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    Why Cloud Integration Starts With Your Customers

    Cloud adoption has increased since the pandemic, with 67% of businesses operating their enterprise infrastructure on the cloud. But adoption doesn’t just start with addressing pain points—it really begins with the customer. The customer experience is evolving, and ignoring your customers on the cloud journey can send them straight to a competitor.

    As cloud technology evolves, it’s important to bring the customer along the cloud journey to ensure seamless adoption. There can’t be a mismatch between the goals of the business, company culture, crucial pain points, and IT department. So, how can you continue helping your customers innovate while staying true to your cloud journey?

    Provide a Clear Understanding of Cloud Migration Benefits

    Many businesses and leaders are jumping to adopt the cloud, with 30% of all IT budgets dedicated to cloud computing. As you, your organization and clients dive into the cloud journey, it’s important to consider the reasons that inspire most businesses to choose to migrate.

    These are what will outline the end goal (or goals) for moving toward the cloud in the first place. Having the right alignment can ensure a clearer destination in your cloud journey and a better understanding of how to get there.

    For most, cloud migration is driven by the need to cut technological costs, but that is only a part of the story. Be sure to highlight the additional benefits cloud migration can help ease aside from finances to your customers. For example, customer retention and onboarding can be eased through cloud technology, it can eliminate redundant technology at scale and increase efficiency, and more.

    Have a dynamic discussion with your customers that asks the right questions, so you can determine which other benefits would align with your customers’ goals and how you can help them innovate as cloud technology evolves.

    Conversations like these ensure that clients understand the bigger picture and understand how the cloud journey will benefit their business, not just your organization.

    Also read: 5 Emerging Cloud Computing Trends for 2022

    Be Realistic About Cloud Migration and Its Pitfalls

    A major part of the cloud journey involves being realistic about your capabilities. As companies start on their cloud journey, they aren’t always honest with themselves, which can lead to slower results than previously anticipated and ultimately lead to friction with customers.

    Think about the maturity of your company, and be honest about what you can and can’t do. This is crucial for determining whether your customers’ goals are feasible with where you want your cloud journey to take you.

    There are so many paths to cloud adoption that the sheer number of options can be overwhelming, especially when analyzing what a perfect cloud implementation could look like. It is important to be realistic about how much change your organization can withstand at once and to try and keep your program simple, since it’s tempting to try to incorporate every cloud service and modernization tool all at once.

    Instead, you should plan for these improvements incrementally over time and with the benefit of hindsight. By phasing in change and modernization over time, you have the ability to learn what is the right cloud program to generate the most value for your business, the market and your customers.

    This reflection can better prepare you for some of the most common challenges cloud professionals face when moving to the cloud, including time and money, capability gaps, and building alignment. Thinking about the challenges can also ensure that your journey not only works well with customers but also with your people, organization, compliance, and more.

    This conversation also ensures that customers feel like you are communicating thoroughly as you both go along this journey. Opening up about challenges allows for transparency and can educate customers on the ins and outs of the cloud and have them thinking through the constraints they may have in their own cloud migration.

    Also read: Cloud Security Best Practices for 2022

    Frameworks Can Help You Prep Ahead

    For your migration to stay on track and meet the needs of both you and your customers, there needs to be a framework that highlights the guiding principles for how the system should be in place. Make sure to account for things like clearly defined thresholds in line with the customer’s cost model, clear expectations for compliance, and more.

    Most importantly, a framework also needs to account for revision cycles. Remember, many customers won’t understand the technical aspects of cloud migration. Part of having them along for your journey stems from anticipating their needs.

    You can and should educate them as much as possible, but at the end of the day, they will be more focused on the outcome. This means that if revisions take time or don’t go well, they can derail the entire migration process, costing time and money.

    A framework also goes hand-in-hand with understanding your limitations and anticipating obstacles. Through a framework you can continue to communicate with customers throughout your cloud journey in an informed way, sharing where you are in the process and how this progress can impact their business needs.

    Migrating to the cloud is an important step in any business. By engaging with your customers from day one, you will gain a better understanding of the destination, acknowledge the challenges, and establish a framework. In turn, you will not only innovate but will also account for your customers’ goals every step of the way.

    Read next: The ABCs of Smart Cloud Migration

    Rob Duffy
    Rob Duffyhttps://www.cloudreach.com/
    Rob Duffy is the Global Head of Solution Development at Cloudreach, an Atos Company, a leading multi-cloud services provider. Rob utilizes his history of working in the information technology and services industry and skills in Cloud, IT professional services, and data center solutions to enterprise customers.

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