One of the smartest decisions your company will ever make is committing to a cloud-first strategy across the enterprise. It’s likely your organization is already using the cloud for one or more aspects of operations, client services, data management, or other critical business functions. But to truly harness the power of cloud and reap all the efficiency and economic benefits, you should be aiming for enterprise-wide cloud implementation with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Millions of organizations worldwide–from startups to large enterprises to government entities–rely on AWS to realize superior outcomes including:
- Streamlined operations
- New revenue streams
- Lower costs
- Reduced risk
- Improved ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance)
- Digitized business processes
- Accelerated innovation
- Delivery of outstanding customer experiences
AWS is the #1 undisputed leader in the cloud services space, with a 34% market share, which is greater than the shares of #2 Microsoft Azure and #3 Google Cloud combined. Their fast and scalable business solutions, constant commitment to innovation, and vast network of technology partners are why AWS leads the pack and is projected to continue outpacing their competition in growth.
As your company considers migration to the cloud, or an expansion of cloud utilization across departments, the clear provider of choice is AWS.
But committing to a cloud-first strategy with AWS is only the first step to full cloud implementation and realization of the myriad benefits and return on investment the cloud makes possible. How will you help your company take full advantage of the cloud and take the quickest path to the rewards? In this article, we’ve pulled together the most important steps and strategies for you to know as you to help your organization in its cloud transformation journey.
Cloud Implementation is a Major Key to Your Growth and Competitive Edge
Maintaining growth in an increasingly competitive business landscape requires innovation and agility, and market leaders know cloud computing is essential for both.In a recent IDC Cloudview Survey of 11,000 companies worldwide, 70% of their CIOs said they embrace a cloud-first strategy.
Consider just this one illustrative trend: over the next decade, 50% of the companies on the S&P 500 will be replaced. In fact, the longevity of companies on the S&P 500 is on a steady decline, and one of the major contributing factors is organizations’ inability to stay ahead of the digital curve. Embracing and leveraging the most modern and efficacious technologies isn’t about being able to say you’re an early adopter or signaling to your market that you use the shiniest new thing. On the contrary–adoption of cutting-edge tech solutions like the cloud is absolutely critical for businesses serious about holding a competitive edge.
As organizations make tough budget decisions, especially in the face of inflation, ensuring every dollar works harder has never been more important. As entire enterprises and individual departments tighten their belts, they are and will increasingly turn to cloud services. Spending on public cloud services worldwide is projected to hit $591.8 billion in 2023, up 20.7% from 2022 according to Gartner. From infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to software as a service (SaaS), investment in cloud computing is steadily growing because of the measurable improvements it creates for organizations of all sizes.
Migrating to the Cloud Yields Measurable Benefits
The old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is an outdated and dangerous perspective for organizations that want to grow. It’s understandable that if you have legacy systems in place that appear adequate, going all-in on a new technology solution can seem daunting or even unnecessary. But holding onto old tools guarantees you’ll be outmaneuvered by your competitors who are using cloud solutions which are infinitely more agile, flexible, and scalable. Cloud migration is your path to growth.
The value of cloud implementation is measurable. An Omnicron Group study of more than 1,000 AWS customers in the United States revealed impressive, quantifiable benefits across several key performance indicators as reported by IT professionals and owners. Results noted by organizations who were at least one year post-AWS adoption included the following:
- 27% reduction in cost per user
- 34% reduction in security events
- 37% reduction in time-to-market for new products and services
- 57% reduction in application downtime
- 58% increase in virtual machines managed per administrator
- 68% increase in terabytes (TBs) managed per administrator
Put simply, when your company adopts AWS, you should expect to see less of what you don’t want, and more of what you do want.
Results are Even Greater with Enterprise-Wide Cloud Adoption
It may not be feasible to migrate your entire IT infrastructure to the cloud all at once–in fact, it’s not even the recommended approach. However, to maximize and accelerate the return on your cloud investment, it’s a worthy goal to pursue cloud implementation aggressively and to the widest extent possible. Organizations that implement cloud solutions widely across multiple departments and functions, such IT, operations, development, and delivery, realize far better results than those who don’t–often double the average or even better.
