How an outcome led cloud transformation maximizes business value

  • Posted on November 17, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Avanade’s Outcome Led Approach to Cloud Business Value

We recently published a guide on how you can take an outcome led approach to maximize the business value of your cloud investments.

In this post, I’ll describe a real client project where we implemented this approach and the outcomes that we were able to drive for the organization. Names and industry have been purposely hidden to protect customer privacy.

The customer is a global Fortune 100 enterprise with multiple sub-entities and brands. The CIO challenged the IT organization to exit their owned and leased datacenters and get to the cloud - fast.

Central IT needed to initially focus on legacy applications that were not considered high value in terms of revenue or operations, but with strategic value to the business. A light-weight modernization was the most appropriate course of action. With datacenters in multiple buildings housing ~60 applications on ~300 server instances, there was an urgency to migrate and modernize. As part of an office move, the buildings were due to be sold, so there was a limited window in which the work had to be completed.

To maximize business value and de-risk the cloud journey, the organization needed to deliver on three core outcomes:

  1. Improved security
  2. Greater management capabilities
  3. Cost efficiencies and control

This was achieved through:

  1. A hybrid cloud operating model that secured all cloud assets as part of the global WAN
  2. Containerization
  3. Modern monitoring and management tools synchronized across all on-prem and cloud applications
  4. Optimized cloud consumption across resources, visibility & control, and governance.

The Avanade outcome led approach

Tip 1: Get laser focused on those business outcomes
For organizations with a clear direction that’s simple, but in this case, we had to run through planning, analysis, strategy, and application disposition with key stakeholders from across the business and IT teams. We were then able to confirm the outcomes the client really needed to achieve – this was so much more than a simple migration driven by the sale of office buildings that housed servers.

Tip 2: Prioritize the efforts that deliver the desired outcomes
We first deployed a hybrid cloud foundation that addressed networking, routing, and connectivity. Next, we designed a containerization approach for hosting the applications in cloud.

Using our industrialized modernization factory, we took the application code and added the authentication, security, monitoring, and management tools to the container image, and quickly deployed to dev instances, then test, QA, and finally to production.

Tips 3 & 4: Sharing risk and creative commercials
Our work with the client was built around the 3 core outcomes identified earlier. Payment milestones were only met when applications were moved and the client could see business outcomes. This low-risk model ensures that both parties are driving towards the same outcomes.

So, we solved the problem the client had of hosting servers in buildings they would no longer own. But critically, through our approach, we uncovered and delivered on real business outcomes, and established an incredible client relationship built on trust.

Tip 5: An evolutionary mindset
We quickly identified deployment as a challenge due to the client’s outdated processes, so helped them with an Azure DevOps pilot to speed their migration and testing. After a short period there was an appetite for other teams to be trained quickly so they too could embrace the DevOps opportunity for faster deployment and evolution.

At the same time, the client began asking us about their architecture from what we’d learned. Very quickly they asked us to help with their high value applications – starting with a view on the business value of those applications to aid prioritization. They were ready to learn, and ready to accelerate their evolution.

If you would like to learn more about how we can use our experience to develop a roadmap for your journey that maximizes the value of your cloud investments, check out the guide or contact us today.

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