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We recently hosted a roundtable with cloud, IT operations, and infrastructure executives from 10 of Australia’s largest enterprises to discuss how they are accelerating cloud adoption and controlling costs.

While some were further along on their cloud journey than others, there were a number of consistent themes that popped up throughout the discussion. We’ll keep the names of these companies confidential, but we wanted to share the top five insights they provided to help guide you on your own cloud journey.

1.  Get C-level buy-in with value-added stories and clear metrics

You can’t report on what you can’t measure. The ability to accurately demonstrate the value of cloud migration and optimization needs to be articulated with clear and concise metrics to secure executive buy-in. However, metrics on their own aren’t enough. Executives are moved by business measures and business stories. Decision makers need context and storytelling through well-thought-out use cases and success stories.

Cost will inevitably come up in the conversation. Rather than focusing on cost, switch to talk about value, especially in regard to the overall speed of delivery.

Through rightsizing exercises and the like, cost-savings will happen organically. The real value conversation is around how you can speed up delivery, reduce time to market, and scale your business to meet demand by migrating workloads to the cloud.

2.  Focus on the value that you can unlock with cloud adoption

The number one driving factor for cloud adoption among the panelists is the value they can unlock through the cloud. This is everything from automation and machine learning, to advanced analytics and of course uptime, scalability, and the ability to accelerate delivery of digital initiatives to market.

One of our panelists from a leading telecommunications provider shared that the agility their company achieved by moving their customer-facing apps into the cloud gave them the scalability and performance needed to meet the demand of a new iPhone launch. The ability to scale up when needed is central not only to meet commercial requirements but also to improve the digital customer experience.

3.  Highlight that cloud is not more expensive than a data center, especially over time

Many businesses initially find it challenging to prove to decision makers that cloud isn’t necessarily more expensive than a data center. As one of our panelists pointed out, some legacy vendors have a tendency to spread costs across different contracts or separate statements of work, making it difficult to obtain a holistic view of total expenses. In contrast, cloud bills detail everything in one place, so it’s easy to make the assumption it’s more expensive. While it may be a difficult task to prove the true cost of running in a data center, the payoffs will be there in the long run.

In addition, if you were to refactor your applications and rebuild them in the cloud—particularly on serverless technologies—the cost savings could be very significant. 

4.   Know that cloud allows for visibility into a level of detail for security that isn’t possible in on-premises data centers

Security is a common theme that arises as a blocker when we talk about cloud adoption and migration. There’s a perception that the cloud isn’t as secure as data centers, but as one of our panelists representing a leading Australian energy provider pointed out, security has never been better for their organization since migrating to the cloud. Operational measures such as the number of problems, incidents, time to resolve an incident, and restoration are “100% better” than what they had in an on-premises data center. In the cloud, the security team has visibility into a level of detail and control that they never had before.

5.  Remember that developers are high currency, and attracting and retaining strong talent is a key challenge

“They become highly proficient, and they get poached,” said one of our panelists. This was a common theme with developer talent in some of Australia’s largest organizations. Companies need to provide their developers with the tools they need, ongoing education and development, and the freedom to code; otherwise, they’ll leave for somewhere better. Developers want new and exciting work, and they don’t want to be bogged down by unnecessary processes.

Some of our panelists found great success using automation to keep their talent engaged. For instance, developers can feel constrained if they have to rely on infrastructure or have to wait on third parties to get their job done. By automating certain tasks, and building automated pipelines to allow developers to be self-sufficient, they gain a much greater sense of capability and speed.

One of the greatest advantages of moving to the cloud for one of our panelists was giving developers a standardized CI/CD pipeline. It has been key to improving delivery speed and made it easier to manage infrastructure. This way, developers don’t need to think about their pipeline; it’s ready and waiting for them.

Ultimately, attracting and retaining developer talent comes down to the satisfaction and empowerment that a business offers. It’s about setting them up for success and enabling them to do their best work.

If your organization is looking to migrate to the cloud, check out our ebook, “Successful Cloud Migration in 3 Easy Steps.”