For example, the Omnicron Group study revealed that organizations reported an average of 27% lower IT infrastructure spend per user after some level of cloud migration. But–and this is important–other organizations reported a 62% lower spend when more than 50% of their IT infrastructure had been migrated to AWS. The potential to realize massive savings like this is the motivation for many businesses to move aggressively toward enterprise-wide AWS adoption, and to do it as quickly as possible.
So while enterprise-wide cloud adoption should be your goal, you’re not going to switch from using on-premises and legacy systems to being completely cloud-based all at once no matter how committed and excited all the stakeholders are. That’s AWS supports the unique cloud transformation journey of each organization, and they have very helpful guidance for how yours can take that journey.
AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) Is Your Roadmap to Cloud to Success
AWS adoption is best done incrementally so you can learn, measure, adjust, and leverage implementation successes as you go. The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) outlines what they call a cloud formation value chain that illustrates how business outcomes are achieved through systematic cloud adoption and progressive transformation: “technological transformation enables process transformation which enables organizational transformation that enables product transformation.”
While this is a logical sequence you may wish to follow while creating and applying your AWS adoption and migration plan, what is more important is aiming for implementation where and how it makes the most sense in your organization. Consider where the need is greatest, where the most crucial problems need to be addressed, where resources and trained personnel are available, and where measurable positive outcomes can happen in the shortest timeline possible.
AWS Cloud Transformation Value Chain Explained
As you embark on your cloud initiatives, keep the “links” in the cloud transformation value chain in mind:
- Technological transformation: migrating and modernizing your legacy infrastructure, applications, and data and analytics platforms.
- Big benefits: reduced downtime, security events, and cost per user; increased admin management capacity.
- Process transformation: digitizing, automating, and optimizing your business operations.
- Big benefits: improved employee productivity, customer experience, business forecasting, fraud prevention; decreased operating costs.
- Organizational transformation: reimagining your operating model.
- Big benefits: improved team efficiency, organization, communication, responsiveness, and strategic focus.
- Product transformation: reimagining your business model by creating new value propositions (products, services) and revenue models.
- Big benefits: increase in innovation, revenue, market reach, and code deployment frequency (up by 342% as reported in a recent benchmarking study).
Clearly, cloud transformation in any single aspect of your business will be beneficial, but when you observe how improvement in one area leads naturally to improved results in others, the value of enterprise-wide cloud adoption becomes clear.
AWS Cloud Transformation Journey Phases:
Envision → Align → Launch → Scale
Again, while enterprise-wide adoption is the vision, employing an incremental, iterative approach to your AWS cloud transformation journey will help you realize and maximize positive outcomes sooner, reduce stress and risk, and leverage success earned and lessons learned along the way.
The AWS CAF lays out four sequential phases of the cloud transformation journey:
- In the Envision Phase, you will identify and prioritize transformation opportunities that support your most important strategic business objectives and outcomes.
- In the Align Phase, you will identify and address capability gaps and challenges and stakeholder concerns.
- In the Launch Phase, you will design and deliver pilot initiatives.
- In the Scale Phase, you will expand and scale your production pilots and ensure your cloud investments support and realize your desired business value.
While these phases don’t necessarily need to be followed in chronological order, this is a logical roadmap to keep in mind. The most important thing is that you continually assess your organization’s cloud readiness, close gaps, gather resources, secure buy-in, and have a plan that prioritizes initiatives that support your most crucial business strategies and outcomes.
The AWS CAF is detailed and very informative. We’ve presented just a few components of it to inspire you to start thinking about the beginning of your organization’s cloud transformation journey and the big benefits you can soon realize. If you’d like to read more, you may find it helpful to download, read, and share the AWS CAF ebook with key stakeholders as part of your organization’s preparation for cloud adoption.
Once you’re ready to migrate and implement AWS in your business, you’ll likely be eager to know how soon you can expect to see a return on your investment. While the answer to that question depends on many factors, one important action you can take to ensure you get results sooner rather than later is to commit to training.
Training Your Staff for AWS Success Is Absolutely Critical
To maximize the success of your AWS implementation, you’ll need a comprehensive training strategy. What is meant by comprehensive training? It means providing training to more than just your IT staff. It means providing more than just one or two courses. It means commitment to continuous education rather than one-and-done classes.
Comprehensive training is a company-wide commitment, where all stakeholders are educated about what the cloud is and what it will do for them. And companies that invest in comprehensive training enjoy big-time dividends.
