Presently, the problem with most enterprises undergoing cloud migration is that they treat the transformation like a switch; they expect to flip the switch (integrate a cloud service) and watch their business workflow change overnight. And, this is because most C-suite executives view cloud adoption as a solely technological endeavor. Hence, even with their best intentions in mind, they don’t take into account many non-technological business aspects (workforce integration, change management approaches, etc.) while shaping the path for their transformation. Evidently, without a holistic, well-aligned cloud strategy in place, the cloud migration projects don’t reap the desired results.
So, how does a company chart the right course for its cloud adoption journey?
Chris Nicholas, managing director of cloud solutions at Trace3—a premier provider of technical business solutions—has a fitting response. As a seasoned cloud solutions expert himself, Nicholas has overseen several cloud migration projects. He firmly believes that no organization can reap the benefits of next-generation cloud technologies without placing ‘people’ at the center of a transformation strategy. He says, “Integrating cloud isn’t only about incorporating a new technology; it is also about facilitating a better symbiosis between the technology and its stakeholders to ensure optimal utilization.” That’s where Trace3’s core strength lies. When enterprises today seek to implement robust cloud infrastructure, Trace3 ensures its success by aligning the technological efforts precisely with the company’s qualitative factors—company culture and people. “Our end-to-end services are directed toward ensuring that your cloud environment can enable your business objectives,” notes Nicholas. “In a nutshell, our mission is ‘making cloud better.’”
Improving Cloud Adoption Pipelines: Shift Left to Get It Right!
Besides bolstering an enterprise’s well-rounded cloud strategy, Trace3 is also dedicated to making significant strides to the left of the development pipeline for shrinking overall cloud migration project deadlines. Simply put, this means improving the capacity of cloud architects, consultants, and engineers, enabling them to bring value to their customers more rapidly. In the existing setup, Nicholas notes that adhering to tight timelines and ensuring there are no backlogs seems near utopian for a cloud engineer. This is because every time a new cloud adoption project kicks off, the engineers have to begin their work from ground zero, with no template to jump-start their work. “We understand that creating such templates might be a close to impossible task because every company has its unique cloud requirements. But even then, there are some basic cloud development models that can hold true for all, like adding fundamental guardrails and governance frameworks or the necessary security posture. We call them landing zone architecture,” explains Nicholas. Today, living in an age where time and innovation go neck and neck, having a well-set landing zone architecture can become a game-changer. And Trace3 is enabling just that. “We design such standard cloud models and make them easily available and consumable for our teams—much like a cloud architecture vending machine. And, we constantly keep improving our landing zone architectures to ensure it stays relevant with our client’s changing needs for cloud adoption,” adds Nicholas. That way, a delay from cloud engineers no longer remains a bottleneck in any of Trace3’s cloud transformation projects.
Going Cloud Agnostic = Easy Scalability + More Flexibility
While most business solution providers would leverage a cloud-agnostic strategy to simply keep their horizon wide-ranging and make use of every opportunity that comes their way, Trace3’s viewpoint is slightly different. Being a people-first organization, Trace3 employs a cloud-agnostic approach to ensure it can freely evaluate and choose what is best for its clients. At the same time, since most companies opt for a multi-cloud strategy today to make the overall project cost-effective, Trace3’s approach to stay on a neutral ground only strengthens their position to be at the top of the cloud game. In Nicholas’ words, “We, as a cloud advisory and architecture group, want to bring the whole aesthetic of cloud-agnostic approach to really help our clients amplify the benefits associated with their multi-cloud endeavors.”
However, Trace3’s cloud-agnostic strategy doesn’t disentitle them from getting accredited by the best in the domain. To date, Trace3 won the 2021 Microsoft U.S. Partner Award in Migration to Azure, garnered the status of Microsoft Gold Partner six times, has Advanced Specialization in Modernization of Web Applications to Microsoft Azure, and also holds the position of AWS Advanced Consulting Partner that is on the precipice of being their premier partner. Trace3 is equally very proud of its team of architects, consultants, and engineers, who have a fleet of certifications under their wing. These market recognitions only stand to prove Trace3’s bandwidth in the cloud realm.
Over the years, the company’s quest has been to marry its expertise in Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enact and actualize the true definition of being cloud-agnostic and bring about business modernization. And with such a power-packed team that is constantly amalgamating various robust frameworks of leading cloud service providers with proven enterprise architecture methodologies of open groups like TOGAF, Trace3 is incessantly making this impossible feat possible.
