Organizations of all sizes embrace cloud transformation to keep up with fierce competition. According to the latest forecast from Gartner, global spending on public cloud services solely is expected to grow by 20.4%, reaching $675.4B in 2024, compared to $561B in 2023. Businesses adopt the cloud to optimize costs, streamline efficient service delivery, enhance customer engagement, and simplify the management of various operations. However, while enterprise cloud transformation offers a variety of benefits, it can be challenging to adopt it properly. How to ensure a successful cloud transformation? And what best practices can you follow to make the process easier? Let's find out.

Why do businesses need cloud transformation?

Cloud transformation is the comprehensive process of migrating business data, applications, infrastructure, and related software to the cloud. Enterprise cloud transformation offers many business opportunities, such as:

  • Enhanced cost management. Moving your business operations to the cloud lowers your IT infrastructure costs, which include hardware and maintenance expenses. Cloud services are usually offered on a subscription basis, meaning you only pay for what you use.
  • Improved operational efficiency. Cloud transformation streamlines operations by automating routine tasks, freeing up your team to focus on core business activities. This efficiency saves time and fosters greater productivity and engagement within your employees.
  • Increased security level. There is a vast number of cyberattacks every day, and they tend to increase. Estimates from Statista predict that the global cost of cybercrime will significantly increase over the next four years, climbing from $9.22T in 2024 to $13.82T by 2028. To avoid security issues and strengthen the overall cybersecurity posture, cloud services offer encryption and multiple layers of security, making unauthorized access much more difficult.
  • Scaling easier. Organizations with on-premises environments have to invest in and manage physical infrastructure that's difficult to scale. In contrast, cloud transformation allows businesses to scale resources up or down as needed. This agility allows organizations to swiftly respond to changes in demand and avoid overspending on unnecessary resources.
  • Guaranteed business continuity. Migrating to the cloud ensures your business can continue functioning and recover more easily from unexpected events. Cloud platforms offer disaster recovery capabilities and built-in redundancy, minimizing the possibility of data loss and downtime during hardware failures, natural disasters, or other disruptions.

However, you should have a detailed plan for your cloud transformation if you want to take full advantage of its benefits. To achieve this, you need to create a cloud transformation strategy to roll out this process gradually.

How to develop an enterprise cloud transformation strategy

A thorough cloud transformation strategy ensures the success of an enterprise cloud transformation and helps overcome the most common challenges. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

1. Conduct an assessment

When developing an enterprise cloud strategy, it is critical to perform an assessment of your organization's existing IT infrastructure, applications, data, and technology compatibility with cloud platforms. It includes identifying current pain points, inefficiencies, and areas for enhancement. Also, It is crucial to evaluate the performance and readiness of the systems and business processes for transition to the cloud. This step will provide a clear understanding of your current position and help specify your opportunities and challenges during your transformation journey. You can also enlist the support of an outsourcing partner to conduct the assessment if you want to get professional expertise during this step.

2. Set clear cloud transformation objectives

Cloud transformation is not an all-size-fits-all solution, it should be tailored to the specific goals of each business. Set measurable objectives that align with your organization's business goals and overall strategy. Common targets of cloud transformation usually include reducing costs, fostering innovation, accelerating service delivery, etc. Moreover, it's essential to outline measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the progress and results of your cloud transformation.

Top metrics for assessing progress against cloud goals

3. Select the right cloud model

Choose the optimal cloud model for your specific requirements, be it public (AWS, Azure, or GCP), private, or hybrid cloud (the model that combines the advantages of both public and private cloud models). You should also choose if you are going to move all your systems to the cloud, leave some of them on-premises, or select a multi-cloud approach to assign different providers to your different applications. This choice includes evaluating factors like data residency requirements, security practices, compliance considerations, expenses, and provider reputations.

What public cloud providers does your organization use?

4. Execute cloud migration

Plan your migration process, setting a sequence of moving systems to the cloud. Select the most fitting method of migration for your organization: rehost, refactor, rebuild, replatform, or replace. After planning your cloud migration strategy, start migrating data, applications, and workloads to the cloud. This step includes a series of coordinated activities, such as provisioning cloud resources, configuring networking and security settings, transferring data, and deploying applications. Depending on the migration's complexity, this procedure might be implemented in stages or waves to mitigate disruptions to business operations.

