Cloud Transformation: Definition, Strategy, and Benefits

Hand touching infographic cloud computing and technology icons

Leveraging the power of the cloud enables your organization to realize powerful benefits and remain competitive in an evolving, modern digital landscape.

However, successfully managing a cloud transformation can be complex, confusing, and challenging, and your organization can only realize the benefits if a well-designed strategy is followed.

Things to know about Cloud Transformation:

  1. What is Cloud Transformation?
  2. Why is Cloud Transformation Valuable?
  3. Cloud Transformation vs. Cloud Migration
  4. Benefits of Cloud Transformation
  5. Steps for Cloud Transformation

What is Cloud Transformation?

Cloud transformation is the entire process of designing a thoughtful cloud strategy; transitioning an organization’s applications, data, software, or entire IT infrastructure to the cloud; and modernizing and optimizing the organization’s data management and cloud security to achieve greater resilience and performance.

Why is Cloud Transformation Valuable?

Cloud transformation enables organizations to scale business growth, respond to a constantly evolving digital marketplace, and maximize the value of their cloud investment.

Furthermore, cloud transformation improves an organization’s processes and operations which, in turn, enables and accelerates digital transformation.

Cloud Transformation vs. Cloud Migration

Cloud migration and cloud transformation are often used interchangeably but have a key difference.

Cloud migration is one element of cloud transformation. Cloud migration is focused solely on the act of moving data, applications, software, and other components from on-premises to a cloud-based infrastructure offered by a public cloud provider, or from one cloud provider to another.

Cloud transformation, on the other hand, encompasses every element of taking your cloud to the next level: cloud strategy, migration, management, and optimization; plus, the modernization and optimization of your organization’s data analytics, management, and cybersecurity.

Benefits of Cloud Transformation

Organizations that successfully prioritize and achieve cloud transformation can realize benefits including:

  • Increased efficiency: Employees can waste up to 12 hours per week searching for the information they need to do their work, according to a recent survey. Cloud transformation reduces data silos and increases your employees’ access to the data they need, which results in greater collaboration, analytical capabilities, and overall efficiency within your teams.
  • Greater scalability: Organizations with on-premise data storage must purchase and manage physical infrastructure to store and manage their applications. Cloud transformation, on the other hand, enables businesses to quickly and easily scale their resources up or down as needed. This empowers organizations to remain agile, respond swiftly to changes in demand, and not overspend on resources they don’t need.
  • Reduced costs: Because cloud transformation involves moving your data away from on-premise systems, it also moves much of the maintenance responsibility away from your organization, resulting in reduced equipment, IT infrastructure, and overhead costs. Instead, cloud providers manage the administration and maintenance of data storage services.
  • Tightened security: Cloud providers follow strict requirements for data privacy and security, creating a solid and secure foundation for your data storage and providing multiple layers of protection against cyber-attacks and breaches. Furthermore, cloud security enables advanced threat detection, governance, and compliance for your systems.
  • Improved reliability: Cloud service providers often use advanced load-balancing and auto-scaling technologies to distribute traffic across several servers and automatically adjust resources based on changes in demand. They also enable advanced resilience and disaster recovery capabilities to effectively manage your risks and help your organization recover quickly when something goes wrong.

Steps for Cloud Transformation

  1. Cloud strategy
  2. Selecting the right cloud provider
  3. Cloud migration
  4. Cloud security
  5. Cloud optimization and management

Cloud strategy

The first step to building your cloud strategy is evaluating your organization’s current IT state and capabilities. From there, you can define what an ideal IT situation looks like, which may involve goals like lowered costs, shortened time to value, and increased security.

You’ll want to ensure that your cloud strategy aligns your current and future cloud capabilities to projected business needs, goals, and processes.

It can also be beneficial to conduct a competitor analysis to understand how your organization stacks up and where your strengths and gaps are.

Selecting the right cloud provider

Choosing the right cloud provider is absolutely essential to your success in the cloud. The most common public cloud providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Each option offers a wide range of services including computing, storage, databases, and security.

Although these three cloud providers dominate the cloud market, other providers like Linode, Cloudflare, and DigitalOcean are increasing in popularity due to their fully serverless and containerized compute opportunities at a lower cost.

It’s vital for your organization to analyze its options and select the right provider for your needs. This ensures your business has the right services and tools available to maximize the return on your cloud investment and protect your data.

Cloud migration

Cloud migration holds risk and requires a thoughtful strategy that accounts for differing requirements across your organization, security, and compliance needs.

Many businesses choose to seek external support during this process – cloud migration consultants are skilled in migrating your digital assets to the cloud

Cloud security

The average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $9.44 million. Beyond these financial damages, a data breach can also severely impact your business’s brand and reputation.

To avoid exorbitant costs and ensure adherence to common security standards and regulatory protocols, such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), you need to tighten your cloud security.

A cloud security program often includes a disaster recovery plan, data governance program, and Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategy. It may also involve a defined Zero-Trust initiative.

Cloud optimization and management

Your organization’s cloud journey is far from over after you complete migration. You should continue to manage and optimize your cloud infrastructure to improve efficiency, scalability, security, and performance while reducing costs.

How Can AIM Consulting Take Your Cloud to the Next Level?

AIM Consulting provides cloud consulting services to help you develop a roadmap to understand the greatest benefits of the cloud for your organization.

Our experts can help you navigate the investments you should be making in cloud technologies, migrate to cloud platforms, plan for business continuity and disaster recovery, and leverage cloud-based automation tools like AWS Pipeline for CI/CD.

Our flexible engagement model allows us to deliver from strategy to implementation to optimization in ways that make the most sense for you and your business.

Need Help Achieving Security and Performance in the Cloud?

Our technology experts can support your organization through every step of cloud strategy, migration, and optimization to realize significant improvements in efficiency, security, and scalability.