On Tuesday, members of the Midwest region’s IT community gathered for the Gateway to Innovation 2021 conference. This conference has been eagerly awaited after being postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Perficient and Google co-sponsored this event as a Gold+ sponsor, and together we hosted a panel discussion on how cloud is driving innovation.
Our panel included Tom Henry, Chief Data and Deputy and Chief Information Officer of Schnucks; Noah Rosenberg, Senior Director of Product Management at Ascension; Shuvamoy Shah, Senior Solutions Architect at Perficient; and Matt Laslie, Principal Architect at Google. Our panel was moderated by Josh Ward, Client Director at Perficient.
During the session, the panelists shared their primary objectives for migrating to a cloud infrastructure, the benefits of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), obstacles they have faced during cloud adoption, and what their teams are focused on next. Continue reading for key takeaways from our discussion.
1. Understand what you want to achieve with cloud
External pressures like digital trends, escalating customer expectations, and the rise of startups born in the cloud are pushing businesses across industries to innovate, and time is of the essence. Organizations must evolve to succeed, so many embark on a digital transformation that includes modernizing applications with cloud.
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However, it is essential to understand what you want to achieve with cloud. The question Noah Rosenberg posed to his team before they embarked on their adoption of GCP was, “how can we focus all of our energy on delivering value that is going to differentiate our company?” From a product perspective, cloud was key to unlocking more value for Ascension’s customers. Cloud, he noted, allows you to drive innovation without expending the resources to support things like product infrastructure, security, and storage. He said that with cloud, you “don’t have to worry about the roadmap of your infrastructure affecting the roadmap of your product delivery.”
Tom Henry’s team’s goal was to build a data-driven enterprise to make informed business decisions. They wanted to build a turnkey, extensive data ecosystem with the sophistication and scale to compete with big-box grocers. The computing power and cloud storage “give us the capabilities of these large players” at a fraction of the cost of the on-prem alternative.
2. Choose a platform based on your needs
Shuvamoy Saha stresses that when embarking on your cloud adoption journey, you need to choose a cloud platform based on your needs and avoid choosing a vendor because you may already be using one of their other tools. He also cautions against rushing to adopt the latest and greatest technology. Instead, he encourages focusing on how your product will scale, customer trends, your company culture, and training your employees.
3. Focus on small, incremental changes
Noah creates an analogy between a scene from Looney Tunes and building a project plan. In one episode, Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam challenge each other to go higher and higher up a diving board and dive into a pool that becomes smaller as they elevate. Noah remarks, “I want to dive off a shortboard into a large pool,” therefore when he considers his next project, he pursues “small, incremental changes to ensure success.” Avoid the high dive by splicing your larger project plan into more manageable segments.
4. Dial-in change management
Change management drives individual and collective adoption and establishes application governance, thus ensuring the achievement of expected benefits and return on investment (ROI). Investing in change management is critical to ensuring successful cloud adoption. When people understand the reason behind a change, it creates buy-in for the new platform or process and helps them understand why they should care and what’s in it for them.
5. Have a trusted partner
Enlisting the help of an experienced partner helps ensure a successful, comprehensive, and swifter implementation. “There is a chasm between reading about cloud infrastructure and actually doing it,” Matt Laslie says, “and that is where working with experienced partners can help.”
Learn more about Perficient
We are a Google Premier Partner with more than 20 years of cross-industry experience in end-to-end digital transformations.
Enlisting the help of an experienced partner like Perficient will ensure your cloud journey is a success. Forrester recognized Perficient as a top service provider in its Now Tech: Application Modernization and Migration Services report, Q1 2021. Our experts have helped Fortune 1000 companies across industries successfully migrate to the cloud. The world’s leading brands choose to partner with us because we are large enough to scale major cloud projects yet nimble enough to provide focused expertise for specific areas of your business.
Learn more about our Google Cloud practice here.