Key to success in the cloud is a sound strategy

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Key to success.

Delivering transformative business value with limited resources is reality for many CIOs. CIOs are also faced with IT services that are increasingly multi-sourced, raising new challenges for service delivery aggregation, integration and management.

We know that cloud is driving the new face of managed services and outsourcing. Of course, “cloud” means different things to different people, but it is simply a way of delivering dynamically scalable IT resources as a service. This notion of delivering IT as a service is one of the key differentiators between a cloud computing delivery model and what might otherwise be considered a dynamic infrastructure.

Cloud is primarily built on the implementation of standards, virtualization and automation, but it also relies on service management capabilities in order to be able to deliver a virtualized service over the network.

Getting cloud wrong is easier than one might imagine.  The most common reason for failure is poor strategy —one that doesn’t align IT with business needs. The other key point to understand is that cloud computing provides a different set of value propositions and opportunities for the consumer, the provider and the broker.

In order to have a clear strategy, you first need to establish your role in the cloud. Will you be a Cloud Consumer, a Cloud Provider or a Cloud Broker?

  • As a Cloud Consumer, your main objective is to gain efficiencies, speed, cost savings, and competitive advantage through the use of cloud solutions.
  • As a Cloud Provider, you may opt to deliver cloud solutions (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) through on-demand, pay-as-you-go systems as a service to your end users (Cloud Consumers),  or to turn one of your own custom services into a revenue center.
  • As a Cloud Broker, you want to connect Cloud Consumers to the best in class services from a variety of Cloud Providers.

Once you are clear about your role, the next step is to focus on key business drivers and corresponding success criteria for cloud adoption. Let’s say, your business drivers are to reduce total cost of ownership and reach new markets. Once the business drivers are determined, define your critical success factors for each business driver.  For instance, a pharmaceutical company might consider the following KPIs: reduce environment costs for new clinical trials by 50%, and launch a clinical trial environment in an emerging market in less than 3 days.

With role, drivers and success criteria all defined, try to assess your organization’s capabilities along several dimensions and put in place a future state. To create a roadmap for change, you will require an honest gap analysis that considers dimensions such as customer experience, technology, processes, assets and locations, sourcing and alliances, organizations and governance, performance metrics, and skills and capabilities.

In short, a successful cloud strategy reflects a thorough consideration of roles, business drivers, and readiness of the organization.

Join me and other the Cloud Advisors at InterConnect 2016 (February 21-25), the industry’s premier Cloud & Mobile conference to talk about how cloud strategy, technologies and practices can help businesses achieve greater outcomes.  Submit your request now to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a Cloud Advisor during the conference, or join us for a chat in the Solution EXPO at InterConnect 2016.

Cloud Advisor

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