CIO Cohort: Advice on Cloud Migration Trends and Challenges

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By CereCore | Aug 18, 2023

3 minute read Technology| Blog| IT Advisory| IT Strategy

Amid the dynamic and ever-changing tech landscape, cloud migration has become a pivotal pursuit for organizations aiming to bolster their agility, efficiency, and scalability. Recently, a CIO Cohort session brought together seasoned professionals to discuss the latest trends and challenges in the realm of cloud adoption.  

Esteemed panelists included Peyman Zand, Chief Strategy Officer at CereCore, Co-Host Clay Posey, AVP of Technical Services at CereCore, Tyler Robert, President and Co-Founder of Ocelot Consulting, Denis Tanguay, Vice President and CIO for Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Paul Currie, Vice President and CTO at HCA Healthcare, and Darren Robinson, Director of Technology and Cloud for CereCore International. As they unraveled the mysteries of cloud adoption, a spotlight was cast on the boundless opportunities it presents for modern organizations. 

Embracing the Cloud: From Collaboration to Back Office Functions 

Clay Posey highlighted the ease of migrating collaboration and office suite applications into a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Moreover, the importance of cloud strategy supporting the overall business strategy and direction is paramount. The IT cloud strategy cannot live in a bubble and only be about money. If the cloud drivers are not tied to the business, expenses can become untenable due to cost savings not being recognized as quickly as projected.  

Additionally, the role functionality move offers considerable benefits. However, the challenge arises when dealing with on-premise infrastructure and dated applications that may not fully leverage cloud advantages. Companies face the pressure to move from CapEx to OpEx, but Peyman Zand emphasized that cost savings alone should not drive cloud migration.  

Alignment with strategic business goals is imperative. Further, technical resources can be a challenge, not only the training needed for cloud technologies, but also keeping resources engaged in the support of traditional on-premise infrastructure components. 

The Dilemma of Redundancy and Overlapping Costs 

Moving to the cloud may entail certain redundancies and overlapping costs, which cannot be entirely avoided. Zand acknowledged this inherent challenge, necessitating a thorough evaluation of the back-end business case and application fit for the public cloud.  

A Tale of Catching Up in Cloud Adoption 

Tyler Robert underscored the parallels between the healthcare and utilities industries, both needing to realign technology with business objectives for improved cost, scale, security, and modernization. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance becomes more attainable through cloud migration, as Peyman Zand highlighted the disjoint between technology and company practices that need synchronization. 

“Some of the whys we hear are modernization, scale, security, and increasingly, enablement,” said Robert. “More specifically, how do we enable our ability to interact with these SaaS offerings or with AI offerings?”   

The Triggers for Cloud Migration and Security Considerations 

Lease expiration, impending major costs, and the promise of enhanced capabilities emerge as potential triggers for moving to the cloud.  

“We can never underestimate the shift that resources have to make in moving to the cloud. There are new ways of working, networking, and managing. Find the right partners who can help you achieve what you want to do and understand where you are going. It’s really an important piece of any cloud journey,” said Currie. 

However, Paul Currie urged caution against viewing cloud migration as a quick fix for cybersecurity issues.  

“Moving to the cloud alone doesn't necessarily solve your cybersecurity perspective, but it does give you an opportunity to change the landscape and how you're approaching it,” said Currie. 

“There's more control given to you in the cloud.” 

The Motivator: Managing Volumes of Data 

As cloud technology evolves, the volume of data becomes a powerful motivator for organizations to migrate. Tyler Robert emphasized that cloud providers are stepping up to offer insights and solutions to various industries, including healthcare. 

Real-Life Experiences: Cloud Adoption in the UK 

Darren Robinson shared his professional experience working at British Telecom when they made the bold move toward public cloud adoption in 2015, running about 1500 applications with unique lifecycles.  

“We had to ask ourselves does it make sense to retire this application, keep it where it is, or move it to the cloud,” said Robinson. “Everyone recognized that light switch type of moment is very difficult to achieve.” 

The UK government's cloud-first policy, adopted in 2013 and embraced by the NHS, provides valuable lessons for successful cloud implementation.  

“Cloud providers are moving up the value when it comes to healthcare,” said Robinson. 

Healthcare's Unique Cloud Integration and Future Trends 

Large Language Models (LLM) integration and data science escalation represent the future trends of healthcare cloud adoption, as noted by Tyler Robert. Major cloud providers are recognizing the value of healthcare data, seeking to offer insights and innovations to the industry. 

The CIO Cohort discussion on cloud migration trends and challenges unraveled a wealth of insights from experienced professionals in the field. From collaboration to back-office functions, aligning technology with business goals remains pivotal. While cloud migration offers numerous advantages, organizations must be diligent in addressing redundancy and overlapping costs.  

The healthcare and utilities industries, among others, stand to gain from cloud adoption, but careful planning is essential. Cloud migration may not be a quick cost-saving solution, but it offers scalability, efficiency, and data management capabilities. As technology continues to evolve, cloud adoption will play a central role in reshaping the future of businesses across various sectors. 

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