When someone mentions the cloud, it can illicit different feelings from fear to excitement. The cloud concept is simple – the cloud allows organizations to procure technology as a service. However, what is not as simple is determining how the cloud best fits into your organization.

As we discussed in our past article, there are several steps that can help speed the transition to the cloud and becoming a digital business. One imperative step is developing a comprehensive cloud strategy which differentiates between top line and bottom line improvements.  A sound cloud strategy provides a practical approach that addresses short-term benefits as well as a long-term foundation for performance improvements.

A few points to consider when creating your cloud strategy:

  1. It’s not a separate initiative: Most organizations make the fatal error of creating a separate cloud initiative instead of integrating cloud technologies that address aging IT infrastructure and legacy applications. Adopting the cloud will impact governance, your organizational model, sourcing and vendor management; therefore it’s imperative to integrate.
  2. Develop a Cloud Roadmap: Undertaking cloud adoption will require IT organizations to develop a roadmap that not only integrates cloud technologies but also includes business strategy. A successful cloud strategy must have both.
  3. Optimize, optimize, optimize: When crafting your cloud strategy, develop ways to optimize your existing IT capabilities instead of creating net new capabilities. Cloud services are change agents and can change the way business processes are executed and, as a result, reveal hidden opportunities.
  4. Many Services, Many Value Propositions: The cloud does not have a single value proposition for all services; as a result, organizations need to take that into consideration when developing their cloud strategy.  When developing your cloud strategy, be flexible and recognize that some services are cloud-compatible but might be too costly to make cloud-ready. However, there are some services that are perfect for the cloud and have considerable cost savings, but remember there are others that are not.
  5. Standardization: Standardization is required for the cloud and can be the fas vehicle to cost savings, but is not easy to adopt.
  6. Business and IT Partnership: Cloud adoption will change the way business and technology interact at the strategic  With cloud adoption, the business will view IT as a strategic partner in creating a more agile, high performing business, which reinforces the need for integration.

In summary, with any cloud adoption strategy organizations must first determine where they can benefit from the cloud. There is an opportunity for IT organizations to turn the cloud into a new core competency which will move IT from being a provider of services to a hybrid IT organization that delivers and brokers services in multiple ways to drive more powerful business value. Once you have figured out a sound cloud strategy, you are moving in the right direction to become a digital business.

For help in developing your cloud strategy, contact us.

-Yvette Schmitter, Sr. Project Manager