This article originally appeared in Forbes and is reprinted by permission.

Organizations that take a cloud-first or cloud-only approach to modernize their IT and legacy estates often find themselves falling short of expected outcomes. An IHS Markit study of 350 companies found that 74% moved applications back on premises from the cloud after failing to achieve anticipated returns.

DXC’s approach to modernizing IT is Cloud Right™, a mix of cloud, multicloud and on-premises platforms. Cloud Right focuses on making the right technology investments at the right time on the right platforms — whether that means migrating to the public cloud, modernizing existing systems or both.

See how large companies are doing Cloud Right

Cloud-Native Applications. Moving to a cloud-native approach is more feasible today. DXC is successfully using automated tools to quickly transform applications to cloud native. For example, DXC helped French train manufacturer Alstom gain business agility and build a foundation for growth on an open, efficient and secure platform. Alstom moved some workloads to the public cloud and kept others on premises based on specific business cases, such as protecting data and controlling cost.

The company’s previous vendor, which deployed a lift-and-shift approach, was able to migrate only a fraction of the workloads. DXC applied automated, repeatable cloud migration services — and a proven factory approach for converting legacy code to cloud-native language — to migrate about 300 applications and hundreds of servers to the cloud in under a year. The migration happened on schedule without failure.

Mainframe Modernization. When transaction speed and high volume are crucial, modernizing the underlying technology and processes is sometimes the best approach. DXC worked with one of the world’s largest airlines to transform development practices for a key mainframe-based system for booking flights. DevSecOps for the mainframe was unheard of until recently. Now the airline is getting more value out of its platform and can move with the same agility as cloud-native enterprises. It is important to consider the mainframe when developing IT modernization plans and have talent who are skilled in managing, modernizing and transforming these data center mainstays.

Containerization. A growing number of our customers use containers to optimize business capabilities and gain the advantages of the cloud quickly. Containerization enables organizations to run legacy systems in the cloud without having to transform code, making it a fast way to deliver business-specific applications and secure deployment across multiple clouds. For example, a leading automaker uses DXC’s managed container services to accelerate the development of autonomous driving capabilities. One self-driving test vehicle can generate up to 100 TB of data every day, and the automaker is using containerization in a private cloud to quickly upload and analyze that data to improve autonomous functions.

Secure Digital Transformation. Security by design is critical to doing Cloud Right. Cloud services that secure workloads and monitor configurations of public cloud environments are must-haves. It’s necessary to tighten up security perimeters in existing IT environments for the cloud so that individual services, customer data and critical processes are safe. This approach is crucial to highly regulated, data-rich industries such as insurance, where DXC is transforming the digital capabilities of Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest insurance marketplace. DXC will help Lloyd’s deploy cloud-based solutions to automate processing and accounting, reduce operating costs, and offer faster and better service to customers. The new digital platform will fundamentally change the operating model of the London market.

Follow the right path to IT modernization

Failing to modernize underlying applications slows development, hampers data analytics, fortifies organizational silos and leads to cost overruns. But doing nothing to modernize the IT estate is not an option. Smaller competitors with more agile IT infrastructure and digital solutions are overtaking market leaders when it comes to speed, cost and flexibility.

However, large enterprises — even those with legacy systems and complex infrastructure needs — have a clear path to modernization. They need a transformation partner to manage, modernize and secure their pivotal infrastructure and enterprise applications. An enterprise needs to identify a service provider to support an investor strategy focused on strategically managing legacy IT services instead of a harvester strategy focused on short-term value. The selected service provider must support that requirement by investing in the mission-critical systems that are core to the enterprise’s ability to conduct business. It is the responsibility of the service provider to help the enterprise avoid costly mistakes in their journey to the cloud (such as attempting to move everything there in one fell swoop).

Focus on business outcomes to get started

Key to a successful cloud migration is a focus on business outcomes, not the technology itself. For example, if the goal is to launch products faster, enterprises can adopt DevOps practices that integrate applications across legacy infrastructure and clouds. If the aim is to improve the customer experience, cloud solutions coupled with modernization can unlock data trapped in legacy systems to enable artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to generate insights about customer needs.

Successfully moving to the cloud starts with focusing on business outcomes; using a mix of cloud, multicloud and on-premises platforms; and partnering with a service provider capable of assessing the financial, technical and organizational realities of the entire IT estate.

By strategically investing in legacy IT with a service provider using an investor strategy to make the right investments at the right time on the right platforms, business transformation moves faster. The result is a solid IT foundation for business growth.

About the author

Vinod Bagal

Vinod Bagal is president of Cloud and Infrastructure Services for DXC Technology. He is responsible for Cloud Right™, DXC’s cloud transformation approach to modernize, optimize and integrate cloud and on-premises IT – infrastructure, cloud, security and enterprise applications. In his previous role as executive vice president of Global Delivery, Vinod focused on delivery innovation to improve service to DXC’s customers, including process improvements, talent development and innovative technology to automate processes.

Vinod holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Mysore University, India, and an MS degree in engineering management from The George Washington University.

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