by Christian Chevalier, Head of Sales, AWS France
Successful digital transformation continues to challenge many French organizations. Christian Chevalier, Head of Sales, AWS France, shares his experiences for some of the more common pitfalls and how French leaders can avoid them.
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of French organizations and from these experiences I have observed some important learnings, fundamental throughout the transformation process. These provide a consistent benchmark that ensures all changes are aligned with the needs of the business.
First, a successful transformation requires the CEO and Executive Committee to be on board from the start. To achieve this, the CIO needs to be completely convinced and able to demonstrate the value that the transformation would have on the business. If benefits are not acknowledged by them, then it will most likely not happen or will be compromised through lack of enthusiasm.
Second, contrary to popular myth, one of the benefits the cloud provides is security. CIOs have spent years putting the best processes in place to protect their infrastructures, sometimes with major difficulty, so they are best placed when it comes to knowing the limitations and barriers of their current security.
According to “Is the Cloud Secure” an article by leading research and advisory company, Gartner, CIOs need to ensure that their security teams are not holding back cloud initiatives with unsubstantiated cloud security worries. Exaggerated fears can result in lost opportunity and inappropriate spending. Advising that CIO’s must change their line of questioning from ‘is the cloud secure?’ to ‘am I using the cloud securely?’
Putting security to one side, many people think that a migration project is done purely for technical reasons. What is not always obvious to everyone is a Cloud migration can position organizations to anticipate and adapt rapidly to change, accelerate creativity and innovation, speed time to market, deliver new products and revenue streams and optimise costs. The typical TCO (total cost of ownership) reduction, I have seen for a straightforward lift and shift is 30%. Also, if an optimization strategy is used, the TCO can be reduced by at least 58% on average. This gives businesses a big financial boost so they can go on to invest in digital products, customer experience and strategic projects that help to deliver business growth.
Finally, a successful transformation to the Cloud will have a positive impact on both the IT department and the business’ stakeholders. I’ve seen this many times during Cloud transformations; when just 10% of the population has a popular belief about something, the majority get on board. And it’s no different in IT, as people upskill they tend to become a source of positive influence. These new “core of Cloud skilled people” are then able to bring everyone else along, which creates a better environment and motivates everyone. As a result, the company becomes an attractive place for top new talent.
My colleague Jonathan Allen, AWS Enterprise Strategist, has years of working with some of the largest enterprises in the world and has compiled some of his own insights, learnings, and best practices on approaching Digital Transformation, in his eBook “What are Your Cloud Transformation Principles?”