The right ingredients for adopting a cloud first strategy

Cloud is transforming the way every organisation operates, communicates and interacts with its customers and the food and drink manufacturing industry is no different.

Manufacturers need to be able to differentiate quickly, driving the adoption of cloud and digital services. Consumer buying habits are changing, there is an increased demand for certain produce, food manufacturing is seeing an increased demand for plant-based products, drinks manufacturers are seeing an increase in demand for beverages that provide added functionality to their lives, enhance their overall health and are available in convenient formats.

Alcoholic beverage manufacturing is having to adapt to consumers looking for low and no alcohol alternatives, as well as Ready to Drink being the fastest growing in alcohol demand due to the demand during COVID, again meaning they must be able to be flexible and agile which is what cloud services could bring to the table.

To add to this, organisations are under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, by offering sustainable convenience packaging. When you consider a 2018 study found that the Microsoft cloud is as much as 93% more energy efficient and as much as 985 more carbon efficient than on premises solutions, it’s no wonder forward-thinking manufacturers are now turning to cloud for agility, scalability and cost reductions.

In an industry where time is money, even making a 1-5% improvement in production line efficiency can drive staggering increases in revenue. So why are so many companies holding back? If you can relate, read on to discover our ingredients for adopting a cloud first strategy.

An open mind

The cloud is getting more secure by the day, but with myths plaguing the minds of IT decision-makers across the globe, many are reluctant to make the move, having been haunted by the tales that proclaim cloud is considerably less secure than on premises infrastructure.

In fact, you might be surprised to hear that on-premises installations experience around 69% more security incidents per customer than enterprises relying strictly on public cloud services just proving that security in the cloud far exceeds its on-premises ancestors.

In other instances, many believe public cloud is not financially viable, yet when the solution is right-sized, it can work out more cost efficient to run traditional applications in a cloud environment without the overarching headache of procuring equipment. But you do need to be careful because if the migration doesn’t include efficiency engineering and licensing for instance, the cost can spiral.

A full assessment

It’s always recommended to perform a full assessment of your application environment to first understand migration risks, how is best to migrate and application dependencies. An assessment will help you perform bill estimations and assess internal cloud readiness for operational procedures, tooling, procurement and skills.  The results of the assessment will help you to identify gaps in your environments readiness for cloud and enable you to plan around these accordingly – ultimately, preparing you for a successful migration.

The right team

Efficiency engineering is one of the most important factors to consider when migrating to a public cloud platform.

Cloud architects differ from virtual architects in that they perform re-platforming and efficiency engineering when migrating. They will review the most cost-effective licensing option, ask whether the application can be moved to PaaS, review whether this VM really requires the 16GB of RAM it has in the on-premises environment or consider if it over specified in the first place.

A cloud architect will even predict the potential savings if test and development is powered down during the evening.  All of these factors are important considerations and when performed correctly by a Cloud Architect and can drastically reduce the cost of running the same applications in the cloud.

The will to move fast

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the landscape evolve from organisations simply thinking about doing Cloud, to actively adopting it. Certainly, in the last 6-9 months, we’re hearing more and more organisations say, ‘If I don’t start to use cloud quickly, my competitors will’.

For the organisations that have already taken the leap, the reward is evident – from scalability and cost efficiency to higher application performance, there is clearly a lot to rave about. But migrating applications to the cloud is a complex process that requires both careful planning and deliberation.

Just remember, the quicker the adoption the better the saving. Don’t let your competition leave you in the dust!

The right partner

Don’t attempt to go it alone! The skills you need are hard to come by so it’s crucial that you ensure you have access to a partner with a wider pool of skills and expertise. This can be absolutely instrumental to the success of your migration and the ongoing management.

An experienced Managed Service Provider will have the skills to keep the automation up to date and they will monitor the efficiencies of your platform to ensure you are getting the best possible value. Organisations which use MSP’s to help them manage their cloud environments see huge amounts of value.

Find out more about how ANS have helped food manufacturing giants, Greencore kickstart their cloud-first strategy. And if you want to know more about our Cloud Migration Navigator, head here.

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