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Businesses moving to the cloud must have a strategy in place

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The pandemic brought to light a great deal of financial, economic and operational weakness across the world.

This prompted organisations across all industries to double down on business reliance planning, something which in turn accelerated digitisation or information technology transformation plans.

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PwC Cyprus director of technology advisory services Minos Georgakis

Indeed, PwC Cyprus director of technology advisory services Minos Georgakis this week said that companies and organisations that implement sound cloud strategies create a framework for future success, particularly because cloud-based services bolster their ability to remain agile in an increasingly unstable business environment.

“Industry experience has shown that when done well, cloud services can provide organisations innovative ways to deliver existing services, whilst also providing rapid access to new capability,” Georgakis said.

“When adopted in a planned and well-governed manner, cloud services can also help reduce operational costs,” he added, noting that the question now isn’t whether an organisation is going to move to the cloud but how they’ll do it and at what pace.

However, Georgakis said that moving towards cloud-based services without a clearly defined strategy and implementation roadmap is an ineffective approach and may cause issues.

The first step in developing a cloud strategy, he said, is for organisations to change how they perceive cloud technology.

“Though numerous enterprises have proclaimed a “cloud-first” approach, many of them don’t have a well-established cloud strategy that clearly defines the “why”, “how” and even “what” of their cloud implementation,” Georgakis stated.

“Without a cloud strategy, an organisation may try to accommodate a multitude of choices that often conflict with each other and fail to guide the business towards achieving its important corporate goals,” he added,

He also stressed that with no cloud strategy, a company will not have the necessary business objectives that it can clearly trace and track, in turn losing focus on the key challenges that it needs to tackle.

Furthermore, Georgakis said that moving to the cloud goes beyond a simple upgrading of the company’s IT capabilities, but it also the transformation of how a business thinks about technology and applying it to both its processes and its people.

“The cloud strategy must address business imperatives and opportunities that are specific to your industry, your business, and your team’s requirements,” he concluded.

The pivot towards the cloud is underlined by the continued investment in cloud infrastructure services, which remained on an upward trend during the second quarter of 2022.

According to a report by industry analysts Canalys released this month, global cloud infrastructure services spending rose by 33 per cent year-on-year during this time, reaching $62.3 billion.

This has been attributed to a range of factors, including high demand for data analytics and machine learning, data centre consolidation, application migration, cloud-native development and service delivery.

“The cloud remains the strong growth segment in tech,” Canalys vice president Alex Smith said.

“The race to invest in infrastructure to keep pace with demand will be intense and test the nerves of the companies’ CFOs as both inflation and rising interest rates create cost headwinds,” he added.

Meanwhile, while some organisations are just now in the process of transitioning towards the cloud, others are already exploring new trends and planning how to expand their cloud-based services and capabilities.

According to global consulting firm Gartner, public cloud spending will exceed 45 per cent of all enterprise IT spending by 2026, up from less than 17 per cent in 2021.

“High inflation and the threat of recession are only increasing the focus on whether to accelerate the movement of workloads to the cloud,” Gartner said in a report on the segment, while noting that capturing the benefits can be challenging.

“If you move workloads to the cloud but neglect to modernise them, you may actually increase operating costs and fail to improve business agility, so you must make sure to determine the relative priority of different strategic goals before proceeding with migration,” the company added.

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