How can businesses avoid falling into the cloud adoption trap?

cloud adoption trap
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In today’s world where a global pandemic inadvertently proved the potential of work-from-home arrangements, it has also further emphasised the importance of cloud adoption for businesses to continue “business as usual” in this period of “new normal”.  The pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption. With the enterprise cloud computing-related services market in the Asia Pacific region forecast to grow 19% to US$256.4bn in 2023, cloud is now seen as an enabler to support an employee’s productivity to create better customer experiences, empowering employees to drive higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Through the years, the world has seen a great deal of digital transformation in businesses — starting from on-prem storage and ERP systems to the cloud. However, with the constant change and dynamic demands in technology, as well as the need to quickly migrate processes to the cloud, companies may find themselves unknowingly duplicating services or migration paths, resulting in unnecessary money spent, and inevitably contributing to cloud waste. Have organisations today fallen into the cloud adoption trap?

Business agility and order amidst chaos

With public cloud services serving as one of the brightest spots in IT spending in 2020, it is crucial for businesses to thoroughly understand their business needs in contrast to solutions already implemented. Finding the right balance using business strategy, new technologies and sustainable innovation is the way forward in the new revolution of cloud adoption. Yet, many businesses across the region today are bogged down by challenges around cloud adoption such as company silos, different databases, wrong migration paths, no prior business case, moving all applications at once, and many more. As businesses across Asia Pacific focus on end-to-end digitisation to accommodate the new generation of consumers, integration and automation are now increasingly becoming a critical part of this evolution.

Agility and speed are key elements in the equation, necessitating that organisations across the region move beyond legacy systems and embrace an API-led approach towards integration. But, digitising operations also demands good data control and management. Security and governance strategies must be in place to protect data assets and reduce risks in cloud-ready distributed architectures. Integration presents an ideal solution to move forward. Integration, when done right, creates something much greater than the sum of its parts, unlocking the value of data and extending critical functions across the organisation.

From app to edge, integration takes data from across companies, unlocks it from silos, and stitches it together seamlessly— empowering the enhancement that businesses need to differentiate their offerings. Companies will need to have an integration strategy, and never underestimate cost, as with a new architecture, business analysis in terms of returns on interest or business impact are key aspects to be covered.

The most visible impact due to cloud waste is the lowering of returns. As companies are unable to maximise the usage of the cloud to its brim, it results in a lower return on assets. Inadvertently, as cloud waste starts inching in, cloud service providers may be forced to build newer and more expensive products that would affect the whole ecosystem of cloud users.

The way forward to eliminate cloud waste

There is no doubt that the business of cloud has been booming, but so has cloud waste. Having a roadmap is the key to mastering cloud integration for businesses, defeating pitfalls to the cloud. Organisations need to strategise, prioritise, and plan. Given the variety of organisation needs, priorities and capabilities, the foundational need for cloud migration includes prioritising migration components — deciding if one migrates an entire application at once, or migrates it service by service.

Even with attempting component by component migration, companies risk non-essential services being transferred or duplicated, resulting in the spending of resources that are being paid for by the hour or minute, but are not actually being used. It is no longer enough for businesses to be content at where they currently stand. Accelerating digital transformation in the industry necessitates a major paradigm shift in the way organisations operate.

Combining a sound API strategy for data integration and business process automation allows businesses in the region to move towards the centralisation of control, specifically for compliance and product releases. Aside from experiencing reduced operating costs, organisations in Asia Pacific can likewise significantly benefit from optimised processes and improved efficiencies as a result of implementing integration and API. Organisations that have a solid strategy founded on speed, agility, scalability and data compliance are at the position to seize more growth opportunities in the new age of business.

Jigar Bhansali

Article by Jigar Bhansali, Vice President of Solution Architecture, Asia, Software AG

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