Migration to the Cloud Needs Experienced Help

Executives are already sold on the benefits of moving to the cloud. They know that they need cloud computing to be agile, fast, and flexible; they know cloud allows them to successfully compete in this digital era.

Yet, many enterprise leaders struggle to advance their cloud strategies, with plenty of companies still working to migrate away from on-premise applications and out of their own data centers.

Here at Strive Consulting, we aren’t surprised by such reports: We know that cloud migration comes with numerous significant challenges…. and research backs that up.

Consider the figures from the 2022 State of the Cloud Report from the software company Flexera.

It found that understanding application dependencies is the no. 1 challenge to cloud migrations, with 53% of respondents listing this as a pain point.

Other top challenges include assessing technical feasibility, assessing on-premise vs. cloud costs, right-sizing/selecting best instance, selecting the right cloud provider, and prioritizing the applications to migrate.

Such challenges deter and derail many cloud migration plans.

Many companies don’t have the technical skills they need to address those specific challenges to move their cloud strategies forward, as their staff has, understandably, been trained and focused on supporting their on-premise and legacy systems.

On a similar note, organizations don’t have in-house workers with the experience required to analyze and assess all the available cloud options and to select the best architecture for current and future needs.

As a result, companies slow-walk – or outright put off – their cloud migrations. Or they move forward as best they can, only to realize that they need to redo their work when their new cloud infrastructure fails to yield the financial or transformational benefits they expected.

Those scenarios demonstrate why companies need an experienced hand when they migrate to the cloud and why they need people who can advise them on the right architecture for their own specific environment and their industry’s unique needs.

At Strive, we understand the myriad cloud options – from serverless, containers and virtual machines to infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and software-as-a-service. We understand the nuances and requirements associated with each choice, the strategic reasons that would make one better than another, how they work together, and the supporting pieces needed to optimize each one’s performance.

Take virtual machines, for example. Going that route requires the creation of automation scripts to spin up and turn off based on use. Companies without much experience or expertise in virtual machines may overlook this critical component and, thus, end up with infrastructure that doesn’t deliver on its objectives.

Companies find that this is often the case, particularly when they’re embarking on their own.

In fact, selecting the wrong cloud option and implementing suboptimal cloud infrastructure are two of the leading reasons for poor outcomes and failed initiatives.

When we partner with companies to advance their cloud adoption, we start by understanding their own unique environment, their enterprise needs, and any industry-specific requirements that could impact their choices around cloud.

We work with our clients to determine whether, for example, they want to modernize by re-architecting their systems and using platform-as-a-service.

Whether the right move is shifting everything as is to the cloud.

Whether going with IaaS or SaaS provides the features, functions, and cost benefits they’re looking for.

Whether and when to go with hybrid, multi-cloud, multitenant, private, or public cloud.

Or whether it’s better to go the serverless route, leveraging features like containers, so they’re not paying for consumption when apps aren’t in use.

We help clients understand the financial implications of their cloud strategy decisions, and we build monitoring tools to track both performance and consumption, so they can detail what they’re using and how much that usage costs. We know from experience that finance departments are particularly interested in that information. But we also see how it benefits IT leaders, who want to allow their developers the freedom to innovate, but still want visibility into the resources being used and at what cost.

We also know from experience the importance of building a cloud environment that’s both secure and scalable, with automation in place to build that infrastructure over and over so organizations can easily build up and tear down as often as needed.

Furthermore, we advise companies on the change management that’s required to successfully migrate to the cloud. As such, we work with developers and engineers to understand new processes and to support them as they develop the expertise they’ll need to maintain, manage, and eventually mature an organizations cloud strategy.

There’s one more point I want to address: Strive knows that a cloud migration plan is not just about technology, that it’s also – and, in fact, more so – about what the technology can do for the business.

The right cloud environment enables companies to pivot quickly. Companies can rapidly and cost effectively create or adopt new functions or test and tweak proof of concepts because they can spin up and wind down computing resources.

