How will the cloud change my organization?

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To answer the question in the headline, let me start with a quote from the year 65 AD by Roman senator and author Gaius Petronius:

“We trained hard… but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.”

One of the most frequent questions I get asked when working with my clients out there in the real world is, “So what about my organization? How would I change it to be able to use cloud services?”

Being an old consultant (in more ways than one), I have been around for a while and seen many things over and over again. Based on this experience, there is only one valid answer to the client’s question:

cloud and organization

There simply isn’t a single answer to the question.

Why should you change your organization?

I think it’s more about the services that should be delivered and the way of working—the processes, in other words.  In general, ask yourself if  you have a common way of working based on principles and rules or if you have common language and service definitions using the language of the business you will serve. This is a very good way to start finding areas for improvement.

A well-known and excellent starting point is to define your service strategy. It will help you investigate and understand your business needs. Develop the service portfolio and service catalog in a full lifecycle management context and last but not least, define the process map and the transformation plan—the activities to make it happen.

It takes time to develop the processes in reality and it must be done in a practical way.

Establish the ownership and measurements, then follow up to ensure you will improve.

Have you seen it before? Disappointed? I hope not! The big change and the big chance is to make it happen in reality, not just on paper! Too many organizations have spent their time and resources on process projects not delivering a high enough value.

The processes must be defined together with the people working in reality and the services described in a language the consumers understand. And there is one more extremely important detail: don’t expect it to be perfect from start! Establish a culture and way of working based on improvement cycles and measurements. Follow up and reward the right behavior.

Yes, I know this can sound very general but I have done it many, many times together with different organizations and I know it works. This is about people and communication, and you want to be able to deliver cloud-based services to your business. The service catalog, processes and people are the key to success. Making it happen is about change and transformation, not so much technology.

Of course, we need solid tools support for our service catalog and ITIL processes, but that is another story.

I can talk for hours about this topic and hope you want to discuss it with me. Comment below, or connect with me on Twitter @@MonicaClaeson.

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