Digital transformation is a journey that all your customers will embark on sooner or later. Amid massive digital disruption, businesses of all sizes are embracing initiatives that allow them to become more nimble, responsive and innovative. More than three-quarters of senior business leaders agree digital transformation is their top strategic priority, and 96 per cent believe that the pace of change in the digital world is accelerating.
The first step in this journey is a migration to the cloud, offering customers the opportunity to scale resources up or down quickly to meet demand. Yet moving to the cloud also presents significant challenges, from managing the expectations of users and business stakeholders to preparing effective downtime and disaster recovery plans.
This provides your business with a clear opportunity to offer invaluable support and develop new strategic cloud solutions. To keep customers at the top of their game throughout migration, here are four things to keep in mind:
Develop a Clear Strategy
In the rush to innovate quickly, it’s easy to end up with a jumbled, ineffective cloud environment due to hasty decisions and a lack of clear communication. Some customers may simply take an ad-hoc approach, adopting different cloud applications as the need arises. Even if your services are engaged at the start of the process, they already have a broad range of applications on different hardware, database and operating system environments. Some departments have likely chosen tools based on their own requirements, without consulting the wider business or considering their existing infrastructure investments.
To minimize confusion and complexity, start customer conversations as early as possible. Take a strategic approach by mapping out existing environments and, where possible, recommend a single cloud platform that supports the entire business. A centralized system that automatically aggregates data from all departments will take the guesswork out of day-to-day operations and remove needless hassle from the migration process.
Plan for the Future
Many businesses are so focused on day-to-day demands that they forget to consider future change when making key business decisions. Before your customers move to the cloud, develop a comprehensive strategy that supports the needs of the next generation of employees. Millennial workers will soon make up the bulk of the workforce. They’re heavily reliant on digital communication and accustomed to integrated digital experiences. They’ll expect easy access to data, instant communication and seamless online collaboration. A cloud solution that offers this kind of sophistication is crucial, or your customers will soon find themselves undergoing another migration.
Pick Your Timing
A transformation process isn’t something to rush into. Work closely with your customers to determine the best time to begin a migration, when you can be sure it will cause as little disruption as possible. Consider these questions:
- Does the business operate within certain hours or around the clock?
- What trends are available to indicate when business will be slowest?
- When should maintenance be scheduled?
- How is disruption likely to impact business productivity?
Scheduling migration carefully will help to minimize serious issues, but it’s still important to manage expectations. Work with customers to develop a plan for communicating unexpected downtime with users and stakeholders.
Train Key Resources
Staff training is an essential component of any digital transformation journey – but it’s also a hugely time-consuming one. To make this easier, help identify a few key people who will be trained on upgrades or maintenance requirements, giving them responsibility for educating the rest of the team. Not having to train the entire staff will save substantial time and resources. Developing a documentation and reference library for new employees helps staff become familiar with tools without investing significant hours in creating additional onboarding material.
Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Your customers are transforming their businesses for the digital world and, even if some are further down this road than others, it’s a journey they all need to make. Along the way, they’ll rely on trusted advisors to streamline the process and deliver additional value. Offering useful advice and support will give your business a competitive edge, helping you generate new business and strengthen existing customer relationships.
About Rhys Shannon: As the Director of Cloud and Service Solutions for ANZ Rhys goal is to provide our customers with the solutions they want and need to better their business in a fast paced environment.