A new study from Unisys supports the need for channel partners to help with cloud computing.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

December 23, 2019

4 Min Read
Cloud migration plan

By Kelly Teal

A new study conducted by global IT provider Unisys makes a bold claim: Most organizations migrating to the cloud aren’t doing it right. (You’d be forgiven for having a “Mr. Mom” flashback.)

The findings, discussed in detail in the inaugural Unisys Cloud Success Barometer, may come as a shock to channel partners. Or not. Compare your experience to what Unisys uncovered: Thirty-three percent of respondents said they have seen no – or only slight – improvement to their organizational effectiveness because of cloud adoption.


Unisys’ Raj Raman

“Clearly there is an opportunity for partners to establish themselves as trusted advisers for customers,” Raj Raman, CTO of cloud at Unisys, told Channel Partners.

That’s particularly true of multicloud and hybrid cloud, “which we believe will only grow in importance in the coming years,” Raman added.

Bearing in mind that 93% of respondents told Unisys they already use cloud in some way, partners will want to take steps to ensure clients get it right the first time. Start by helping customers create a road map, Raman said.

“The first step toward optimizing and automating cloud applications and processes involves understanding how applications behave,” Raman said. “We believe that partners should help organizations focus on creating a playbook to establish a milestone road map – designed to their outcomes – to drive digital transformation. This should be metrics and mission-driven.”

Organizations in the United States relying on third-party support such as partners say that’s happening. They reported they were 12% more likely to see moderate or great improvement compared to peers that handled cloud migration in-house, Unisys found.

“This further reinforces the important role that an SI/MSP can play, as someone who can help accelerate digital mandates and simplify the complexity of a cloud migration,” Raman said.

Where cloud migrations fell short, respondents found that tied to not managing or reducing costs as expected (30%), not improving staff productivity as expected (29%) and not increasing revenue as expected (30%).

Much of why this occurred seems to have stemmed from organizations thinking cloud migration is straightforward. Unisys found that 59% manage cloud internally, taking on a bigger load than perhaps is necessary.

“The survey found that seven out of 10 believed that they had the relevant skills in-house to design, build and run cloud solutions,” Raman said. “Many businesses do not realize that reaping the benefits of cloud requires more than just a ‘lift and shift and you’re done’ approach. You need the right framework in place at the outset, and a continual cadence of innovation and updates over time. It is therefore not surprising that organizations who worked with a third-party partner were more likely to see success from their cloud adoption.”

To that end, Raman offered three top takeaways for partners should consider.

The first, he said, comes back to multicloud and hybrid cloud, both of which Unisys sees as the future of cloud computing. But neither is simple to implement, which requires partners to provide in-depth guidance.

“Partners must help their customers be mandate-driven so that …

… they can gain greater sovereignty over their data, spread their risk in case of downtime, increase the business’ negotiating leverage and maximize their cost savings,” Raman said. “Partners must also understand the importance of how to design, deploy and scale cloud architectures in the right way to avoid any disruption around execution.”

Second, he noted, partners should train their staff accordingly, and make the most of automation.

“Given the cloud is fundamentally a software-defined infrastructure, it is built to be an automation-enabled architecture,” Raman said. “Cloud-native automations with Infrastructure as Code, Compliance as Code, and DevSecOps can make a big difference in whether or not an organization can fully realize the cloud benefits.”

Finally, he said, focus on security. That means creating cloud security controls consistent with existing company security, as well as compliance policies and support standards such as PCI, NIST and GDPR.

“A secure cloud configuration that has a dynamic and continuous process, leveraging security best practices like encryption, cloaking and microsegmentation, can both lower costs and risks for everyone,” Raman said.

Overall, Raman said Unisys views cloud as a business issue, not an IT issue. That means organizations must make certain cloud meets goals such as boosting revenue, gaining competitive advantage, improving productivity and managing costs. Partners are key to making sure these outcomes occur.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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