We talk to many companies everyday who are in the early stages of moving to the cloud. They have done their research and understand the benefits of the cloud, they just aren't sure where to start. They are looking for guidance in executing the shift to the cloud.
Cloud adoption involves more than just understanding the benefits of cloud technology. It's also important to know how that technology relates to and benefits your business. Mapping your business' needs to your IT capabilities will help you to understand what departments will benefit most from the agility that cloud computing offers.
Developing your cloud strategy in four steps:
- Current State: Assess current cloud/IT capabilities with respect to people, processes and technology. Evaluate operational readiness and architecture.
- Desired State: Define your ideal IT environment. Where can you improve on your current state?
- Gap: Define the gaps in current state capabilities compared with desired state. Understand key cloud adoption capabilities required to achieve business objectives.
- Initiatives: Prioritize list of activities and initiatives based on gaps that, when executed, result in the delivery of desired business strategy.
To start building your cloud strategy, you should first start with evaluating your current IT state. This means understanding the ins and outs of your IT environment. For example, your current IT state may consist of:
- High up-front costs - high risk
- Expensive to get and keep secure
- Long time to value
- Non-value add capabilities
- Not always business aligned
Within this step, it is also important to take into consideration your organization's capabilities in regards to IT. How large is your organization? What is your regional and global footprint? Are you a startup or an established business? This can help determine if you are in a good position to invest in the cloud.
Once you have evaluated your current IT state, take the time to consider what an ideal IT situation looks like. Given the example above, your desired state may be:
- Low up-front cost and risk
- Security certifications built in
- Agility improving time to value
- Focusing on core competencies
In the example above, it is easy to identify the gaps between the current and desired states. Just a few examples of these gaps are:
- Cost discrepancy
- Security concerns
- Business focused
From understanding the gaps in your current state compared to your desired state, you can develop technical and business initiatives that allow you to bridge the gap. For example, these initiatives may include:
- Achieving a competitive advantage in your market
- Lowering the cost of your IT infrastructure
- Quickly adapting to changes in the market
The Bottom Line:
Before you jump into cloud adoption, it is important to understand what the drivers are for your company to shift to the cloud and what solutions these drivers require. Outlining your existing solutions, defining your desired outcome and building initiatives based on the gap will provide you with a strong and sound cloud strategy.
Your cloud strategy may be to start small and gradually, or your business may be in a position to dive right in. Once you identify your needs, you can better understand if your cloud strategy should include public, private or hybrid cloud solutions. lay out a road map and timeline to execute your shift to the cloud. Still confused on where to begin or identifying gaps? We're here to help! Get in contact with us by clicking below:
This blog was originally published on May 16th, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy.