Cloud Stories: Why These Major Brands Are Migrating To The Cloud

The economic turmoil caused by the pandemic has kickstarted the rapid adoption of cloud technology. Across the globe, companies in their thousands are expanding the number of services they operate in the cloud in a bid to speed up digital transformation and put themselves in a better position to withstand the volatility of today’s marketplace. In this post, we’ll look at some major brands to discover why they have decided to migrate to the cloud over the last few months.  

Coca-Cola

Arguably the most recognisable brand in the world, Coca-Cola may have been making the same product for 128 years but its operations are strictly 21st century. Its manufacturing processes have long been massively automated and now, it has adopted a cloud-first policy with regard to IT.

As part of its digital transformation, the company has migrated to a hybrid cloud setup in a bid to reduce operational costs and increase IT resilience. This will enable it to deploy data analytics and artificial intelligence to provide it with insights that it can use to improve its services and operations.

Coca-Cola will use the migration to streamline its existing IT infrastructure and develop a company-wide platform for standardised business processes, technology and data. In order to integrate the public and private elements of its hybrid cloud, together with existing technology it plans to keep, it will deploy a single-dashboard, multi-cloud management system.

Finastra

UK-based fintech company, Finastra, is migrating to the cloud to accelerate not only its own digital transformation but those of its 8,000 global customers. The objective is to revolutionise the use of technology in the financial services sector by developing a platform that financial companies can use to speed up innovation and improve collaboration.

To achieve this, Finastra will migrate its entire customer base to the new cloud platform. From here, they will be able to create digital-first workplaces and provide their own clients with financial services and solutions, such as electronic notary services and electronic signatory, which are better suited to today’s digital world.

Major bank migrations: Deutsche Bank and HSBC

Two of the world’s major banks, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, have both announced plans for migrations over the last few weeks. A key element of its digital transformation, Deutsche Bank sees the cloud as being crucial for increasing revenue and minimising costs. It aims to make use of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve risk analysis and cash flow forecasting, as well as to develop digital communications that are easier for customers to interact with and which enhance the customer experience.

The German bank is also using the move to improve security, seeing it as a way to help it comply with data protection and privacy regulations and to ensure the integrity of customer data.

HSBC Holdings, the parent company of HSBC Bank, is adopting the cloud to benefit from its storage, compute, data analytics, AI, machine learning, database and container services, as well as for the cloud’s advanced security. 

Its major goal is to provide more personalised and customer-centric banking services for its customers, for which it will develop customer-facing applications. It also intends to use the move to update its Global Wealth & Personal Banking division, develop new digital products and improve compliance.

Car manufacturer migrations: Daimler and Nissan

Two leading car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler AG, and Nissan have also announced plans to adopt cloud technology. Daimler will migrate its after-sales portal to the public cloud to help it innovate and accelerate the development of new products and services for its global customer base, as well as to provide it with scalability. Like many other companies, it also sees cloud as being a secure platform and will use it to encrypt and store data to protect it from ransomware and hacking.

Nissan, meanwhile, is using the cloud primarily to help cut costs during the post-pandemic downturn. With poor sales throughout 2020, it views digital transformation as essential to remain agile and resilient.

The move will allow the car maker to store its vast quantities of data far less expensively than in-house and provide it with cost-effective, scalable processing resources. These it will use to undertake application-based, computational fluid dynamics and structural simulations which are needed to design its cars and test them for aerodynamics and structural issues. The cloud will also enable it to carry out performance and engineering simulations, helping it improve its vehicles’ fuel efficiency, reliability and safety. – Read more

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The 5 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Cloud Solutions

We believe there are many reasons to migrate your organisation’s applications to the cloud, not least of which are cost savings, streamlined operations, redeployment of resources, reskilling of your internal teams and talent retention.  

In this blog, I answer the five most common questions I get asked about moving applications to the cloud, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right thing for your organisation.  

1. Is it secure and where is my data? 

“Is it secure?”  is one of the most commonly asked questions about the cloud. But as the cloud has become universal in organisations, the nature of the question has changed. 

Every year, major cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft spend billions to make their cloud services stable, robust and secure. Security measures and compliance certifications are available for all to see, and Microsoft’s cloud offering is as secure as it gets in terms of compliance, governance and physical security.  

The result? Today, almost everyone accepts that the cloud is secure. The conversation now is less around how secure it is and more around data control. It’s essential that organisations understand where their data lives, where it may go and who can access it in order to feel comfortable with moving to the cloud. 

A lack of understanding around how the cloud works is a barrier to adoption for many organisations. In the UK, law firms are amongst some of the most cautious adopters of cloud solutions, largely because of questions about where confidential client data will reside and who can access it.  

There needs to be an understanding that, by its very nature, the cloud exists in multiple locations – and your data can too. Azure, for example, for resilience can have multiple copies of data in multiple locations. And this conversation isn’t always an IT-led discussion; it needs the business to decide in which country their data should be reside, and whether they are comfortable with it potentially leaving UK soil. The cloud gives customers choice here, different services having different options about where data is stored, but it’s important that well informed decisions are made in this regard. 

