Achieving Business Value and Accelerated Innovation with a Robust Cloud Strategy

Murat Yanar, MD, Migration Workloads and Foundational Services, Amazon Web Services Worldwide Specialist Organization

The most successful organizations of today are disrupting their competitors and entering new markets by innovating more quickly and efficiently using the cloud,” says Murat Yanar, MD, Migration Workloads and Foundational Services, Amazon Web Services Worldwide Specialist Organization.

ET Bureau: What is the impact of disruptive technologies like cloud computing on today’s innovations? What are the advantages and challenges of utilizing cloud computing for digital transformation?

Murat YanarMurat Yanar: Cloud has become the new normal as companies of every size have realized the benefits of the cloud. For most organizations, the question isn’t “if” anymore; it’s “how fast can we move?” and “what are we moving first?” Before embarking on a cloud transformation exercise, it’s important for enterprises to understand the cloud and how it differs from the conventional on-premises set up or even private cloud. Moreover, modernizing your business applications is an inevitable aspect of doing business.  With AWS, you get to decide on how to migrate your applications and at what pace, leveraging the industry’s most reliable infrastructure with the deepest set of services.

A major challenge for large organizations to move to the cloud comes from people and culture.

The biggest differences between organizations that talk about moving to the cloud, and those that do it and are having the most success often comes down to how aligned the senior leadership is with the move to cloud and setting goals that finally meet business targets.

ET Bureau: For businesses, starting a digital transformation is frequently easier than seeing it through to the end. How can they successfully make their way along the complicated path to digital maturity?

Murat Yanar: A successful migration plan starts with a deeper understanding of the interdependencies between applications and evaluates migration strategies to meet your business case objectives. One critical aspect of developing your migration strategy is to collect application portfolio data and rationalize applications using the seven common migration strategies: relocate, rehost, replatform, refactor, repurchase, retire, or retain. Based upon our experience in migrating thousands of enterprise customers to AWS, we have developed the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), which is a comprehensive and proven cloud migration program, consisting of an agile-based migration methodology that uses proven frameworks to evaluate a customer’s capabilities and environment to reduce the cost and risk of migrations.

Customers can use AWS Application Migration Service (MGN) to quickly lift and shift (rehost) a large number of servers from physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure to AWS. For example, since the implementation of SAP on AWS, L&T IDPL has seen significant productivity improvements with the integration of its multiple systems, thanks to the continuous, automated data monitoring and real time visibility of transactional data. L&T IDPL can now implement system or infrastructure changes, or new requirements in less than 3 days, compared to 7-14 days or longer before. This has allowed them to quickly adapt to evolving regulations and technological advancements.

ET Bureau: How can the time and resource-intensive process of cloud migration be made more efficient?

Murat Yanar: Before embarking on a cloud transformation plan, it’s important for enterprises to understand the cloud and how it differs from the conventional on-premises set up or even private cloud. In order to have a seamless shift to the cloud, few things need to be kept in mind.

Firstly, the senior leadership team needs to be aligned and truly committed towards the move to the cloud and need to set clear direction and expectations with the rest of the organization. Secondly, cloud initiatives need to align with business goals. Third, it’s important that organizations are trained on the cloud and comfortable with the concepts as part of the whole process. Lastly, sometimes we find that organizations can get paralyzed if they can’t figure out how to move every last workload. For this, we often work with organizations to do a portfolio analysis to assess each application and build a plan for what to move short term, medium term, and last. This helps organizations get the benefits of the cloud for many of their applications much more quickly, and it informs them on how to move the rest.

ET Bureau: Organizations can expand their existing capabilities and add new ones thanks to the cloud. How can companies align cloud strategy with enterprise change?

Murat Yanar: To digitally transform an enterprise, businesses need to connect with their customers, understand their needs, and respond faster than ever. The most successful organizations of today are disrupting their competitors and entering new markets by innovating more quickly and efficiently using the cloud. Successful companies take an approach that balances speed, addresses technical debt where it inhibits modernization, and defers lower priority optimization until after deployment on the cloud.

It is always important to map technical debt to business value by prioritizing effort along strategic modernization themes aligned to business objectives (such as time to market) or strategic initiatives (such as near real-time data availability, next best action, customer 360, and personalization).

ET Bureau: How is AWS enabling customers to adopt the company’s technological innovations and deliver relevant business outcomes?

Murat Yanar: AWS is at the forefront of enabling companies to adopt emerging cloud technologies to create transformative and compelling customer-oriented solutions. For example, in an increasingly data driven world, AI and ML have become top technologies that customers want to adopt. Some of our customers that are extensively using these are (a) Games24x7 which ramped up its utilization of Amazon SageMaker to personalize user experience with ML and scale user base by 400% in 2 years, (b) Using Amazon Rekognition, automated a highly complex process to reduce the time it takes for a picture to appear on a user’s profile by 95 percent, and cut manual verification work by 50 percent; and (3) Apollo Tyres is also drawing on machine learning by launching an automated tyre inspection program that checks for tyre defects using photos of the tyres taken as they progress along the production line.

ET Bureau: How does AWS Cloud help businesses harness the power of data?

Murat Yanar: Creating a data strategy has become a top priority for most leading organizations. Data can help organizations make better decisions, enhance the customer experience, uncover new opportunities, and improve efficiency. A fitting example of how AWS Cloud enables this is of CEAT Tyres. To digitize its manufacturing processes, which require 250 raw materials, CEAT connected production machines, like curing presses, to the cloud and built a data lake on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). This lake securely stores CEAT’s structured and unstructured data from across its operations at scale, improving CEAT’s view of factory operations and helping line managers closely monitor factory operations. For example, CEAT uses Amazon SageMaker, AWS’s service for building, training, and deploying machine learning models quickly in the cloud and at the edge to predict leaks in tyre-curing presses. This prediction decreases tyre waste by reducing factory line stoppages and improving tyre quality.

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Prangya Pandab is an Associate Editor with OnDot Media. She is a seasoned journalist with almost seven years of experience in the business news sector. Before joining ODM, she was a journalist with CNBC-TV18 for four years. She also had a brief stint with an infrastructure finance company working for their communications and branding vertical.