All of this enables faster time to market with products and services and an overall more responsive organization.

Our experienced teams help clients achieve that kind of transformation by helping them design and implement the right cloud infrastructure to support those bigger objectives.

Thinking about Migrating to the Cloud? Strive can help!

We take pride in our Technology Enablement practice, where we can assist your organization with all of your cloud enablement needs. Our subject matter experts team up with you to understand your core business needs, while taking a deeper dive into Platform Assessment, Platform Migration, and even Platform Modernization.

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3 Key Concepts to Building a Successful Digital Product

When organizations think of building digital products, the need for a large product focused team is assumed. Many turn to third party options, as the plausible approach is to use third party software built upon the learnings of businesses who have solved similar issues. However, this may not provide the complete solution needed. Years of learning have allowed companies to build digital product tools to tackle problems surrounding customer relationship management, product inventory management, or even enterprise resource planning. Building on the historical education of successful companies has showed that the best products are the ones that are constantly innovating to provide new features.

So, how can organizations create their own innovative products, and in turn, create better solutions for their customers? Most importantly, how can companies build a product and continue to innovate without potentially overspending on ideas that may or may not be useful to their customers. The good news… all organizations can do this, and with the right tools, can do it well!

It all starts with finding the right value proposition as to why something needs to be built. From there, businesses can clarify and refine their vision to turn it into reality. In order to start, we’ll walk through three key concepts that just might provide a compelling reason to invest in building a successful digital product.

Discovery

Whether you’re ready to move forward with the build or you’re still exploring, the ‘Discovery’ stage is a must. Align with the business and make sure that key parties and stakeholders know what problems will be solved by building the product. Ideally, one should look at the current state to understand how things have been done in the past to help business processes as a whole. Investigating standard technologies within the organization will be beneficial when taking stock on what will be the most valuable. Don’t forget to create long-term goals, specifically related to how a potential new product will be valuable to the organization.

Develop a business process which will be optimized to reduce the number of interactions, handoffs, and steps throughout the process. Next, convert that business process into a user experience and map, so that stakeholders can envision how their users will interact with a new system.

Discovery is an important stage as it helps answer two simple questions: ‘Do we really need to build this product?’ and ‘Why should this product be built?’ When done successfully, one should come out of Discovery with a few concepts to further explore.

Test

Now that concepts are created, use the new business workflows to create and test interactive prototypes. This prototype serves as a bridge between understanding what NEEDS to be improved all the way, to HOW it can be improved.

Plan key interactions that stakeholders would like to see within a working prototype. This will allow the solicitation of feedback from stakeholders and end users. Example questions to ask can include… Is product usable? Is product useful? Obviously, lines  of questioning can be altered depending on motivation for product.

Hopefully, when coming out of your Testing phase there is a functioning prototype which is built around key concepts learned in Discovery and validated directly with users. Now a plan can be built around an MVP solution of the product to achieve the goals solidified in beginning stages.

Plan

The initial concepts developed during Discovery and further refined within prototypes during Testing are now ready to be the core features for a new product. Create a plan to show the type of team needed to build the product. Typically, this will involve User Experience, Solution Architecture, and Product Ownership to start, and will grow into a larger team based upon needs for the product.

Creating a product backlog shows features needed for implementation and the high-level stories which drive development. When done correctly, the product backlog will also show value to others as to why this new product matters.

Building a new digital product is never easy, but it can be created in a structured and limited fashion to prove out its value early on. An accelerated approach for Product is what’s needed to identify the business concepts, test out the hypothesis with users, and plan for the initial product MVP.

Looking for more information? Let’s talk!

Here at Strive, we take pride in our Technology Enablement practice, where we can assist you in your initial digital product development needs, all the way through to completion. Our subject matter experts’ team up with you to understand your core business needs, while taking a deeper dive into your organization’s growth strategy.