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How to Adopt a Successful Cloud Strategy and Migration Process in Australia’s Changing Digital Landscape

July 2, 2020

The global economy is shifting towards remote operations at a rapid speed. As a result, interconnection technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and 5G have an increasingly vital role in driving economic growth and maintaining business continuity. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of a scalable and flexible digital transformation strategy that thrives within the wider digital ecosystem.

This changing landscape is highlighted in our Sydney Digital Capitals Index report, which found AI, IoT, blockchain, and 5G will contribute A$30.08 billion to Sydney’s economy by 2029 – an 80% increase from A$6.66 billion in 2019. As the global economy shifts to a remote working model, interconnection technologies will continue driving Sydney’s growth as a digital economy.

The Sydney Digital Capitals Index report also highlights the following:

  • Sydney is leading Australia in digital technology adoption and is currently ranked 14th globally
  • In comparison, by 2024, it expects the four technologies to increase their contributions to Sydney’s economy to A$16.02 billion per annum
  • The largest growth is expected from AI - expected to contribute A$6.47 billion per annum by 2024 (compared to A$2.05 billion in 2019)

Our latest webinar, The Digital Landscape in Australia: Best Practices for Effective Cloud Strategy & Migration with Ben Peskin, Data Centre Transformation Consultant for CS Technology and Omer Wilson, explored these trends, as well as effective data centre and cloud strategies for rapid transformation in the face of global uncertainty.

In case you missed it, here are the highlights from our discussion with industry leaders and data centre experts in the region:

The impact of COVID-19 on global cities and Australian digital consumption

In recent months, we’ve seen a massive increase in global digital traffic. While COVID-19 did not create the growth, it certainly accelerated it. Interestingly, there have been reductions in use across major capital cities like Paris and New York as people are moved out of city offices and into their suburban homes to work remotely. This is where there has been significant growth.

Lockdown was lightest in Australia, but it still saw incredible rates of new traffic. Digital platforms like Akamai reported a double increase year on year, with their traffic peaking in March. This is in line with countries who went into lockdown early. Education and business app downloads skyrocketed in response to remote learning requirements, and demand for these apps was particularly high in China.

So, what does the future look like in terms of increased demand for digital? Well, 52% of our attendees agreed that new levels of demand will become the new normal. The data center powers streaming platforms like Google Stadia, and this represents a new world. It's one that exists away from on-site server and technology and rapidly transitions toward the cloud.

How to be successful with you Data Centre and Cloud Strategy:

The journey to the cloud is not a straight line. Every journey is different, so it is important to understand the business requirements that inform the scope of a cloud strategy. Moving to a simplified hosting model is a great start, and that will be a beneficial part of the journey. Simplification is also a valuable end state, and the data centre can help to achieve it.

Ben said cloud strategy is NOT agile and that detailed planning pays off. Agile does have its place during migration execution. Of our webinar attendees, 41% said they are currently in the process of migrating to cloud.

This process should take a five-year view, and the strategy encompasses guiding principles of where and how you want to grow. The most critical parts of planning are understanding the business objectives and delving deep into the current state of your IT environment. Doing so provides the understanding needed to build credibility with key stakeholders and allow you to translate technical objectives into business outcomes.

When it comes to cloud adoption framework, here is what a healthy strategy looks like:

  • Understand of your current state - knowledge is power because it informs risks and identifies gaps
  • Discover process as early as possible – it is never too early to start!
  • Utilise like for like comparisons for better business modelling
  • Detail total cost of ownership for credibility
  • Set a clear target architecture - the vision that signals direction so others can understand the scope
  • Align the strategy to business objectives

In the current cloud environment of our webinar attendees, we found that data center colocation hosts the majority of workloads. An interesting question was raised in relation to migration trends:

Are there circumstances where companies adopt cloud for primary hosting however due to an array of parameters have to revert back to a hybrid system?

Omer confirmed that unfortunately this can be the case. It truly highlights the importance of bringing all stakeholders together early in the process to understand what is possible before starting the journey. A clear vision must be articulated to ensure everyone understands how and where the business needs to transform.

How to get to your destination – building the migration plan:

  • Identify key migration methodologies, and develop execution teams
  • Build up specific and context-driven options analyses - what is your single source of truth?
  • Profile and rationalise each application (also known as the six R’s): re-host, re-platform, retire, re-factor, re-purchase, and retain
  • Define the target state - what is your first stop along your cloud journey, and what is the timeline needed to manage risk? For example, how will you manage cutover of critical business processes, and have you allowed sufficient time to plan these cutovers?

Key takeaways for success to wrap up:

  • Develop a carefully-detailed plan, but avoid analysis paralysis
  • Visualize a strategy that views the move to cloud as a journey
  • Understand your current state, and align to key business objectives
  • Identify your target state before beginning your journey
  • Focus on the hardest things up-front because you will find yourself in a better position toward the end of the journey

If you missed our live webinar, view it on-demand in the link below:

The Digital Landscape in Australia: Best Practices for Effective Cloud Strategy & Migration

Download the Webinar Presentation Deck

If you are just starting or in the middle of your cloud transformation journey and would like to speak to an expert, contact us at Contact.APAC@digitalrealty.com

Related resources:

Sydney Digital Capitals Index Report

How IT Infrastructure Supports Digital Transformation

5 Steps to Creating a Multi-Cloud Optimisation Strategy

Video from the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Colocation and Interconnection Services 2019-2020 Vendor Assessment

Distributed Architectures: How Fog and Edge Computing Can Fit Into Your Cloud and Colo Strategy

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