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How to overcome the 4 barriers to cloud migration

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The move to remote working, brought about through Covid lockdowns, put new pressures on organisations to provide safe, fast and reliable access to communications, business planning and operational systems. Successful cloud adoption was a key differentiator for how effectively an organisation could transition to this ‘new’ way of working.

Accenture’s survey of 2603 Asia-Pacific business leaders identified four main lessons for New Zealand organisations to successfully manage migrating to the cloud.

Cloud is not a cheaper data centre

"When organisations migrate to the cloud, they leave their legacy systems behind. Unfortunately, many hang on to their legacy mindset," says Suraj Sowki from Accenture New Zealand.

"One of the important steps for any clients’ digital transformations is acknowledging that cloud should not be viewed as a like-for-like replacement for legacy systems.

"This fixed legacy mindset limits an organisation from taking advantage of often cheaper and more efficient features when they are released by cloud service providers," says Sowki.

Digital transformation projects are often seen as expensive capital investments but migrating to the cloud is not the same. In fact, one of the opportunities it offers organisations is the improved ability to move from capital expenditure to operating expenditure. This provides operational flexibility when revenue may be unpredictable - such as during a global pandemic.

Cloud is more, rather than less secure

As the recent spate of cyber-attacks in New Zealand demonstrate, cloud service providers must have robust state of the art security solutions and rely upon their safety credentials to attract and retain customers.

"If cloud service providers are compromised by cyber-attacks, they will quickly lose customers to their rivals. The result is that cloud providers are always increasing the level of security offerings for their clients. Some cloud providers are deploying machine learning algorithms to better predict and respond to the next generation of cyber-attacks. It is innovations like these that are making cloud a good choice for organisations wanting to defend themselves from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats," says Sowki.

The push for constant security innovation has meant that customers feel safe and secure using cloud solutions for their organisations. A recent IDG Research survey of 600 cloud using companies showed more than 70 percent felt confident about the security of their cloud-based data, and believed they have better protection with cloud infrastructure than with any solution they could build themselves on-site.

"Operating your organisation from the cloud is a more secure proposition than maintaining on-premise servers, especially for those companies that lack the resources to invest in in-house security capabilities," says Sowki.

Cloud is a game you can control

When migrating to the cloud, it is important to remember that new data security laws may apply. Organisations in industries such as financial services, government, telecommunications, mining and energy might be subject to government data restrictions.

"Cloud is resilient because it is a decentralised system - data is securely stored in multiple locations. But that decentralisation can bring challenges when complying with local regulations about data security. One way that cloud operators can assist clients is through the use of ‘guardrails’ or high-level rules that govern your cloud environment for all jurisdictions.

"When planning cloud migration, it is important that CIOs too play an active role in ensuring that cloud service providers are complying with local data regulations," says Sowki.

Cloud is a journey you can learn to trust

"Before the cloud, companies would have to work with smaller vendors to develop custom software applications. The additional server management and security configurations added more time and cost," says Sowki.

In comparison, applications designed specifically for the cloud require much less configuration.

"A ‘cloud-native’ application is designed specifically for a cloud computing architecture, as opposed to simply being migrated to the cloud. It enables rapid adoption of new technologies and helps businesses be more agile to respond to new market opportunities," says Sowki.

Large cloud providers are expanding at pace in New Zealand. Earlier this year Microsoft announced that they would establish a new datacentre in New Zealand. The move will help Microsoft cloud customers meet data residency, security and compliance needs.

"The new ways of working brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are here to stay. As distributed workforces become the norm, it is clear that cloud will play an important role in New Zealand’s digital future.

"Organisations and government agencies that are able to plan and successfully navigate their cloud journey are set to reap the rewards that these important digital transformations will bring," says Sowki.

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