Living in the Cloud Can Be Like Settling Into a New Home

Despite your best efforts at planning and budgeting for the move, living in your new environment isn’t as efficient or cost effective as you need it to be. Here are five ways to help with that transition.

Greg Douglass, Global Lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory, Accenture

August 15, 2022

4 Min Read
clouds form the shape of a house
Wolfgang Zwanzger via Alamy Stock

Think about the benefits of a new home -- you envision it as a significant step up from your current place. It’s a dream come true, but first you have to get organized and move from your current home. You go through your things, packing essential items and discarding the rest. As you migrate to your new home, you unpack and discover a few things that broke during the move. You can’t find certain items because of mislabeled boxes; other belongings simply don’t fit in the new space. You realize you don’t have everything you need for your dream home, so you buy new things -- with money you didn’t plan on spending.

Then you and maybe other members of your family discover that it’s a struggle to operate new home environment as you don’t have experience and training with new appliances, entertainment, lighting and security systems. You begin to realize that, despite your best efforts at planning and budgeting for the move, living in your new environment isn’t as efficient or cost effective as you need it to be.

It’s a lot like cloud adoption: Many companies conduct detailed planning for the migration and yet fail to reap the rewards of cloud, whether they’ve migrated completely or only partially. They’re missing a big opportunity. Instead of unlocking new value with cloud -- from enabling better customer experiences to optimizing costs -- these organizations are simply moving to cloud without introducing new ways of working or anticipating new needs. This is the “cloud adoption paradox.”

What to do? It’s time to slow down a bit, take stock and clean things up to start living your best life -- in your new dream house or in the cloud.

We already know from our clients that navigating the cloud continuum is complicated. Our research shows that while companies plan to migrate more than two-thirds of their workloads to cloud, on average, over the next three to five years, only half are using the full potential of cloud in its various forms to transform their daily business operations. Typical issues include runaway cloud expenses, misalignment between the business and IT, and a failure to improve productivity because of limited delivery automation.

By focusing on cloud adoption -- or simply migrating to the cloud -- instead of on what will happen when your company lives in the cloud, organizations end up with very little incremental value from continuing to migrate. Competitive pressures intensify. With so much money invested, companies still don’t take full advantage of new opportunities to offer one of a kind customer experiences or to make the business run more efficiently.

These developments come at a time when cloud spending by companies will imminently exceed non-cloud spending. The implications for companies across industries is huge, and those trapped in the cloud adoption paradox will fall behind.

Five Leading Practices for Making Cloud Your Dream Home

So how can companies adapt more successfully to cloud adoption? We’ve identified five leading practices for companies to thrive in the cloud post-migration -- allowing them to move from merely adopting new technology to thinking differently about what cloud can enable for them, and taking advantage of it. We call it mastering continuum practices.

1. Pursuing business and industry advantage: Organizations must realign their cloud investments with their business strategies and identify industry-specific use cases to tackle immediately.

2. Architecting and orchestrating the cloud continuum: Organizations must architect for new complexities in a multi- and hybrid-cloud landscape and combine the spectrum of capabilities and services, from public through private to edge and everything in between.

3. Unleashing value from data and AI: Organizations must harness data properly to make new insights, enable better customer and employee experiences, reinvent their operational processes and fuel the next waves of product and market growth.

4. Reimagining the operating model and people: Organizations must focus on transforming their skills and processes across all levels -- from the ways of working of individuals and teams, to organizational contexts and cultures. Business policies, processes and procedures can and should change to adapt to new cloud enablers.

5. Mastering cloud economics: Organizations must reengineer their economic processes to become continuous and agile to control cloud spend, while also shifting the mindset from tech cost to tech value.

Living in your dream home is not simply about packing, moving and unpacking. Neither is thriving in the cloud. Mastering continuum practices helps companies go beyond mere migration to successful adoption of a new way of operating and winning.

More Articles by Accenture’s Greg Douglass

About the Author(s)

Greg Douglass

Global Lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory, Accenture

Greg Douglass is Accenture’s global lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory. With more than 25 years of consulting experience across telecommunications, media, technology and retail industries, Greg is focused on helping clients worldwide achieve high performance through profitable growth, accelerated innovation, organizational agility and operational excellence. He is based in Dallas, Texas.

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