An IDC report on the importance of cloud training revealed many significant benefits to organizations that implement a comprehensive training program, particularly in contrast to those that implement minimal training.
For example, respondents whose organizations had committed to comprehensive training reported much greater confidence about their ability to overcome specific cloud adoption concerns. When asked how likely they believe they are to overcome specific concerns, the responses were overwhelmingly more positive from the comprehensively trained business. Here are just some of the results:
How likely are you to overcome your concerns related to ___?
Comprehensively Trained Organizations
(percent who agree they are likely to overcome concerns)
Minimally Trained Organizations
(percent who agree they are likely to overcome concerns)
ROI of cloud
Loss of control
You may find yourself sharing some of these very common concerns that typically come with cloud adoption. But as you can see, comprehensively trained organizations had a consistently higher level of confidence that the cloud environment could be configured and administered to address and mitigate their concerns.
Of particular note is security–a top 3 area of concern shared by 60% of companies migrating to the cloud. What these numbers make apparent is that when stakeholders across the enterprise are trained and when the training is thorough and continuous, certainty and optimism go up while fear and worry go down. The better you understand what the cloud can do for you, the greater the reaped rewards.
Comprehensive Training Means Faster Adoption and Quicker ROI
To this point, It’s also worth mentioning that comprehensively trained organizations were 80% faster to adopt cloud than those with minimal training, leading to the realization of benefits sooner such as simplified IT infrastructure, faster innovation and addition of new capabilities, improved scalability and resource utilization, and greater global reach.
Productivity, problem solving, and efficiency are all improved by comprehensive cloud training. According to the report, compared to those will minimal training, comprehensively trained organizations are:
- 4.7x more likely to agree cloud can improve IT staff productivity
- 3.5x more likely to agree their teams can conceive of new ways to get work done
- 4.0x more likely to agree cloud can help optimize IT spending
In short, training yields better and faster results. From the C-suite to managers, from the technical team to end users, all stakeholders should receive the type and level of training that is appropriate for them. It’s important that once your business commits to a cloud-first strategy, everyone is on board with the plan and educated appropriately.
Turn to TLG Learning for AWS Training
If you’re serious about AWS cloud adoption, then committing to comprehensive training should be a no-brainer, and TLG Learning is here to help you get it done.
TLG Learning offers an extensive array of AWS training courses, many of which lead to certification. From executives who need more of a top-level view of cloud capabilities to the IT personnel who will implement, administer, and manage your cloud systems and will require both breadth and depth of instruction, everyone in your organization will find what they need at TLG Learning. We use Amazon approved training materials and our instructors are second to none. We’ve even been recognized by Amazon for providing more courses and more times than most AWS training providers!
AWS Certified Staff Bring Significant Value to Your Business
Is it good enough to pick and choose the training courses your staff should take, or let them pick and choose? Or should you train your IT staff with the goal of helping them become certified? To answer that question for your organization, consider what IT decision makers revealed in one study conducted by IT research and strategy firm ESG.
When asked about the value AWS certified staff have brought to their companies, their agreement on key points was overwhelmingly positive:
97% agree their company is in a better competitive position to succeed over the next 3-5 years.
90% agree their cloud team is more productive
89% agree timelines for cloud project completion are shorter.
89% agree troubleshooting is faster.
86% agree the security of cloud workloads is improved.
To summarize, organizations see significant competitive advantages and operational benefits from having AWS certified team members such as AWS Certified Solutions Architects.
Your next best step toward AWS adoption should be speaking with one of our counselors who are well versed in the training and certification options available to you and your team members. They’re experts at making training recommendations based on the goals and needs of your organization and the experience and background of your staff.
We invite you to browse our online course catalog to familiarize yourself with the wide variety of training we are pleased to offer you and your team members, whether they are brand new to the cloud or looking to uplevel their cloud skills.
Also, click here to learn about our AWS Discovery Days events. These live online courses are FREE and will help you and your team gain a solid understanding of what is truly possible with the cloud and how to use the cloud to reach your most critical business objectives. They’re also a great way to get a taste of the high-quality training experience you can expect from TLG Learning training courses. Don’t forget to bookmark the page and check back soon to register for upcoming dates.
We look forward to being your partner in achieving AWS cloud success!
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