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CIOs: prepare for Brexit, adopt the cloud

  • Posted on June 13, 2017

The referendum on Brexit split the country down the middle, as many of us who were in the UK a year ago can attest to.  And the bipartisan split has continued.

Avanade recent research study, “IT Leaders Have 500 Days to Get Tech in Shape” showed that 56% of senior IT decision makers are accelerating their IT plans as a result of Brexit, but the rest aren’t and almost half do not have a specific plan for Brexit.

The case for taking a more proactive approach is included Paul Bowen’s blog, “5 reasons why CIOs need to prepare for Brexit and modernise IT,” but keeping with this story of two halves.

56% are considering moving their data or applications to the UK or closer to the UK as a response to the UK leaving the EU in 2019.

Is this the right thing to do?

The final implications of Brexit on IT are unclear and will remain so for some time.  What is clear though is that delivery and support will become more complex and that flexibility will be key.  Simply hosting data in the UK may not be the answer as the implications of the UK holding data for EU residents and organisations may require additional compliance across previously aligned borders whilst the pressures on cost optimisation will only increase.

Will moving data, applications, systems and people address these issues and deliver an IT ecosystem that is cost effective, flexible and scalable?

Moving to the Cloud may offer a more flexible and cost-effective solution

Cloud could be the answer – 4 areas to consider

At Avanade, we encourage our clients to consider what makes the most the sense to their specific situation and what capabilities will be needed to support their future business models. We believe IT leaders should focus on the following four areas to quantify how Cloud adoption could support their Brexit plans:

  1. Data

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the value, criticality and sensitivity of the data that underpins your business. If this is not clear then accelerate activities to identify, classify and manage your company’s data aligned to business value, risk and cost of the data supporting the business.

  1. Hosting

At this moment, identifying the right location for your data may not be easy, that’s why a cloud platform that can dynamically support locally hosted, UK and EU options is so attractive. And don’t forget cost. Organisations can benefit from cost effective hosting options quickly, minimise the risk of long-term investments and avoid costly migrations – all billed in local currency to avoid the pitfalls of fluctuating exchange rates.

  1. Security

In our assessments, solutions correctly architected in the Cloud utilising the investments made by Microsoft are typically more secure than those developed on premise. The correct adoption of these new services can often close existing IT Security gaps whilst reducing costs. IT leaders should use this as an opportunity to ensure that a common set of policies, processes and controls are developed and applied to services, applications and data irrespective where the solution is deployed.

  1. Application Architecture

CIO’s should not just look at cloud adoption as the opportunity to move their current “mess for less”.  They should strive to take full advantage of cloud-native services to leapfrog current internal limitations and deliver real value to their business users.

Some businesses may choose to focus only on infrastructure, but they will miss out on the full commercial and technical promise of the cloud. At Avanade, we have invested in tools, Off Shore Centres of Excellence and commercial modelling accelerators that demonstrate how PAAS and SAAS components drive quicker adoption and reduce running costs. And create opportunities for new business enriching services such as Data Analytics, Bots and secure collaboration across organisational boundaries

A costly migration to a new location may make sense for certain businesses and specific applications, but we believe that many IT leaders should first consider what the cloud can offer them.  Businesses will need to be agile and effective at dealing with change in a post-Brexit Britain. Cloud adoption will help IT get ready.

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