Going to the Cloud: Key Considerations, Opportunities and Challenges

By Jay Ruffin and Yonas Yohannes
January 10, 2022
Season 3, Episode 2

The Hackett Group Director Jay Ruffin talks with Principal Yonas Yohannes on the growth of cloud computing and what companies should think about as they make the decision to move to the cloud.


Show Notes

Welcome to the Hackett Group’s Business Excelleration Podcast, where – week after week – we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours, and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. This episode of the podcast is hosted by Hackett Group Senior Director Jay Ruffin. His guest today is Hackett Group Principal Yonas Yohannes.  Yonas is an expert in all things digital and is a leader in the area of technology transformation; he joins the podcast today to offer insight on the specific topic of cloud computing.

The market for cloud computing has grown a great deal in recent years, and it is expected to continue growing.  Interestingly, though, much of the growth thus far has been seen among small and medium-sized businesses, while larger businesses seem to be lagging more.  Yonas offers a brief overview of the history of the cloud, and notes that there has been a lack of both a systematic way to adopt and a motivating sense of need to migrate to the cloud.  As part of ongoing digital transformation in the market, Yonas explains, we need to see the cloud treated more as a business strategy and a strategic imperative.  We need to see cloud service providers (among others) constructing an adoption mechanism and migration plan, and helping business leaders to think through migration and the necessity of it.

And while it is true that larger companies have thus far lagged behind smaller companies in transitioning to the cloud, Yonas also notes that there are exceptions to this trend.  In the financial services industry, for instance, several large companies have migrated to the cloud.     Such transitions have been helped by strong cloud education shaping c-level decisions, as well as the emergence of the new customer (with a demand for the digital).  In some business sectors, Yonas points out, there has been a faster rate of adoption among large companies than in others.  In general, though, the whole market is moving toward adoption of the cloud as a digital transformation pillar.

Moving forward, Jay and Yonas discuss whether there are any must-haves in terms of frameworks or tools as companies consider transitioning to the cloud.  Yonas explains a few valuable frameworks: cloud strategy, economy, and management.  And while content for executives on a general approach to and the mechanisms of cloud have been missing in recent years, there is increasing availability of resources for leaders to consider the benefits and risks of cloud, an adoption strategy, etc.

As the conversation moves toward a close, Jay asks Yonas for his thoughts about what is in the future and what listeners should be looking out for.  Yonas explains that the concept of resilience has changed, and is now tied to the cloud, how banks in particular will be helped by modernizing and simplifying their legacy structures and applications, and more.  Yonas offers advice to those looking to formulate a cloud strategy, advises a multiple-CSD approach, and an overall push to both adopt the cloud and mitigate company risk.  Finally, he leaves listeners with parting thoughts on the primacy of strategy, the importance of executive sponsorship and having the cloud aligned to all aspects of a business, and the need to think in terms of resilience.


  • 0:40 – Welcome to this episode, hosted by Jay Ruffin.
  • 1:31 – What is Yonas’s view of the discrepancy in cloud transitions based on company size?
  • 4:31 – Jay wonders if certain industries are progressing more rapidly than others.
  • 7:49 – Are there must-haves as a company considers going to the cloud?
  • 10:45 – Jay asks what is in the future.
  • 15:31 – The conversation turns to parting thoughts.