Digital transformation is such a heavily used buzzword in 2017, it is becoming a catch all phrase to mean ‘doing something good with technology’. All firms know that they need to transform, keep up with competitors, delight customers as well as understanding that digital technology is the key to unlocking these newfound services and insights.
These are the discussions that are often had a C-Suite, along with the part IT can play in cost saving. Whilst it is true that Azure can help with all of these, many organisations are feeling stuck on a ‘transformation treadmill’ as discussed in a lovely analogy of the red queen in an article written in The Register: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/17/the_red_queens_data_center/
It reminds me of conversations many of our customers have had with risual, explaining they have moved to the cloud – or at least some of their data services, but are still not seeing true transformation, and the increased costs of being in Azure are giving marginal savings compared to what they had hoped for.
The old saying rings true that ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey’. An organisation will have never fully achieved transformation to a point where they can stop innovating or driving forward. Of course, they can have milestones or objectives but to remain an agile, modern organisation – you have to keep working at being modern and agile.
It’s a lot like starting a body transformation at the gym, with a view to competing in a triathlon. You may want to set a record time at swimming and purchase a carbon fibre bike, but before you can do that you must take care of the basics. An IaaS transformation is a lot like losing weight and gaining fitness by running on a treadmill in the gym. It’s a controlled environment where you can stress test and slowly get yourself in shape. It is however, at different points very easy to give up – during the process, you may feel you underestimated the difficulties of the project and it is not worth the benefits, or once you hit your ‘target weight’ you may not feel as different as you hoped, and slip back into old habits.
Infrastructure transformations are the same, you can migrate your on-premise workloads into the cloud, and that’s great, but it is not true transformation – just how getting in shape doesn’t make you an athlete. What this hard work gives you is a platform to build on, and grow from – just as with newfound fitness you can take up rock climbing, or running, or triathlons – once your services are cloud based, you can now take advantage of breadth of services available within Azure. It is when you get these new workloads, insights, and scalability that the true benefits of the cloud become clear, if you simply move to the cloud just to be in the cloud, it’s probably not going to transform your business as you imagined.
To extend the analogy further, in both situations you need a personal trainer – someone who understands the journey is on, can understand your wider objectives and help plan your project to get you there. Although at risual we may not all be in perfect shape, our architects know your journey and have worked with countless organisations who have felt transformation fatigue. In both situations, its all about keeping your goals in mind.