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Cloud Modernization Q&A with Steve Holstad

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Cloud platforms are increasingly a top priority for accelerated digital transformation. Speed is the key factor in digital transformation and cloud is one pathway to get there faster. Cloud market share was expected to exceed $150B in 2021 (Gartner). Recently, I spoke with Steve Holstad, Principal, Cloud, about how cloud, APIs, and integration set the foundation for digital transformation:

Q: How do you define modernization?

A: We define modernization as updating solutions to leverage modern cloud platforms, patterns, infrastructure, and frameworks for improved business agility, resiliency, and overall control. Modernization extends the investments already made in existing systems while embracing flexibility and encouraging innovation.

Q: We’ve identified four pillars of cloud and APIs – application modernization, infrastructure modernization, data modernization, and APIs. Can you describe these pillars and how they contribute to modernization?

A: In many ways these are all chapters of the same story; all of them are driving an organization forward to be more effective, more adaptable to business events, more proactive in delivering capabilities to end users, and more profitable by focusing innovation where it will make the most impact. Application modernization provides flexibility, portability, reduces management overhead and enables new features more quickly.  Infrastructure modernization improves security, scalability and operational visibility while providing a more resilient platform for business operations – and may greatly reduce expenses around licensing, external support costs and removing the need for physical locations.  Data modernization eliminates data silos by introducing cohesive pipelines of information to aggregate on cloud data platforms and enables real-time stream processing – providing the opportunity for meaningful and actionable analytical insights.  APIs tie this all together – exposing data from legacy systems, enabling flexibility, performance and security for new solutions and supporting collaboration across products, teams and businesses despite complex hybrid environments.  All of these are critical aspects of a successful digital transformation and should be considered first-class citizens as part of your overall program.


Q: What tips or best practices do you have for customers who are ready to begin their cloud modernization journey?

A: Bring a “cloud program” mindset. Start with aligning your cloud strategy with your organization’s overall vision and business objectives.  Getting to the cloud is not the end zone – empowering your business is.  Make sure you have a team enabled to drive change and a path for employees to develop new skill sets.  Work with strong partners that understand the real-world complexities coming with cloud adoption and invest time in the strategy and planning phases first.  Getting the foundational aspects done properly first ensures successful migrations and modernization efforts in the future, and helps you maintain a secure, governed, and transparent platform for meeting business objectives well into the future.


Q: How do you see cloud and APIs impacting our customers’ modernization efforts in the next year? 3-5 years?

A: These technologies are improving business agility, resiliency, scalability, and operational control while driving features to market faster than ever before. We believe 90% of existing business solutions will still be in use in 2025, and nearly all of those deployments will be to the cloud.  Modernization of solutions, infrastructure, data platforms, and integrations will play a huge part in enabling this transformation while providing connectivity and organizational insights at entirely new levels of impact.


Why Perficient and Cloud

Perficient’s Cloud and APIM practice was recently recognized by Forrester as a global systems integrator (GSI) in its Now Tech: Application Modernization and Migration Services, Q1 2021 report. According to the report, GSIs align these services with cloud and digital go-to-market capabilities. They are positioned to offer services that facilitate the transformation of application assets because of software factories and growing cloud-native development capabilities.


Our cloud and APIM expertise spans multiple industries, including healthcare, financial services, and retail. We have award-winning partnerships with some of the leading cloud platform and service providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Kubernetes, Apigee, Boomi, MuleSoft, Red Hat and VMware.


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Clayton Geenen

Clayton is the Marketing Coordinator for Perficient’s AWS practice. He graduated from the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business in 2021. Clayton is a proud native of Madison, Wisconsin, and now lives in St Louis.

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