The ongoing pandemic has further highlighted the importance of being an agile and resilient enterprise. In many cases, a successful transition to the cloud is among the most critical factors in building agility and resilience. Still, many enterprises are wondering where to start with their cloud strategy.
Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” cloud strategy that your enterprise can just pick and implement. You have to come up with your own.
The key to an effective cloud migration strategy is to consider your complete technology ecosystem when identifying priorities in time to value. Many factors must be considered when creating a plan—including budgets, change readiness, available skills, risk profile, and strategic objective.
To simplify this process, we will provide you with 4 common paths to the cloud that you can choose from. The chosen path can serve as a blueprint for your cloud strategy.
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Cloud-based core business operations
This strategic option involves moving core business functions, such as financial management, operations management, manufacturing management, supply chain management, and inventory management to the cloud.
While this strategy can produce significant returns, it often takes an extended time to realise the values. It best fits those enterprises that have ERP systems in place.
Key indicators that core enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities should be moved to the cloud-first include:
- You need to improve the connectivity of your ERP system to internal and external applications
- Core capabilities, particularly industry-specific functionality, are lacking in your current solution
- You want to provide employees with improved access to ERP functionality across geographies or device types
- You need to improve data capture in your ERP system to feed enterprise analytics
Read more: 5 Questions for Leaders to Ensure Business Continuity Post-COVID
Cloud-based key business processes
Focusing on a narrower set of business processes that mainly affect specific departments within an organisation may be a way to balance risk with the return on investment (ROI). Often these “edge” solutions – solutions that support or complement the core operations - allow businesses to generate benefits that free up resources for larger initiatives.
Moving edge applications to the cloud-first might be the right move for your enterprise if:
- Your business is prioritising near-term business value
- You prefer shorter implementation cycles and a simpler ROI model
- You need advanced capabilities beyond typical ERP features to support business processes or objectives
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Cloud integration platform
If your enterprise still needs to keep most of its systems on-premises for now, then implementing a digital gateway in the cloud may be the best strategy.
A highly scalable cloud integration platform can provide an opportunity for on-premises-based businesses to easily integrate various applications —regardless of their deployment (on-premises, private cloud, or public cloud)—to execute business processes.
A cloud integration platform might be the best cloud strategy when your organisation has any of the following scenarios:
- Migration of most applications are not possible in the short term
- You need to integrate a mix of on-premises and cloud applications
- You prefer to use a single, secure API and web service hub for all of your applications
- You need one place to control and monitor all the asynchronous interfaces in the organisation
By moving analytics to the cloud, you can aggregate enterprise-wide data and break down data and organisational silos. This enables a data-driven culture where meaningful insights can be continuously reviewed to help teams work better and improve decision-making.
Moving analytics to the cloud-first might be the right move if:
- Your enterprise is prioritizing business insights and wants to become more data-driven
- You want to continue using your current on-premises applications while leveraging data across application silos
- You want to address critical business issues such as scalability, performance, security, elasticity, and risk management
- You are seeking opportunities to apply advanced tools for machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI)
Read more: Don’t Let Your Data Lake Become a Data Swamp – Here’s What You Can Do
If your organisation has waited to move your applications to the cloud, you now have more insights than ever to develop your cloud migration plan. The range of options available means that your business can choose the path that best serves your strategic needs and risk profile. Choose your path, and take the first step towards a more agile organisation that is better prepared to take on future challenges and opportunities.
Want to learn more about each of the above four strategies in detail? Check out our 4-IN-1 information kit below to learn everything you need to know about cloud migration, from definitions to success stories and step-by-step guides. Download the kit today!