Ericsson is a global leader in telecommunications and multinational networking. It has been a key player in driving the 5G revolution, providing infrastructure, software and services for telecommunication service providers and enterprises.
Looking to drive further transformation and enhance its products and services at scale, Ericsson — like many forward-looking organizations — has turned to cloud, the business platform for innovation.
“Our cloud adoption strategy accelerated three years ago, when we set out to move 80% of our infrastructure to public cloud and enterprise IT,” says Johan Sporre, VP Cloud Service at Ericsson.
The cloud transformation represented a paradigm or cultural shift for the telecommunications giant. “A server is a server, regardless of whether it’s within enterprise IT or the business,” adds Sporre.
In the past, IT looked after its own infrastructure and the business looked after the infrastructure for products and services. Today in public cloud, the organization has a different, more unified focus in the cloud, with the business consuming approximately 60% of cloud services.
Secure, cost-effective and innovation-driven
Enterprise IT spearheaded the cloud transformation journey at Ericsson, defining the guardrails and the boundaries for a secure and cost-efficient consumption of cloud.
The business has been given the flexibility to adopt cloud at speed, enabling them to experiment and innovate quickly in sandbox environments on the central platform.
“Product and services lines are now innovating more frequently in the cloud, which is driving business and customer value. The cloud enables enterprise IT to create a digital platform for the business to innovate in, which reduces the cognitive load. Increasingly, we’ll see this development where companies are investing more in platform-based usage of cloud services, rather than just pure infrastructure consumption,” says Sporre.
Success based on partnerships
Selecting the right partner is fundamental in delivering the core principles of a successful cloud transformation strategy.
“You need a partner that focuses on multiple dimensions — cultural changes and thought leadership, as well as productivity and quality,” says Sporre.
In Ericsson’s case, the telecommunications giant wanted to build a scalable, digital foundation that was built on speed, transparency and trust; the shared goal. The organization wanted to democratize transparency and enable their customers to readily access insights, while allowing them to quickly adopt or change services.
In addition, Ericsson wanted to scale its platform with minimal labor intensity and would actively avoid certain capabilities if that program would require lots of people. That’s where HCLTech has helped, by managing and scaling enterprise workloads.
“HCLTech is our service partner and we have seen our stability matrix significantly stabilized post migration,” says Sporre.
He adds: “HCLTech, together with our other partners, has been instrumental in guiding and advising us, not just from a technology perspective, but also from a cultural point of view in terms of ways of working and how you set up an efficient organization to execute the strategy.”
A change management program
Crucially, it’s important to understand that a cloud program is not a technology program. It’s more of a change management or cultural initiative.
“When working with a client, our ultimate aim is to make sure that the organization adopts a culture of innovation, becomes more collaborative and moves to a product-orientated mindset,” says Hari Nair, Senior Vice President and Engagement Head of Telecoms, Media and Technology Vertical – Europe at HCLTech.
To achieve this and accelerate cloud adoption, all stakeholders need to share a common goal and the purpose of the transformation needs to be effectively communicated to the entire organization.
At Ericsson, Sporre led bi-weekly open sessions to field questions from the employee base about the cloud transformation, why it was happening and the impact it was going to have. “This cut hierarchies and ensured that everyone could raise concerns or ask questions directly to the executive team running the program,” he explains.
Looking ahead: The lessons learned
When embarking on a cloud transformation at scale and speed, Sporre advises that organizations need to understand the capability of their employees and make investments that change ways of working, enabling employees to work with new directives, policies and procedures.
“You need to be deliberate with what you’re aiming for,” he says.
In addition, cloud is key to adopting new, bleeding edge technologies. Organizations will need a clear roadmap to demystify these technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), digital twins and IoT, provide examples and make changes to enable employees to train on these technologies.
“In the ever-expanding and impactful world of technology, the winning companies will be those that can enable new processes, directives and procedures, while training their people to adopt technology quicker than the competition. It's not all about innovating, it's also about how to adopt the massive amount of technology innovations that are available to the market,” says Sporre.
If you are attending this year’s AWS re:Invent (Nov 27 - Dec 1), be sure to block HCLTech and Ericsson’s joint session on November 28 at 3PM (PST) in the Industry Teams Zone, where Mats Hultin, CIO & Head of Enterprise IT at Ericsson and Ashish K. Gupta, CGO, Europe and Africa at HCLTech will discuss how together we partnered to power Ericsson’s cloud transformation at speed and at scale. For more information click here.