It’s finally summer, the time when many families take that long-awaited vacation. This year’s travel trends include taking a more personalized tact, perhaps chasing genealogical origins, as well as making a once-in-a-lifetime exotic journey to savor for years to come. Each type of vacation requires a little more time and effort to plan but is worth it in the end.

Similarly, many companies view their approach to the cloud as a multi-year trek. In other words, whether you’re planning the vacation of your dreams or designing a complex cloud IT infrastructure, making a well-thought out plan is critical. If you’re organizing a transcontinental vacation, you may need the help of an experienced travel agent. So how can today's organizations plan for success with their managed cloud services? 

Two cloud experts – guest speaker Bill Martorelli, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research, and Meg Ramsey, Vice President of Cloud Services Product Management for Sungard Availability Services – recently spoke in a webinar entitled “Optimizing for Success in the Cloud” to help companies do just that: discover practical ways to deliver innovative cloud services to shape their business needs.

In this 30-minute discussion, Martorelli and Ramsey shared their views on where we are today in terms of practical ways to deliver cloud economics and flexibility, as well as the types of cloud services and expertise available.

The good news is that cloud is at the heart of digital transformation, where the customer is at the center of the design. Cloud has become an engine for software development to enrich customer interactions, directly support customer activities and store customer data. Companies are already taking advantage of cloud economics and flexibility to get out of the data center business so that they focus on their organization and spur demand for their own services.

While we’re clearly in the era of mass cloud migration, as Martorelli asserts, we’re not yet where we thought we’d be. Businesses plan to move or have moved many applications to the cloud, but there are still many workloads yet to migrate – Forrester estimates that about 26% of workloads will reside in the public cloud by 2020. Think of it as a complicated journey which requires a great deal of determination, assistance and planning. In our view, it’s a little like the famous line from Robert Frost’s poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening: “I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

Fortunately, many companies have become adept at buying cloud solutions, and there are many different paths that can get you to your end goal. And, as transformation digitizes more business processes, resilience is more closely linked to business success and the technology decisions customers make to enable that success. Consequently, companies need help leading the charge toward resilient and recoverable IT. 

A good way to enable cloud transformation, Ramsey advises, is to work with a partner like Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) to introduce Managed Cloud – AWS into the enterprise. This allows companies to focus on their applications and business transformation while leveraging a trusted partner to design, architect, automate and run public services with solution-based Service Level Agreements (SLAs) on their behalf.  

In order to create successful transformation plans, organizations need to identify their full application portfolio, focusing on the business outcomes that the applications drive, instead of the applications themselves. In other words, they may need to “lift & shift” vs. refactoring their applications to optimize their efforts.

But take heart: you don’t have to go it alone. With a Managed Service Partner such as Sungard AS, and the myriad public cloud solutions from companies such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), companies can rely on the experts to do the heavy infrastructure and compliance lifting. That way, they can focus their developers’ time on differentiated services – which in the end, can accelerate their company’s overall digital transformation.

You can learn much more about Sungard AS Managed Cloud – AWS and how you can benefit from industry-leading economies of scale, global reach and the innovation of AWS in the full webinar (click to view and hear the presentation). And don’t forget to send us a postcard to celebrate your cloud journey.

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