A Winning Onboarding Process that Breeds Success
Trace3’s team of elite cloud engineers has unparalleled expertise in ‘all things cloud’ and offers its services in eight go-to-market areas.
However, at the core of each of those engagements lies Trace3’s unique nine-pillar cloud adoption framework. Utilizing this, Trace3’s engineers are able to design and implement the best possible outcomes for their clients’ diverse needs.
We, as a cloud advisory and architecture group, want to bring the whole aesthetic of cloud-agnostic approach to really help our clients amplify the benefits associated with their multi-cloud endeavors
The process usually starts by understanding a client’s corporate structure. This helps Trace3 determine the best possible route for the client’s cloud development strategy. And once the strategy is laid out, Trace3 also helps the client in maneuvering the strategy optimally. “Our goal does not end with the hand-off of the strategy; we take a proactive stance to see whether our clients are truly benefitting from the plan, as we want to make our clients champions of their cloud endeavor,” highlights Nicholas.
In other scenarios, where Trace3 deals with more matured cloud-adopted enterprises, the company’s strong go-to-market areas are around app modernization. “So we really roll up our sleeves and take part in the most stringent refactoring, replatforming, and rehosting efforts on behalf of our clients,” states Nicholas. As the next important layer, Trace3 also offers engagements around bolstering security or adopting tighter compliance with the regulatory framework. Whether it is complying with regulations such as FedRAMP, FINRA, and HIPAA, or implementing cybersecurity frameworks like CCM, CSF, NIST, and CFA, Trace3 helps clients drill down the control objectives and develop the best governance risk and compliance practices for their cloud-based workflow.
What’s more? Trace3 often provides ‘architects as a service’ to help some of their clients during burst needs. “Sometimes, we have even helped our clients in recruiting the right talent for their team. Although recruiting is not a part of our portfolio, we go the extra mile and try to help our clients in every way possible because that’s the true spirit of Trace3’s client engagement philosophy,” shares Nicholas.
Blazing the Trail of Future-Ready Cloud Solutions
Riding on the coattails of such a value-driven approach, Trace3 has cemented its partnership with numerous clients. The company’s clientele includes several reputed U.S. enterprises, including some of the biggest healthcare providers, financial institutions, and global social platforms.
Sharing one of the recent instances, Nicholas talks about a large U.S.-based healthcare provider. Trace3 helped them adopt cloud when the world was at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis last year. The healthcare provider started seeing huge traffic on their emergency care check-in application, consumer, and member portals following the initial days of the pandemic. At that point, the client had no cloud solution in place, and all the operations were running from their data center. Evidently, they were struggling with a lot of performance and reliability issues. Trace3 came into the picture and architected a cloud environment, bootstrapped appropriate use of security and guardrails to protect medical patient records, and moved the facility’s emergency care and consumer/member portals to the cloud—all within a record-making time of 30 days. “It is undeniably a great success story, but it could not have been possible without our well-coordinated team that simultaneously handled various areas of responsibility with utmost precision,” boasts Nicholas.
Illuminating the Path to Success with Cloud Legends
Banking on many such successes, Trace3 and partner NetApp, together, are propelling influence in the cloud domain. Treading this path, the company’s one-of-a-kind Cloud Legends program—a cloud upskilling initiative—is becoming their major catalyst. As opposed to any standard certification program, this comprehensive and holistic three-phase initiative is directed toward up-leveling an entire organization by getting everybody, from engineers to HRs, to understand the basic premises of cloud technologies. “We started this as an internal event in collaboration with NetApp and got such an outstanding response that we decided to open the doors to our clients to benefit from this initiative,” says Nicholas. The most recent Cloud Legends program conducted last month aimed to educate all its participants on Azure Cloud fundamentals and designing. Guest teachings from architects and directors at NetApp provided participants with deep understandings of practical application. The evidence of this program’s success can be found in a more cohesive and knowledgeable workforce that truly understands their contribution to the company and the overall cloud tech realm. And the same time, quite markedly, these programs are also adding to Trace3’s natural progression as they keep helping more enterprises holistically in their cloud journey.
As Trace3 keeps climbing its innovation ladder further, its roadmap will be well aligned to ride the next wave of emerging technologies and cater to changing market trends all the way from gaining insights to ensuring its successful execution. The future shines bright for the company.