Organisations need to know what they are letting themselves in for and understand how data will be stored and accessed which needs a complex, but not impossible, discussion about trust and understanding. In our experience, anyone who truly understands the options and how the cloud works has been confident in making an informed decision based on facts not fear.  

2.  Will all my IT staff be out of work/redundant? 

Generally, there isn’t a direct correlation between adopting cloud services and IT staff being let go.  We prefer to see this as freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic tasks. 

Whether they’re in retail, manufacturing, healthcare or any other sector, businesses are trying to be ‘the best’ and provide the best service to their customers. IT should enable them to do that. It should be a supporter and enabler for a business to do its job and operate at its highest level. And for organisations that are held back by inefficient, outdated IT systems, embracing the cloud is one way to make improvements. 

Few organisations today choose to use physical servers; they are costly, require office space and need people to maintain and manage them. Solutions like O365 and Exchange Online are making delivery of common IT services easier, better and lower cost, and like it or not, the requirement for on-premise skills will reduce as cloud adoption becomes the new norm. As IT evolves, the skillset of IT teams needs to evolve with it, or face being left behind.  – Read more

Considering Hybrid Cloud? Focus on the Why

So much of business—and life in general—comes down to semantics. We articulate goals and measure success using a variety of terms. Some serve to clarify; others confuse. Consider the term “hybrid cloud”—a Google search yields 5.96 million results. So, yes, hybrid cloud is a hot topic, but what exactly do we mean by it?

The (current) accepted definition of a hybrid cloud is any compute/storage environment using a combination of third-party and private (on-premises) cloud resources. Yet, this definition is somewhat misleading. It is very likely that your company has already been using third-party platforms and services—a hybrid cloud model—for many years.

Hybrid cloud is less about the “what” than the “why.” The question isn’t, “Should I move to a hybrid cloud?” (You already have.) The better question is, “Am I using that model to my best advantage?”

On-Premises vs. Public Cloud Capacity—Strategic vs. Non-Strategic Applications

The number of diverse applications, systems and business requirements IT must support is growing exponentially. In response, more tools are being made available to help. Public cloud, private cloud, edge computing and PaaS/SaaS models all give CIOs and IT managers options for handling new, more complex demands. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The challenge for IT is developing the best mix of available tools to ensure business goals are being met in the most efficient way possible.

Source: Veritas Inc., global IT consulting

The first step in developing a hybrid cloud strategy is understanding which functions, applications and requirements are strategic to the business. More specifically, which operations are core to the organization’s purpose or must remain in-house (i.e., private cloud) due to security, regulatory or other governance issues? These are the high-priority operations for which it makes sense to prepare highly efficient, on-premises resources and staff to support your cloud initiatives.

In deciding whether an application or function is strategic, it is essential to separate the IT output from the hardware/software producing it. For example, you may have significant dollars invested in a legacy mainframe with the software and analytics to run mission-critical applications. But the real question is: How strategically important is the output? If it is strategic, then, by all means, keep it in-house. If not, it may make more sense to migrate applications to public cloud equivalents and use the vacated space for something more strategic.

On the other hand, non-strategic functions represent an opportunity to increase operational efficiency and cost-savings. For example, using a SaaS or PaaS provider to host your CRM platform in a public data center provides more space, staff and resources to support the higher-priority business.

Maximum Productivity and Value, Minimum Space

While the functional purpose of a hybrid cloud strategy is to determine which applications remain on-site and which can go, the overall goal is improving the value and delivery of strategic and non-strategic functions. Often, the full weight of your decisions is not realized until later, when you must address the need for additional data center space.

The cost, time and manpower needed to plan, design, build and maintain a new facility represent some of the most substantial investments a company can make. By strategically optimizing your on-premises cloud capacity—and offloading non-strategic functions to the cloud—you increase available white space. This buys you more time to figure out when you need more space and whether your current optimized facility remains competitive with other options. Additionally, your on-premises equipment (because of its strategic importance) becomes far more valuable and productive.

In some cases, organizations will discover that, once they take their non-strategic operations to the cloud, the cost of running key applications on-site does not warrant maintaining their existing data center. At this point, it may make more sense to sell the data center and lease back the space needed or partner with a multi-tenant data center.

Potential Pitfalls

Of course, moving applications and business functions off-premises also has its downside. Select well. Re-locating core capabilities to the cloud compromises control and can erode your competitive edge. And, while public cloud may appear to be an especially good option for smaller organizations, it can quickly become cost-prohibitive as you scale. Should you decide to transition from a public cloud, re-locating your data to a new environment is often complex and costly, restricting future options. This is not to say that public cloud options are intrinsically high-risk; they’re not. It does, however, emphasize the need to view every decision within the context of your long-term strategy while weighing the cost and agility entailed by public cloud options. – Read more