Migration & modernization: 3 tips for starting out
Migrating to the cloud is an iterative process that builds value over time
A modern data estate creates a scalable environment for growth and advanced analytics
Consulting firms can help you build a strategy, spend smartly, and get the most from your migration
With changing economic and business priorities as a result of COVID-19, the future for IT professionals is bound for significant change. According to a recent report by Gartner, many organizations are holding steady or decreasing IT spending, while some business leaders are investing in the cloud more than ever. So, what is driving their desire to move to the cloud when so much is in flux, and how does the cloud add value?
To answer this question, the Neal Analytics team proposes a few important considerations to understand why moving to the cloud is the right strategic move for your business.
First, moving to the cloud is an iterative process that builds value over time and pays off with improved decision making and opportunity. Second, the cloud offers a scalable environment for your business to grow its emphasis on technology and analytics. With the fast-moving nature of technology, data science and analytics are quickly becoming necessary tools for any business to get a competitive edge. Third, upgrading to the cloud with a consulting service ensures that businesses can spend smartly and incrementally on the features they need to optimize their performance.
Transforming your business with data
Data science and analytics can be some of the most powerful strategic decision-making tools for any business, regardless of size or industry. According to the Neal team, figuring out what your business questions and goals are is the first step in deciding where to invest in cloud technology. Depending on your business goals, your cloud experience can be customized and optimized to fit the most granular needs with a mix of custom work, accelerators, and connectors.
While your migration and modernization will create a foundation for your business, it also grants new flexibility and resilience that makes it easier and more efficient to update priorities and seize new business opportunities over time. Whether you are a company using analytics for the first time, or you are further along your data journey and are looking to upscale your current data and analytics potential, balancing flexibility and optimization are key.
When moving to the cloud and modernizing your data estate, a consulting service like Neal Analytics can help you define and articulate your goals, as well as help your business understand what the cloud can offer you. Migrating to the cloud provides insights that drive sales and can even reduce costs. Moreover, the cloud provides the scale that your analytics will need when leveraging fully custom machine learning solutions and other advanced analytics workloads. The key takeaway is to have critical conversations about decision-making and results and decide how your business can benefit. If you’re at a loss for where to start, Neal Analytics has a number of customer stories ranging from implementing a modern data warehouse for an agricultural supply cooperative to improving the data infrastructure at an aerospace company that provides detailed information on how businesses improved their performance by capturing the benefits of the cloud.
Maximizing your potential with a cloud-based data estate
When making the switch to a cloud-based data estate, it is important to ask questions to utilize the product to its fullest potential. The Neal team has a few tips for achieving this.
Communicate with your consulting team and ask questions
Communication is key. Our project managers and data scientists emphasize how important it is for the customer to ask questions so that they can learn during the process of migrating to the cloud. Whether you are a senior technical manager or an executive decision-maker, knowing how to balance cloud best practices with existing business strategies is important.
During a consultation, the Neal team works directly with you to translate your plan into actionable solutions that drive results. This can take many forms based on your business and data maturity, project roadmap, and the level of your business analytics focus so far, the Neal team adapts to your specific needs. In this stage, the project planning and designing of your business ecosystem allow for maximum potential and creativity.
Start from your business objective to build your solution
Our data scientists suggest focusing on business goals and current blockers when designing your journey to the cloud. This allows the Neal team to effectively shape your ideas and business goals into reality. Neal works on small scale projects as well as end-to-end modernization. In the case of a large North American energy company, we developed a complete data strategy and roadmap to overcome challenges and inefficiencies produced by legacy technologies so that the customer could improve reporting and reach their sales goals.
In the design stage, we help take your business goals and operationalize them into incremental strategies. Coupled with one-to-one support, the Neal team also ensures constant communication and education when utilizing your new data estate. When considering end-to-end modernization, having a team of experts on-call to support and advise you through the modernization process becomes a valuable asset that saves a business time and money in the long run.
Acknowledge the learning curve
Migrating to the cloud is a big step and one that has the limitless opportunity and potential, but it also comes with a learning curve. Modernization impacts the entire business, from finances to sales and development. Further, leading your team down this new path or working through problems day-to-day, is an important step in this process.
Despite the adaptions needed, moving to the cloud is faster and more efficient than other options, such as creating an on-premises datacenter or trying to update an ecosystem of legacy technology. In fact, a fully functional Azure data platform can be built in just 30 days. This acceleration allows for a business to adapt and pivot from their old strategies, take advantage of their data as a new resource, and reap the rewards.
While you’re on this learning curve, it can be helpful to have a guide take you through new and familiar features. Neal’s staff is available after implementation to help companies integrate with their new system over time. This gradual process allows businesses to gain confidence in their new technology and continue moving forward with purpose.
When developing your business strategy and executing plans with cloud technology, it’s important to remember that you’re essentially investing in the cloud and your data estate. Your design and strategy help position your business for success in the industry long after the initial migration.
In the next article in this series, we discuss the ecosystem of cloud integrations and services as well as how a consulting experience can pay off well after your first encounter.
Want to learn more about moving data estates and applications to the cloud? Check out our Migration & Modernization page for additional resources.