Upward and Forward.

The views or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting Services Philippines Co. Ltd. The content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for specific advice.

 

Subha Chatterjee, a Technology Consulting Senior Manager, and Sandeep Waghmare, a Mangement Consulting Manager, are members of the Consulting Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting Services Philippines Co. Ltd., a Philippine member firm of the PwC network.

+63 (2) 845-2728 local 3466/3084

chatterjee.subha@ph.pwc.com

sandeep.w@ph.pwc.com