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Migration to Cloud: Start Here

Are you ready to take that next step in your digital transformation journey, but you aren’t quite sure where to start? Well, you are not alone. Recently, I had the pleasure to spend some time with Joseph Msays, global managing partner, EA Managed Services, IBM Consulting. to talk about the digital transformation journey, what IBM Consulting is showcasing at SAP Sapphire, May 16-17, and how companies can take that critical next step.

“We have been a partner of SAP for the last 50 years,” Msays explains. “I don’t know if you know this, but the three original founders of SAP were ex-IBMers and since then our relationship has been really close.”

At the SAP Sapphire event taking place this week, IBM is showing many of the critical capabilities that span from advisory, to implementation, to migration to cloud, to managed services, industry solutions, and more. He goes on to explain SAP has around 45,000 customers and now the focus is to move many of these clients to the cloud.

“(We want to) help our clients in their transportation journey by using ERP (enterprise-resource planning), which is basically the heart and lungs of any corporation,” he says.

IBM has multiple ways to help clients move to the cloud. The company can do lift and shift, migration with elective changes to some of their business processes, or complete transformation in one shot, just to name a few. Msays suggests it really comes down to the individual needs of each client.

The first step is to address the enterprise challenge and to look at the pain points the company is trying to address. Such pain points can include security, user adoption, and so much more. IBM Consulting will then come in and help address these challenges. From there, companies can then address how to meet the business KPIs (key performance indicators).

“The first thing is they have to be crisp and articulate their strategic intent,” he says. “That is very important for any client. Then to be able to write down their pain points. Then of course to choose the partner of choice. Then to stay on top of the technology.”

As with any digital transformation, it is all about people, process, and technology, so naturally we can’t forget about the people component of all of this. For several years, I have been writing about the skills gap we have in many industries, and the need to address it. Certainly, technology is one thing that can help.

“If we look at generative AI, I have seen some studies where it says it will add productivity or even to the GDP between 7-10%.” He goes on to say he thinks the GDP is around $27 trillion. Just imagine that number.

Certainly, skills become foundational for any effort such as this. Workers need to understand generative AI, how it works, and its capabilities and limitations, Msays explains. Security and personal data become key here. “Getting reskilled sometimes we have to unlearn to relearn.”

It’s important to realize that this point needs to be emphasized again and again, considering the exponential growth of technology in some markets and in some key verticals.

At the end of the day, transformation is beginning to happen in many companies, but it is often a slow and steady process. If your company is considering some sort of digital transformation today, remember you don’t have to do it all in one shot. Simply identify your needs, stay focused on those, and find a partner that can help with the technology.

So, then how should a company begin the process? As Msays says, “It all depends on the strategic intent of the client.” It’s pretty simple: Start there.

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