5. Monitor and optimize post-migration

Monitoring your cloud environment's performance, security, and cost is a continuous and critical responsibility that goes beyond the migration phase. Use comprehensive cloud monitoring and management frameworks to track resource utilization and optimize performance. Continuous optimization guarantees that your cloud infrastructure stays in tune with evolving business requirements, providing maximal value over time. It is also crucial to use automation tools to streamline operational processes.

6. Consider the security and compliance of your cloud environment

The overall success of the enterprise cloud transformation also depends on the security of your cloud infrastructure. Conduct an audit to understand your organization's security gaps and expected future state. Then, follow cloud security best practices to protect sensitive data and guarantee compliance with industry regulations and data protection laws. These practices include regular vulnerability assessments, network segmentation, continuous monitoring, data encryption, implementing role-based access control, and utilizing cloud-native compliance frameworks.

7. Scale your cloud transformation

Cloud transformation is not a linear process; it is an ongoing enhancement of your business. You should regularly assess and refine your transformation strategy based on stakeholders' feedback and new business goals. The final stage of building an enterprise cloud strategy is establishing a cloud-first mindset within your organization to expand transformation beyond the cloud migration team. The cloud domain evolves rapidly, so you should cultivate a culture of continuous advancement among your personnel to implement innovations and enhance your business processes.

Best practices for smooth cloud transformation

The cloud transformation journey can be challenging. To help you navigate this complex process, we gathered best practices to simplify and accelerate your cloud transformation efforts.

  • Get support from an experienced partner. Since enterprise cloud transformation is a comprehensive and resource-intensive process, you should enlist the support of an experienced cloud consulting partner. To get the maximum value from this partnership, ensure your provider understands your organization's needs, strategic benefits of your cloud migration, anticipated challenges, and budget. You should thoroughly analyze their expertise, portfolio, and partnerships with cloud providers. Check their profiles on platforms like Clutch or GoodFirms, as well as their clients' feedback. N-iX, for example, has partnerships with three leading public cloud providers. Our cloud experts provide end-to-end cloud transformation services from assessment to implementation, maintenance, and support.
  • Utilize automation for repeatable processes. Cloud users usually request cloud services according to standard policies, which are based on repeatable processes and ensure efficient auditing. You should automate cloud requests, incident management, and change management processes to prevent delays when users request cloud services. For instance, automating cloud queries through a catalog, tracking changes through APIs, and maintaining unified visibility of services on a single platform provide an ultimate fusion: essential business processes compliance and the seamless experience enabled by modern automation techniques.
  • Use a cloud-native approach. Though the lift-and-shift approach is an easy and quick way to migrate your infrastructure to the cloud, it is much more expensive over long distances. Besides, by transiting your applications as-is to the cloud, you will not be able to fully take advantage of the many benefits cloud computing offers. Legacy architecture can limit agility, scalability, cost optimization, and innovation opportunities. Instead, a cloud-native approach is a more strategic way to optimize your business. Although it is more time consuming and requires much upfront development, it will be more cost-effective and beneficial in the end. Cloud-native migration enables organizations to optimize resource usage and adopt agile development practices. By leveraging microservices, containerization, and serverless computing, you can rapidly innovate and respond swiftly to market demands.

Read more: Enterprise software development in the cloud: trends, tips, and case studies

Start your cloud transformation journey now

Transform your business with N-iX

If you are considering an enterprise cloud transformation, N-iX is here to assist. Our team of cloud experts can accelerate cloud migration, minimize disruption risks, and optimize cloud costs. N-iX has over 21 years of experience delivering cloud solutions. Having more than 400 cloud experts on board, N-iX has successfully delivered over 200 cloud projects. We are partners with the most popular cloud providers: an AWS Advanced Tier Services Partner, a Microsoft Solutions Partner, and a Google Cloud Platform Partner. We also comply with data security standards such as PCI DSS, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and GDPR. N-iX has an extensive portfolio of cloud projects with positive feedback from our customers, and it is featured in various top software developer lists on platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, and more.


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