DX Debacle: When It Rains, It Pours

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Deagreez

With the digital era upon us, the cloud has become an inseparable part of our lives, and most importantly the lives of businesses and various organizations. According to IDC, over 65% of enterprises in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan will use multiple cloud services and platforms—a transition supported by investments to manage resources across multiple platforms.

Cloud is a crucial part of an organization's digital transformation journey and is offering fresh opportunities to break down boundaries and bring new agility. Recognizing these opportunities, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has begun its multi-year digitalization program, relevant to banking supervision, Anti Money Laundering (AML), financial stability surveillance, investment, and research. This pilot program will further grow and overhaul to cover HKMA’s IT and data infrastructure, lasting for years to come.

To embark on their digital journey, organizations need to understand the challenges that they will face, and how to prevent or overcome these difficulties.

In need of technology talents

Organizations face a shortage of technical talent who are well-equipped with the knowledge and versatility to aid the transformation process.

Since the Hong Kong government announced the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint in late 2017, the demand for talents and skills in digital and technology has continued to grow, with no signs of slowing. With the digital era and the growth of technology, the demand for talent in relevant fields is booming.

However, even with cloud-certified staff, a successful journey to the cloud is not guaranteed. Along with knowledge, employees need to garner strong practical skills in resolving a variety of cloud issues. Hands-on experiences in managing cloud, or rather the knowledge and skills needed to manage multiple cloud environments, is important with many organizations using multiple cloud environments to manage their database.

There is a need for skill sets that can fulfill the gaps in knowledge and skills required to push organizations to further harness and grasp the value of multicloud.

Lacking a full picture of the cloud consumption model

Other challenges have an enormous impact on how successful an organization’s process of digitization can be.

Poor understanding of the cloud consumption model can be an area where the process is more complicated than beneficial. For companies familiar with traditional forms of buying IT and infrastructures, they may find that in adopting the cloud, huge unexpected bills may pile up.

Before they start on a digital journey, organizations should reconsider what is the right principle and framework. They can leverage tools and use cloud cost controls provided by public cloud service vendors to estimate and further limit the cost. 

Fail to define the right cloud and digital strategy 

For organizations that may not understand, or underestimate, the complexity of the cloud, it may become a big issue if they rush to adopt cloud. When they begin their digitalization, it is easy to manage.

However, when cloud adoption is magnified onto the company structure, it becomes much more challenging to manage the infrastructure. With the right foundation, it can go a long way.

What organizations can do to avoid this situation is to design the cloud architecture with appropriate principles and frameworks from the start. With the right monitoring tools, the entire process is also much easier to understand and allows certain visibility and control over the cloud.  

Lacking focus on security and post-migration management

Security is vital to an organisation’s cloud. Even though cloud service providers can and do secure their infrastructure, looking after their end-to-end security is a responsibility solely on the organisation. The organisation needs to ensure their IT team is well-equipped with a different understanding of the various security risks that the cloud may bring, and the right capabilities to address those. They must design their cloud architecture with security and compliance rooted, to conduct third-party audits and adopt robust security practices. 

Last, it is important for organizations to never assume that once the cloud is properly set up it can manage itself. For apps that migrate to the cloud, it does not mean it automatically gains self-management capabilities. Therefore, there should be an operations team for cloud operations, as you would have for an on-premise system or facility.

So, what can organizations do to avoid the storm?

For organizations to have a swift transition into the cloud, turning to a strategic partner to navigate through the confusing and conflicting cloud platforms is always beneficial. By doing so, organizations can have an efficient move to the cloud, further leveraging its benefits and values, becoming a digital business quicker and with less risk. 

Oxfam sets a perfect example of how organizations go through a complex transformation journey with the help of a strategic partner. As a worldwide non-profit organization working towards ending poverty, Oxfam needed a partner who could help them understand the existing IT landscape, workloads and dependencies.

The solution to its issues showed the need for cloud migration. With the right strategic cloud partner, Oxfam could migrate 31 workloads onto Azure within 12 months, completed in the initial round. This gave Oxfam more efficiency, flexibility, and agility to further pursue their goals, allowing for a considerably reduced operating cost. 

In times when technology has spread its roots and wings in every aspect of the business, CXOs are at the core of critical decision making and one of the key properties for them is to ensure ROI from as many initiatives as possible. To achieve that, it is wise for them to work with a Managed Services Provider, who can help by offering expertise and tools that organizations need to accelerate through their journey fearing no unprepared risks or challenges. 

Sandeep Bhargava, managing director of Asia Pacific/Japan (APJ) at Rackspace, wrote this article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends. Photo credit: iStockphoto/Deagreez