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Four reasons why partners should be your A to B guide for cloud

Four reasons why partners should be your A to B guide for cloud

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Ossama Eldeeb, Senior Director, Partner Organisation, VMware, South EMEA, highlights the complexities associated with successful cloud adoption and why the momentum and opportunity created by digitally driven experiences won’t be slowing down.

The last year has been one of ‘survival meeting opportunity’. Opportunity in the sense that consumers have needed and become more accustomed to digitally driven experiences in healthcare, education, retail, even socialising. But it’s one that has forced businesses to do things that they didn’t think they could do before and many have embraced it to survive and of course, thrive way into the future.

The momentum created by this opportunity won’t be slowing down and digital economies will continue to develop at pace. While many businesses have stepped out of their comfort zones and done so successfully, maintaining that success relies on having the right app modernisation and cloud strategies in place.

Sounds simple enough. In fact, finding the right strategy that delivers on customers’ expectations and that is the right fit for the business is easier said than done, which is why we are seeing businesses turn to outside expertise for help. Partners are stepping in as strategic advisors with the expertise to not only deliver the technology but the strategic value to the business.

Nashaat Fouda, Director of Enterprise Computing, from Raya Information Technology, an Egypt-based technology solutions provider and VMware MSC partner, said: “Rapid change across different sectors means enterprises must rethink their strategies, modernise their app portfolios and embrace a cloud first approach. This will enable them to prioritise faster time-to-market and revenue generation through digital platforms, to differentiate and deliver a seamless customer experience.”

Here are four key pointers I believe anyone looking to build upon or start creating strong, successful app modernisation and cloud strategies should strongly consider.

1. Cloud isn’t the starting point

This is where many businesses are going wrong.

When an organisation is starting or expanding its cloud journey, it needs to do so with a focus on the applications and the data that those applications use and how cloud can support this. The key is working out what the roadmap is for your application and that will drive the requirement for cloud and will enable you to select the right cloud for the activities that you are driving. 

Unfortunately, this process is where many organisations fail. Organisations need that third-party view that partners provide to show them: an un-biased view of their challenge and how to meet it; the importance of tracking more than one set of requirements and to target measurable KPIs; to look at when and what you are going to get back from investing in cloud.

2. Businesses are struggling to hire skills, so they’re turning to partners

This is something my colleague Hervé Renault, Vice President Cloud, EMEA, has a great perspective on. Renault believes that when thinking about cloud, the real question is “how can I help my customers gain an advantage?”.

The answer is of course that yes, you can, but only if you have the right skills available. It may come as no surprise to learn that there is a global supply gap for the skills that are required to manage multi-cloud environments within business. A big reason for that is, just as the way we use cloud has changed, so too have the skills required to deploy it successfully and we are seeing more convergence of traditional roles.

How then are organisations going to move to cloud if they don’t have the skills? As Herve concludes, increasingly and very sensibly, “they are turning to the channel and to partners to fill that skills gap.”

This is creating a three-fold opportunity for partners. They can: position themselves as an extension of an organisation’s own team, look for gaps in specialisms to either fill or develop expertise in or if they want to just stick to their area of excellence then there is the opportunity to engage with other partners to complement their services and offer a one-stop-shop ecosystem of all the skills needed for cloud.

3. Partners are ideally placed to advise how far into cloud customers need to go

While cloud should not be the starting point, it’s certainly tempting, particularly after the last year where speed was of the essence, for customers to feel the pressure to adopt cloud and jump in head-first.

This is especially true with the advent of multi-cloud, which has opened new possibilities to better streamline and manage complex cloud portfolios.

While these benefits are real, a successful multi-cloud strategy still relies on good upfront planning. As many of our customers have experienced and partners have witnessed, the headfirst approach more often than not results in failure. Whether its multi-cloud or not, a more considered approach must be taken.

That’s why those partners that have established themselves as strategic advisors to customers are asking their customers ‘why’?

  • Why is it that you want to rush into the cloud?
  • What is it you expect to get out of it?
  • Is it just cost savings?
  • Is it to support app development? And if that’s the case, which cloud will be perfect for you?

4. Staying in control whilst delivering value means staying on top of data

IHS Markit is the perfect example of the opportunity open to partners to help organisations meet this challenge, particularly those early adopters of cloud that are now realising that they need a better grasp of how to use the data that they have and where there are restraints for that use.

This is where partners can really bring their expertise the table, giving un-biased view of data, where to store it and how to use it to support the organisation’s strategy. They can also advise companies on how to ensure that they are able to pull their data back from the cloud as and when required should circumstances change.

Remember that, ultimately, the value of data lies in its ability to be used. If it’s not easily available or over-protected, then it loses its value. Cloud fuels the ability to deliver value out of data.

All four of these key takeaways really have one key message – if you’re in the mindset of “we’ve got to go to cloud”, pause. It’s easy to make that decision, it’s quite another to make sure it’s the right decision. The panel discussion highlighted the complexities associated with successful cloud adoption, but it also highlighted why the support of partners is crucial to getting it right.

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