abstract purple cloud

How to make your cloud migration work

A round-table with T-Systems and Microsoft has revealed three key steps to a successful and fast migration

16 April 2021Frank Strecker

Cloud is the future

The future of enterprise is cloud. But how do you start your cloud migration, and ensure it progresses quickly without jeopardizing mission-critical processes? Frank Strecker discusses what you need to do at key stages from planning to governance to implementation, as well as the benefits of T-Systems’ work with the Microsoft Azure public cloud infrastructure – achieving results for customers, quickly and securely.

Cloud drives transformation

A data center with magenta lines

In a recent round-table webinar jointly hosted by T-Systems and Microsoft, T-Systems CEO Adel Al-Saleh was asked what he saw as the future of the cloud. His response was simple: The future is cloud . 
I fully agree – and that’s not just because I am responsible for T-Systems’ cloud business. Just look at the facts. Since the start of 2020, the acceleration of digitization has been mind-boggling. Schools, medical facilities, businesses – these all went digital in the space of a few weeks. Microsoft announced that its Teams communication platform grew to 115 million daily active users. E-commerce saw its strongest growth in a decade, according to McKinsey’s report on how COVID-19 is changing consumer behavior. The cloud is what powered this transformation; what allowed businesses and public infrastructures to scale up their connected operations within a finite investment model.

Microsoft Azure and cloud expertise from T-Systems

It is also what saw our co-operation with Microsoft, which has existed for some 20 years, move to the next level: a holistic partnership, combining the global footprint of the Microsoft Azure public cloud infrastructure with T-Systems’ expertise in managing mission-critical, complex systems in a cloud environment.

We characterize this partnership as a ‘down-to-earth’ experience. It’s about getting things done, quickly and securely. Central to this is a joint commitment that the client comes first: both companies are always looking for outcomes that clients benefit from. That’s one of the reasons why, through the T-Systems partnership with Microsoft, we offer a ‘one-stop shop’ cloud service: it’s simpler, and cheaper, for the customer. When we jointly invest in our clients’ success, everybody wins.

Getting from premises to public cloud – and fast

Office buildings floating in the air

At T-Systems, we have pivoted to an ambitious new strategy: Public cloud first. This is a major shift, but drawing on our 13-year experience as cloud pioneers, we are convinced it is right. If enterprises don’t adopt this approach, they can all too easily find rationales to hold back their digitization. Instead of identifying what on-site services need to be preserved, we encourage clients to do the opposite: identify what can be fast-tracked for cloud migration.

What form of cloud does this result in? To answer this, I’d like to go back to the round-table, where Adel al-Saleh and Microsoft executive vice president Jean-Philippe Courtois revealed their vision of the future of cloud. It is based on hybrids: managed multi-cloud solutions combining the flexibility of public cloud with the closeness of edge solutions, on a best-in-breed basis. There will be a ‘long tail’ of persistent on-premises applications, determined on the basis of security and data regulations. 

For an individual enterprise, getting there can feel daunting. But that’s where T-Systems can step in, with our Cloud Migration Framework. Leveraging T-Systems’ experience of transforming workloads, our framework operates in a structured manner to help assess clients’ status quo and focus on their daily needs, business requirements and regulatory environment. The upshot is that they can migrate to the cloud faster and without fears over mission-critical processes.

E Paper: Visibility and Transparency for the Multi Cloud

With a framework, the multi cloud can be managed transparently without restricting users of cloud services.

Preparing for public cloud: three key steps

Executives often ask me how they can get their enterprises onto public cloud in a practical, problem-free way. Our answer is that your cloud journey needs to be a disciplined one. 

First, start planning what you want to do with the cloud. Define your strategy, goals and needs. Jean-Philippe Courtois says Microsoft conceive of four key levers companies can pull when effecting transformation: people, customers, core operations, and products and business models.
And I may add: It’s useful to think along those lines for yourself. Reflect on what change is needed internally, for the customer’s journey, to digitize core processes and legacy apps, and to build cloud-native services.

Spark enthusiasm among application developers

Second, think about the governance you need to implement in your organization. When your migration gets going, the demand and enthusiasm from your application developers will be overwhelming. They will realize how easy it is to put up an infrastructure, migrate an application and start programming extensions. So develop your governance before you reach that point. Ensure you are leveraging the security functionality embedded in the cloud platform, then gain an understanding of what you need to complement it with. 

This is where we excel – because we build everything with security in mind. The partnership between Microsoft and T-Systems combines two companies with a deep understanding of the subject. There is an enormous amount of security features in the Azure platform. Layered on top of this is a dedicated environment for security operations, supported by one of the biggest databases of malware in the world and a dedicated reaction team who can respond to threats. If anything, we are almost paranoid about privacy, identity management and data sovereignty.

Combining Azure cloud and migration expertise

The third step? Just go. Jump right in. Explore, learn, and don’t be scared that you are starting a process you can’t stop. Your migration does not have to be daunting. Companies like T-Systems and Microsoft will provide the support you require. We act as co-pilots on your journey to realizing the benefits of digitization, in terms of cost, scalability and – perhaps most importantly – possibilities for innovation. The final horizon of Microsoft’s transformation model is ‘IP innovation’: working out what unique capability you can create within the cloud, beyond its utility common to all users. Once you figure that out, you can change the game.

About the author

Frank Strecker

Senior Vice President Global Cloud Computing, Big Data and Edge , T-Systems, Digital Solutions

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