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6 Steps That Will Accelerate Your Cloud Journey in 2022 and Beyond

Discover six key steps to drive a successful cloud modernization strategy.

Several years ago, companies rushed to move their data to the cloud simply for the sake of being in the cloud. But adopting a cloud strategy should not be taken lightly. It’s a journey that requires a methodical approach, deep domain knowledge, top-notch security and a trusted partner. Along that road, you’ll find greater scalability, resiliency, agility and innovation.

We turned to cloud experts Craig Chumley, C1’s executive vice president of cloud, managed services and marketing, and Tim Femister, C1’s vice president of digital infrastructure, to discover six key steps to drive a successful cloud modernization strategy.

1. Align your use of the cloud to your business objectives

Leveraging cloud resources should drive some form of overall improvement. Exercise caution in moving to the cloud for the sake of utilizing the cloud. Consider performing a current-state assessment and documenting a defined cloud strategy as part of your process. Evaluating how leveraging certain cloud functions will further enable your organization to reach both strategic and tactical goals. Review that and your overall goals when evaluating which applications should go onto the cloud.

2. Think beyond just cost

Moving to the cloud may not necessarily be less expensive, but it will unlock far more value and fundamentally change your business by enabling scalability of platforms, agility and long-term resiliency—all of which have become paramount for businesses in the post-COVID economy. Plus, it allows companies to focus their IT resources on the most important items, and offload other pieces to a trusted cloud partner. That can be helpful as the labor market for IT resources continues to be constrained and in examples such as IT security, reach negative unemployment.

3. Understand your entire ecosystem

Most organizations will operate multiple clouds and data centers with interconnected enterprise networks and an overarching security infrastructure that continues to expand in complexity and size. Establishing a seamless environment across the entire ecosystem is a vital component to not just being successful in the cloud, but also running an effective IT operation. It’s important to identify where integrations are possible and establish an environment that optimizes overall manageability, performance, security and connectivity. Laying out an enterprise architecture prior to undergoing any significant transformation will help limit disruption and inefficiencies.

4. With that in mind, consider what pieces of your operations can move to the cloud

Many companies take a hybrid approach, and they’re not truly cloud-only. Take a look at the pieces that need to be the most agile and the most flexible, and determine what you can keep close and is the core foundation of your IT systems. Certain on-premises applications may be able to be replaced by a SaaS platform. Others may need to stay on-prem for various reasons. While still others can be migrated to cloud, but will require modification through a refactoring process to maximize cloud benefits or fit into a cloud-native architecture.

5. Use the cloud to fuel your data strategy

Just as important as great cloud security and a seamless transition to the cloud will be articulating and developing a data strategy. How do you leverage your data in the cloud? How do you organize it? How do you extract and visualize it? Today’s marketplace will reward companies that effectively mine data and make decisions with it to gain a competitive edge. A simple approach to get started is to identify the data in your environment that carries the highest value or potential for your organization. From there, you will be able to evaluate how to aggregate, extract and ethically utilize it to your organization’s advantage.

6. Find the right partner

At this point, very few companies will be sitting on the sidelines when it comes to the cloud. So now, it’s a matter of simply considering which services and which models will help you best leverage it. It’s important to pick the right partner to help you do this. The sheer number of companies dabbling in cloud today can be dizzying. C1 is a proven, innovative leader in this space. Unlike other partners, C1 helps to assess systems and advise clients on their cloud strategy and migrate and modernize applications, leverage data, secure the environment end-to-end and support clients for the long run so that they’re the most competitively positioned in their marketplace.

Ultimately, organizations that have leveraged cloud effectively as part of a digital transformation strategy have been able to improve their business operations, outpace competition and accelerate growth. Inversely, it will be paramount for organizations that have yet to modernize their IT operations to step forward and start the journey to operating in a highly resilient, agile, scalable and secure environment. Fortunately, no matter where you are in your journey, trusted cloud partners are able to help you take the right next step for your organization and guide you on a proven path to success.

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About the author:
Craig Chumley is the Executive Vice President, Cloud, Managed Services, and Marketing, for C1. In this role, he leads a team dedicated to supporting C1's customer-first and cloud-first initiatives, with the goal of delivering cloud and managed services solutions that meet the business outcomes customers are seeking. Craig has previously held roles as Region Vice President and Sales Director at C1, giving him hands-on experience building and leading a high-performance sales and services organization. Prior to joining C1, Craig achieved 150%+ of his objectives five years in a row as an enterprise account executive for AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Avaya and was recognized in the top 1% of sales executives globally.