Firms must take ownership of cloud migration

Companies should not pass the responsibility of transiting to cloud completely to service providers, but make effort to understand and streamline their internal resources to reap benefits.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Companies preparing to move from legacy IT infrastructures to cloud-based systems will need to take ownership of the transition process instead of pushing this responsibility to their service providers to prevent the migration from going awry.

Clay Miller, senior vice president and CIO at Kulicke & Soffa (K&S), said taking ownership would require companies knowing and understanding the existing legacy apps and infrastructure they have and what kind of resources they would need to be moved to a cloud-based system. He was speaking during a panel discussion at the CXO Leadership summit held here Tuesday.

Miller added: "Reduce the levels of customization, and streamline and optimize your systems before moving to the cloud."

This would also aid cloud service providers to better come in and guide companies toward their desired migration outcomes, he stated.

Conversely, failing to do so could result in dissatisfactory cloud transitions that went off the rails, the CIO noted. Kulicke & Soffa is a manufacturer of semiconductor and LED assembly equipment which moved its headquarters from the United States to Singapore in 2010.

On its end, Kulicke & Soffa consolidated its previous seven enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems into one and five data centers to two as part of preparing for cloud migration, Miller recounted to ZDNet Asia at the event sidelines. Standardizing these internal resources mean when it is time to migrate to cloud, the transition would be much easier and economies of scale will be gained, he said.

When asked how feasible it is for enterprises to reduce IT customization, Miller said companies tend to think their various business units are distinctly unique and require specialized tech resources. However, while each business function does require customization to some degree, about 80 percent to 90 percent of systems are common.

"So it's just managing that percentage [for customization] and co-relating that to cost, not just for implementation but maintenance afterward," he said.

Best time for CIOs
Cloud computing was also one of the six trends in causing the "technological earthquake" of change in the business landscape, according to Driek Desmet, managing partner of the business technology office in Asia for McKinsey & Company. The other trends are "instant now, social, mobile, big data and cybersecurity", he added during his presentation at the summit.

CIOs would then have to redesign their IT systems in order to keep up with competitors and take advantage of the growth in Asia. For instance in healthcare, cloud computing enables remote, on-demand access to doctors via videoconferencing, Desmet noted.

These fast-changing times do mean businesses now view IT as a strategic resource to improve business efficiency rather than just reducing IT costs, he noted. "In many ways, it is the best of times for CIOs," he said.

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