As digital transformation continues to grow more popular and relevant year after year, Forbes says that “companies must expedite their digital transformation to drive their business forward. They must adapt to technological changes, work to improve the CX and fight for growth and opportunity.”
Forbes also reports that cloud computing has been a major contributor to growth in IT spending, growing at 4.5 times the rate of IT spending since 2009 and expected to grow at more than 6 times the rate of IT spending from 2015 through 2020.
While leadership in some organizations may be skeptical about transferring information and workloads to the cloud, it is important to note that employees across all age groups want to work for businesses that express a deep commitment to digital progress.
Every organization’s journey will differ, of course, but having a digital transformation strategy in place can help you be clear in your objectives at the outset and navigate your cloud migration in accordance with your long-term business goals. Below you’ll find some innovative practices that organizations in any industry can follow to achieve a seamless cloud migration, with an increased speed to market.
Table of Contents:
Identify Your Company’s Needs
Just about every company and organization will be affected by the continual evolution of digital disruption. If you want your company to come out on top, then you’re going to need to stay agile and adaptable so you can transform alongside your industry and avoid being left behind.
In order to stay flexible, however, you’re obviously going to need to be intimately acquainted with the new and ongoing trends in your company’s industry, the size of your company as it currently is, what your company’s capabilities are, and what its most relevant needs are. This is an obvious first step, perhaps, but diving right into a comprehensive cloud migration or digital transformation without a clearly defined strategy can leave your company directionless and adrift.
Digital is eating the traditional business model, and disruptors of all kinds are using this opportunity to elevate their business. Staying competitive may mean experimenting with unconventional methods to transform your business from the inside out.
Before your company begins shopping for cloud products, you’ll want to take the time to define the overall requirements of your project and why you’re pursuing the project in the first place. This will involve identifying your networking, architectural, and performance-based requirements. These requirements should also be documented before you begin your search for a cloud service provider, as satisfying them will be vital for your company to successfully transition into its digital transforming future.
This is also the time where the leadership at your organization—CEO, stakeholders, etc.—should be asking themselves why the organization is pursuing cloud migration. For some companies, cloud migration may not be necessary, and pursuing that trend could consume resources that would be better spent elsewhere.
However, in many cases, pursuing cloud migration is absolutely necessary, especially since more and more enterprises have begun moving their IT systems to the cloud. Like Donna Scott, vice president at Gartner, says, “Cloud computing will become the dominant design style for new applications and for refactoring a large number of existing applications over the next 10-plus years... having a cloud strategy will enable you to apply its tenets quickly with fewer delays, thus speeding the arrival of your ultimate business outcomes.”
The bottom line is always going to be this: your cloud migration strategy must be in clear and sustainable alignment with your long-term business strategy. Failing to do so could ultimately render your cloud purchase irrelevant in the long-run and decrease its value and practicality.
Your digital transformation strategy should be designed to serve your company’s unique needs and help you avoid wasting time and money on solutions that won’t actually benefit you and your company. The clearer your company’s needs are, and the clearer the factors are that influence those needs are, the clearer your path to a successful and seamless cloud migration will be.
Filter Out Irrelevant Options
When it comes time to actively pursue a cloud provider for your company’s needs, you want to start by considering all of the options you have to choose from. Don’t just focus on the “big 3” providers, as your needs can often be better and more cost-effectively met by other providers. The problem, however, is that finding the right provider for your needs is easier said than done, as the cloud marketplace is often less than transparent.
To filter out the cloud options that are irrelevant to your needs, you need to be able to pinpoint some of the things on your “must-have” list for cloud migration providers. This can and should cover everything from functionality to budget and will help you eliminate options that aren’t applicable to you.
As always, you still need to be careful who you turn to for your cloud buying services. For example, it’s important that you avoid consultants and high-margin Value Added Resellers (VARs) that aren’t necessary for your company and its needs. This is why we designed UCXmarket, and combined the e-commerce and marketplace models in order to repurpose them both for easy cloud buying.
Utilize a Cloud Marketplace
In the past, buying into a cloud service was exclusively reliant upon legacy sales systems, and it wasn’t uncommon for a CXO, VP, or procurement officer to have to speak to multiple salespeople by phone and email before coming anywhere close to a purchasing decision. Thankfully, digital models are helping to replace these time-consuming ways-of-old.
By design, technologies like cloud marketplaces allow a company’s decision-makers to scan an extensive list of cloud options from a single location where they can, ideally, compare all of the available options based on cost, computing power, location, service type, and other qualifications. This can even make it possible for a buyer to purchase cloud computing services without needing to ever speak to a sales representative.
However, most existing cloud marketplaces take the form of online storefronts and provide numerous offerings—such as apps and other third-party products—but do not provide their users with a comprehensive selection of cloud services from the entire marketplace, or help in selecting them. This can create needless obstacles to navigate through and still result in a time-consuming process.
