When you’re looking at the technology we use today and what the future of work could look like, it’s clear that it’s changing rapidly. It’s changing the way businesses operate, the products they offer, and the way they interact with customers. About 50 percent of the S&P 500 will be replaced in the next 10 years, with digital disruption being high on the list of reasons why these companies aren’t lasting as long as they used to. Building a plan to migrate to the cloud if you haven’t already can help you stay relevant in times of change.

An illustration showing the power of the cloud

Stand out from the competition

As a business, you have a core differentiator that helps you stand out from the competition. When you’re thinking about digital transformation and building a plan to migrate to the cloud, think about how it will give you more time to focus on the core of your business and stay competitive.

Build what differentiates you. Buy what doesn’t.

The cloud provides a true vehicle in which organisations can offload and automate. Take advantage of the productivity gains you can get from the cloud, as well as the security, compliance, and scaling. As a result of using a cloud approach, nearly 80 percent of IT professionals surveyed by Microsoft say they are saving money, increasing productivity, and have better security.

Mazars is an Australian-based accountancy and advisory company with offices found globally. They traditionally ran their data centres from London where their servers required maintenance which contributed to latency issues using Citrix between countries.

Users wanted to be able to work more flexibly and remotely, whilst the IT team needed to focus on business value services –

improving their core differentiator. They decided to move to Azure and used the Hyper Cloud Platform to connect applications and infrastructure.

“By mobilising our apps into the cloud, they’re not so dependent on historic infrastructures,” says CTO David Bennett. “One of our key drivers was to move to a flexible model. We’ve opened up in regions that a traditional Citrix deployment in London wouldn’t allow us to do. By moving to Citrix on Azure, we can go and open an office really quickly.”

Mazars has seen a reduced latency for its Citrix users globally, improved user experience, and competitive advantage. Hyper Cloud Platform has also identified cost savings of over $50,000.

It represents a huge shift in the way you think about your resources. With the cloud, it’s easier and cheaper to scale up, out, and down as you need. It will help run your day-to-day, so you can focus on what really sets you apart so you can deliver a great

customer experience.

Illustration showing the security of the cloud

What about security?

You’re only as secure as your front door. With cloud, there are multiple doors. However, that doesn’t mean you’re more at risk.

In fact, there are lots of security benefits of migrating to the cloud. You no longer have one point of failure like you would if you hosted your own servers. It also makes it easier to manage users, data, and access, meaning your employees can get on with focussing on the core of your business.

“The digital landscape—and associated cyberthreats—will continue to grow rapidly,” says Simon Hodgkinson, Group Chief Information Security Officer at BP. “We need to keep BP cyber-resilient and continually improve our ability to protect, detect, respond, and recover in the event of a cyberattack. Everything we do has to be secure by design.”

Security and privacy are built into Azure from the beginning and are updated to ensure you’re protected against the latest threats and have the most up-to-date compliance. This is key to ensure you stay compliant with GDPR. However, this doesn’t mean you’re not accountable for your cybersecurity just because you’ve moved to a cloud provider.

While Azure is built from the ground up with security in mind, keeping your data safe is a shared responsibility. You also must use best practices and educate employees on how to manage, classify, and access your data securely. What moving to the cloud does, is make this all so much simpler. Azure Security Centre gives you control over your cloud assets. Identity and access management such as Intune, MFA, or Azure Active Directory ensures everyone will see only what they need to.

“Using the combination of Cloud App Security and Azure AD helps us detect unusual patterns of behaviour, expand more risk-

based checks, and enforce user access, granting it only to devices and locations that we know are right,” says Chris Eaton, Director, Security Strategy and Architecture at BP.

Illustration showing collaboration improvements using cloud.

How do I migrate to the cloud?

It can seem like a big job – after all, the world produces about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day. Look at your business strategy. Is it a modern strategy that’s data-driven and future-proof? Or is it outdated and based on yesterday’s ideas? Figure out what you need to achieve and work to find a cloud solution that will help you.

Remember: Build what differentiates you. Buy what doesn’t.

Migrate to the cloud over time with a hybrid approach using a combination of on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud. Listen to the feedback of your IT team and employees and make changes to ensure everyone is empowered and has the right skills to use the cloud.

Don’t think about the cost of moving to the cloud. Think of it from this perspective: How much would it cost if you did nothing?

IT spending in businesses is higher than ever, and organisations are capitalising on digital transformation. A Cloud Industry Forum survey said that spending on cloud infrastructure has overtaken spend on legacy IT for the first time ev

er – with 84 percent saying they’ll increase their cloud spending in 2019.

For Towergate Insurance, moving to the cloud meant they became more agile, efficient, and collaborative. They saw a 75 percent improvement in reported major incidents and streamlined costs by moving to Azure.

“For the first time, staff feel actively enabled by technology to do their jobs better and more easily, rather than being frustrated by it,” says CIO Gordon Walters. “Not only has it transformed the way they work and the experience for our customers, but we now sell better informed product bundles because of the ease of knowledge sharing and collaboration internally.”

You don’t want to get left behind. When you migrate to the cloud your teams will be more productive and collaborative. Your firstline workers will be able to make the most of every minute in the working day. Even that morning commute whilst waiting for their train. What you save in costs, you can use to invest in other parts of the business, increasing your core differentiator and making you more competitive.

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