Answer three questions, and your first step to a successful cloud adoption journey is done. This short article is about the questions, and how to manage the answers.
Let us conclude that nothing is new about Cloud – and that most companies already embarked on their cloud adoption journey a while ago. However, if not carefully prepared, the journey could take you on a bumpy road – or even worse, lead you to a place where you really do not want to be.
There are three key questions to address to prepare for a successful cloud adoption journey, enabling business value realization.
The obvious question, but sometimes the hardest. First, Cloud should be seen as a means – not a goal in itself. Consequently, clarifying ”why Cloud?” is the first step in the right direction.
Articulate your ”why cloud” in terms of business drivers and expected business value, preferably with internal priorities. For example: ”scalability to be prioritized over cost reduction”.
The ”why cloud” should be broadly anchored across management since this will serve as a foundation for the cloud strategy. This will continuously provide guidance in making priorities and decisions to ensure a business value-driven direction.
Formulate the cloud strategy as an enabler for your business strategy rather than a technology shift.
The cloud strategy should align with the business strategy and ensure a balance between business value and risk management by:
all mapped against business objectives.
The cloud strategy should naturally address the service perspective/approach for delivery models (SaaS/PaaS/IaaS), cloud flavours (private/public/hybrid), and a potential multi-cloud approach.
Finally, the cloud strategy needs to be accessible, engaging to read to create the everyday awareness required to minimize a future of ”shadow cloud”. Special attention needs to be paid to how to communicate to make an impact that sticks.
A governance structure and the right skill set to match its needs is fundamental. There is, however, a best practice approach available to achieve this. Establish a Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE), a centralized governance function to drive and support cloud adoption.
An effective CCoE include small, highly-skilled, supportive and cross-functional teams (e.g. cloud services and enterprise architecture, security and legal). The purpose of the CCoE is to build the necessary capabilities and provide tangible guidance in cloud adoption based on business priorities and turn the cloud strategy into practice.
Having all this in place – an understanding of why, a strategic direction defining what we aim for, and an active cloud governance function to support the how – you should be equipped for a smoother journey into the Cloud.
The rest is just hard work.
Maria Nelsson, Head of Business Development at Opticos is based in Stockholm, Sweden.