Ultimately, what is most helpful is a hybrid design where users can click to buy or request white-glove-type service for help with designing and building what they need and even seeing what kinds of competitive offers are available for that specific configuration.
With UCXmarket, however, you can shop for a variety of cloud services all in one singular space, giving you a hassle-free marketplace with thousands of options that all provide you with full transparency in pricing, specifications, and services. With the RFQ (Request For Quote) feature, we can also help you design and build a custom project, and get you a pricing reference from “best fit” providers. This way, we can help you save time and money by locating the plans that best fit your company’s needs and filter out everything that won’t.
Our unique marketplace places a multitude of cloud-based services—like virtual servers, bare metal, colocation, and custom options—right at your fingertips. This means that all of your available options won’t only be one singular location, but they’ll also have complete transparency in pricing, specifications, and services so you never have to pay for more than what you need.
Consult with a Third-Party Partner
It’s no secret that IT budgets across a number of industries are under frequent and intense pressure. Too frequently, organizations begin their digital transformation by reallocating overburdened resources and shrinking budgets into a new undertaking that they either don’t completely understand or don’t have the proper expectations for. This tragically leaves the ongoing transformation process with little room to grow or evolve as the need arises.
By leveraging the expertise of a third-party partner, however, you can help equip your company with the information and direction it needs to save valuable man-hours, increase speed to market, and optimize your investments and infrastructure. As such, outsourcing part of your management of financial IT risk exposure can be key to working efficiently toward digital transformation in the shortest amount of time possible.
For example, with a consultative marketplace at your side as a partner, you would have access to effective resources and professionals to guide you through the litany of market offerings. They can also aid you in evaluating, comparing, and ultimately choosing the best option for your organization and its goals. This process allows the buyer to leverage expertise from multiple sellers and create completely customized solutions, while also being able to prove to Management or a Board that their process was effective.
Once you’ve settled on the right CSP for your organization, the right partner can also assist you in the migration process and help you deploy your new services with an eye on efficiency and scalability in order to make sure you and the CPS you’ve selected are primed and ready for success.
Finally, working with a consultative marketplace partner can help increase executive confidence in transformation initiatives and relieve friction within your organization throughout the selection and implementation stages. Some partners can also provide users with a Process Map document that will support purchasing decisions and clarify how and why they were made.
Develop an Implementation Plan
Whether your organization is going to be migrating from one cloud environment to a new one, migrating part of a legacy IT system while keeping another part of it in-house, or even migrating to a hybrid cloud environment, the process can often be tedious and time-consuming if your implementation plan is not properly optimized.
There are a number of diverse and valuable benefits your organization will experience upon migrating its data and workloads to the clouds, but since the process is inherently different for every organization, you need to be prepared for unexpected roadblocks or detours. This is why you need to develop an implementation plan that’s unique to your company and the available resources and business objectives it possesses.
In some instances, your third-party partner can help you outline a plan for your digital transformation implementation as well. For example, our team at UCX can work alongside you to develop a roadmap that will transition you from your current system’s capabilities into your new tech’s environment with minimal disruption to your company’s day-to-day operations.
Implement Seamless Cloud Integration
If your company’s goal is to achieve a seamless digital transformation and cloud migration, then rolling out your cloud services in phases can be one of the best techniques at your disposal. While it may seem counterintuitive at first glance, especially if your goal is to accelerate the overall integration process, migrating in phases will actually save you time in the long run by minimizing the growing pains associated with navigating and adapting to a new system.
This approach will also allow you to better test your new product for performance, vulnerabilities, and areas of stress. Taking time to run tests like these can be essential in guaranteeing that you not only get everything out of your product but can also ensure that you and your team grow alongside your new products instead of struggling to adapt to them.
Ultimately, implementing a solid digital transformation strategy is one of the keys to staying competitive as a business. The better your strategy is, the more accelerated your digital transformation will be, which means your company will have an increased focus on overall preparedness and adaptation. And when your company is focused on its goals, your team and the third-party professionals it’s aligned with will be exceptionally equipped to achieve and maintain a seamless cloud migration.
UCXmarket provides a hassle-free space where thousands of VMs, bare metal, colocation, and cloud vendors compete against each other for your business. This proprietary platform provides a single point aggregator model which allows buyers to find or build a cost-competitive entry or replacement points to the cloud and compare them in order to find the best deal.
This process is driven by price discovery, with free quotes and no buyer transaction fees. UCXmarket eliminates wasted time and energy entertaining unhelpful CSPs with a point-and-click platform that allows users to quickly establish their colocation or cloud configuration needs.
UCXmarket works as a consultative intermediary to help you transform your business in the digital space. Lack of transparency in the cloud computing market doesn’t have to slow you down or overburden your team with unnecessary options.