3 min to readCloud Services

Build a strong foundation for cloud transformation now… or pay the price later

A man holding a dog.
Alex GalbraithChief Architect, AWS Global Practice
A white hallway with a light shining through it.

The challenge with cloud migration

Many businesses that accelerated a move to the cloud during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic are now discovering that haste can in fact make waste.

For example, McKinsey reported that several large banks have had to "hire hundreds of cloud engineers because they did not put the right foundational architecture in place at the beginning."

Moreover, one recent survey found that more than half of IT leaders across the US and UK are experiencing "sticker shock" from higher-than-expected cloud costs.

The reason for such cloud modernisation fallout? Migrating applications and data without first laying the proper groundwork. As a result, businesses are seeing costs and complications arise around basic operations, networking, security, backups, identity management and more.

It’s a lesson for any organization considering cloud migration today: Building a strong foundation now means reduced risk, and less money and time spent on remediating shortcomings later.

How to prepare for a  cloud migration?

Consider a company where separate business departments and different application owners each build and deploy their own versions of a billing app. If the organisation hasn’t first established consistent security policies for everyone, rolling out new company-wide security software could become needlessly complicated and expensive – because the software will have to be adapted multiple times for the needs of each individual department’s application stack.

Instead, it’s better to heed the old adage, "measure twice, cut once." That means first establishing the right policies and standards for how your organization will handle a variety of important tasks in the cloud – from security to logging, patching to FinOps, compliance to disaster recovery, identity management to documentation.

What are the benefits of moving to the cloud?

In the coming weeks, we’ll explore what it takes to build a solid modernisation foundation for all those tasks and more. The more work you do laying the groundwork for a successful cloud strategy, the less time and effort you’ll need to spend on remediation later. This “measure twice, cut once” approach brings significant returns on investment.

First, building a strong cloud foundation will make your implementation more consistent and scalable, with the ability to automate more processes. This reduces the burden on your employees, saving time and money on maintenance so people can instead focus on innovation and other value-adding activities.

Second, this approach ensures better security and governance. And the ROI here can be infinite: You’ll worry less about breaches and compliance issues that could damage your company’s reputation, cost millions in fines or even put you out of business.

Finally, thinking strategically will give you a cloud architecture that is ready to expand as your business and its requirements grow.


A man holding a dog.

Alex Galbraith
Chief Architect, AWS Global Practice