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Opinion

Why partnerships are key to cloud migrations

It’s impossible for businesses to go it alone when embarking on their cloud journeys

Cloud handshake

You don’t need me to tell you we are living through unprecedented times. The pandemic has rocked the business world, emptying high streets, closing shop doors, and forcing businesses to reimagine how they operate. But it’s fair to say, even before COVID-19, the world was changing fast. Customer expectations were higher than ever, with people expecting companies to deliver value and act responsibly, and businesses were scrambling to meet these demands.

Technology adoption was at an all-time high as organisations laid down transformation strategies to help them become more agile, resilient and able to offer new and exciting services. You only need to look at the boom in online grocery sales and the implementation of remote learning within education to see how even the most traditional of industries have adopted technology to survive and thrive during the pandemic.

Far from disrupting that trend, COVID-19 has accelerated it. Digital transformation plans were quickly elevated to business-critical almost overnight. Digitalisation was no longer just about meeting customer expectations – it was about weathering the COVID-storm and surviving the harshest business environment since World War II.

Many businesses have already put plans into action, while others are still grappling with the challenge. But if there is one thing we can agree on, it’s the importance of cloud technology in business – both today and in the future.

You can’t go your own way

In an environment where employees can’t work from the office, cloud computing provides the flexibility for teams to work remotely – anytime, anyplace. But in the long term, the cloud is just as important. Only the most digitally mature will be able to successfully navigate COVID-19, so the post-pandemic marketplace will be more competitive than ever before.

Being flexible enough to respond to customer demands, leverage new technologies and scale into new territories will become the business norm, leaving stragglers unable to keep pace. In reality, the process of moving to the cloud isn’t always straightforward, however. Every business is unique. Some are halfway through their journey, while others are still taking those first tentative steps.

In short, every business has a unique approach to how they adopt the cloud. And because of that, there is no easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide that all businesses can use.

Few companies have the internal expertise to go it alone, so inevitably most will require third-party assistance and a network of partners who specialise in helping businesses transition to the cloud. At AWS, for example, we have a partner network, with each partner playing a crucial role in helping customers navigate through their cloud journeys. It’s this global community that has the know-how and expertise to leverage cloud computing to build solutions and services.

The perfect partnership  

Take Madrileña Red de Gas (MRG), for example. MRG is the third-largest gas distributor in Spain, supplying nearly one million people in the Madrid region. The business used a local hosting provider to manage its IT infrastructure from the time it launched in 2010. After nearly eight years, it was time to reassess the arrangement. They found their IT application portfolio had almost doubled, and they were severely limited by the physical machine they ran on.

MRG needed to move to the cloud, but an additional challenge they faced was 80% of their business used SAP applications. MRG lacked the in-house expertise to go it alone, and so they needed a partner with experience managing large cloud SAP environments.  

Luckily, Linke Migrates Utility had exactly that experience, and right from the first meeting with MRG were able to demonstrate how they’d managed similar customer environments, continually reducing complexity and cost while improving performance, optimising capacity, and resolving issues. The result was full migration within 100 days – with 90% completed in just two months.

The most immediate benefit for MRG has been the flexibility it has gained. It can now shrink or grow resources on-demand according to business needs, resulting in around 10% cost reductions. The company can also get services to their internal users faster, meaning they can build a proof of concept within days.

This is just a single use case to show how partners are an essential part of the journey to the cloud, providing that specific, on-the-ground expertise to overcome any hurdles. They are the ones really unlocking the potential of cloud computing by guiding our customers on a seamless migration journey.  And trust me, with the pace of innovation being what it is, it’s a journey every business will have to take.  

Antonio Lopez is director of EMEA partner success with Amazon Web Services

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