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How to overcome cloud transformation challenges to deliver superior experiences

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Today’s customers demand experiences that are nuanced, contextual and, above all, personalized.

Creating such personalized experiences is a key differentiator among competitors in any market. However, it can be difficult, and traditional on-premises systems often aren’t up to the task. That’s why many business leaders have been looking to implement cloud solutions to gain the operational efficiency and agility required to develop the kind of innovative experiences their customers want. After multiple conversations with IBM clients about enabling their cloud transformation journeys, I’ve noticed some common challenges and would like to provide some suggestions for overcoming them.

Challenges blocking the way to the cloud

First, organizations must assess their IT infrastructures and determine the best way to adapt their complex, highly customized legacy systems to a rapidly evolving cloud environment. Then, they must find a way to adapt their operational processes to new cloud platforms.

These challenges are exacerbated by an additional constraint that I call the “multi-of-multi” reality. This reality is that enterprise IT environments can include multiple cloud platforms and multiple providers, with deployment options on or off premises, in public or private clouds.

Each cloud service has multiple levels of granularity, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and business applications as a service, such as IBM Cloud Business Solutions. There are also cloud-enabled or cloud-native services and applications, multiple speeds of DevOps across systems of engagement, insight and record. It can be difficult to sort through all these choices to determine what your company really needs.

While these challenges can seem overwhelming, the results are well worth the journey. You just need to be prepared to overcome these challenges before you begin your cloud transformation journey.

The key to a successful cloud transformation

Five demand profiles form the core of the Cloud Innovate framework, covering most aspects of a transformation to a cloud-enabled enterprise. Each of these demand profiles is supported by a robust lifecycle tooling platform. The demand profiles are

  • Advice for cloud. A top-down, holistic approach to strategize, plan and define the roadmap for transformation. This profile has dimensions for people, process and technology and includes quick-win proof points.
  • Migrate to cloud. A prescriptive approach to quickly moving applications to the target cloud. Rehost and replatform scenarios are part of this profile.
  • Modernize for cloud. A prescriptive approach to extract value from core applications by modernizing the application partially or entirely. Refactor and redesign scenarios are typical of this demand profile.
  • Build for cloud. A design-thinking, agile, minimum viable product (MVP)-to-scale approach to building cloud-native architectures and applications. Rewrite and new white space opportunities are part of this demand profile.
  • Application DevOps. Techniques to design, engineer, run, operate and continually enhance the application platform that’s a multicloud and hybrid cloud.

Determining your company’s demand profile can help you understand your current environment and the best approach for moving your applications to the cloud as well as adapting your business processes to a new platform. That way, you can achieve the personalized experiences your customers expect.

Learn more about how IBM clients are embracing the cloud to meet future business challenges. You can also download the Forrester study to learn what the leaders in modernization are doing and get a roadmap to winning at digital transformation.

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