Cloud migration? Here’s what to focus on

Cloud computing binary HIGH RES scaled

Cloud migration has become one of the key issues large businesses are facing, and the global pandemic has only accelerated this. We recently hosted a panel discussion ‘Cloud Transformation – The Greenfield Opportunity, but where do you start?’ to dive deeper into this key focus area.

We handpicked an esteemed panel with years of experience and knowledge to share. The panellists included: David Knott, Digital Transformation Officer Google, Tom Jenkins, Head of Data and Analytics Risk at HSBC and Colin Gibson, EDM Council CDMC Product Owner and our own CDO, Lorraine Waters.

The panel covered these four important topics:

  • Strategies – are most businesses adopting a Cloud-First approach?
  • Challenges – regulatory, cataloging/inventorying, lift & shift vs. Greenfield?
  • Enablers – what are the Cloud providers doing to ease the journey to Cloud?
  • Controls – overview of CDMC recommendations

One of the key challenges around the cloud is cataloging your data. You must catalog everything. If you are not sure what you are capturing, how do you know if you have put something important onto the cloud that you shouldn’t have? Similarly, you must classify everything to know precisely where it sits in your data system. When everything is cataloged and classified, you start to apply the controls and use the new tools and approaches that the cloud enables. It’s getting that foundation in place upfront for cataloging and classification that allows you to make the most of the cloud. To make sure you keep up good cataloging and classification, you must also implement good data management practices. Ensuring you have data ownership, authorised sources, and a privacy framework sets you up in the right direction. It’s crucial to highlight that cloud won’t magically fix these problems if you don’t have these already on-prem, then the cloud won’t be any easier.

The fundamental strategy which brings the most value out of the cloud is to think of the cloud as a stand-alone platform. Many people start from the position that it’s an excellent solution to fit a specific niche problem, and it might be problems with cost or risk or with agility. But increasingly, we’re seeing customers think of the cloud as a platform where you can do a broad category of things, for example, analytics and insights or AI engineering. I think we see that platform strategy become increasingly vital. Companies who adopt a strategy where they view the cloud as a stand-alone platform have started to experience success because it allows them to focus the business outcomes rather than the problems the company faces.

One of the primary stumbling blocks cloud providers are working on is making the journey to the cloud more accessible. To solve this, providers keep adding more products to fill gaps in capabilities coverage. With all these new products and capabilities, does it make it easier for customers or more confusing? It’s like getting a bicycle in a cardboard box with loads of parts in it; how helpful for you is that? Increasingly providers need to package those products together into more end-to-end platforms. The idea of those is to help you perform end-to-end data management capabilities and end-to-end AI engineering and management capabilities.

We want to finish with a quote from David Knott, Digital Transformation Officer Google, who joined us on the panel discussion, “we can’t do everything ourselves, which is why we have companies such as yourselves and others to give us a rounded portfolio of things.” This collaborative approach whereby large cloud providers partner with smaller, more agile and modern tech solutions to provide an end-to-end solution is quickly being adopted. This approach not only gives greater flexibility to customers but allows for a much faster and more robust and automated solution.

Watch the whole panel from the EDM Council DataVision EMEA 20201 virtual event: Cloud Transformation – The Greenfield Opportunity, but where do you start?  on-demand now:

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