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Continuously improving your cloud strategy
Part 4: A guide through your cloud transition journey
The cloud can be a critical element of an organization’s competitiveness. But the journey to cloud transition is full of technological and strategic challenges. In this blog series, we guide you seamlessly through them. This episode is about optimizing your cloud strategy. How do you continuously challenge your own operating model and perspective to foster innovation?
Laurens Dols | July 2, 2019
Cloud computing changing business
As we saw in this blog series, cloud computing has changed every business and industry by making businesses more agile. The cloud has helped organizations shifting their focus from asset ownership to services, encourages an entrepreneurial culture and makes it easier to profit from emerging technologies. Cloud features such as increased process automation and the pay-as-you-go model lead to cost savings, stimulate speed and decrease dependencies on internal IT.
When talking about the impact cloud has made on internal IT many CIOs mentioned in our CIO survey that teams can be more business driven over tech-driven because we do not need to manage infrastructure. Others talked about how the IT organization became easier to manage and that traditional hands-on management is starting to fade. This builds towards a more motivated and productive workforce.
After the introductory blog of this series, we talked about stage one and stage two of the cloud journey, about embarking on it and about personalizing cloud possibilities. This blog is about the third stage: it is about continuously refining cloud capabilities for strategic impact and relentlessly challenging your own operating model and perspective to foster innovation.
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Driving full cloud adoption
With many organizations we see a range of different cloud vendors in the IT landscape. Perhaps because the cloud journey started without a very clear guidance on the overall end-state, but also because a single vendor can often not provide all required functionalities. As a consequence, organizations need to manage multiple contracts and business relationships, and need to monitor and enforce multiple service level agreements.
If this is the case, you should take a step back and start thinking about your multi-cloud sourcing strategy. This allows you to better tailor your needs and adopt services that fit your organization’s operations. This will allow you to better achieve economies of scale. In terms of capabilities, it already will be challenging to build the right cloud expertise and way-of-way in your organization. Focusing on a limited number of vendors will create more focus.
Replacing legacy systems
Further on, organizations should consider making full use of cloud capabilities to become best in class. This means that they should replace their legacy systems and fully adopt the cloud to enable faster integration of new technologies. This takes courage. Some legacy systems are more than twenty years old and replacing those systems are costly and risky projects. Since investments like these aren’t earned back in a few years, not all decision makers dare to take the risk.
Therefore, clear business cases need to be drafted around legacy application modernization. These days we see that the business cases are no longer solely based on potential cost savings in infrastructure, housing and application, but also take into account the (financial) advantages in rapid innovation and more controlled development.
With cloud adoption, organizations have to be aware of new, different regulations that apply to them. They have to be aware of where their vendors store client data, for instance. At the same time, when organizations have shifted to cloud, being more up-to-date with regulatory requirements and responding to new ones is easier and therefore, regulatory risks can be mitigated quickly.
Embarking on the journey towards cloud optimization and innovation touches upon a number of different organizational layers, such as the business, strategy, architecture, security, compliance, and training. In order to innovate and optimize, companies need to launch an active migration strategy and roadmap before going into full adoption.
Organizations need an agile policy to enable users to capitalize on new features. After optimizing the initial target cloud architecture, organizations can start initiating cloud innovation pilots via the latest cloud technologies to quickly empower innovation and agility.
Security and training
Of course, security checklists are a priority when onboarding new services and experimenting with them. Companies need to ensure continuous cloud security monitoring for their cloud platforms and cloud software. Security strategy should envelop the entire IT cloud landscape of the organization, and not be treated as a separate silo.
As cloud maturity is growing, companies also must reserve time to create cloud training and awareness plans for business managers. Change management is key in these trainings as moving to cloud indicates a shift within the company’s culture. This moves employees to become more agile and DevOps oriented in their way of working.
The cloud journey
The third stage of your cloud journey never ends, since it is about continuous improvement and continuously challenging your own operating model. Not many organization are in this stage yet. We’re happy to help you get there.
With Deloitte’s cloud migration services, we help large corporations navigate their cloud transition journeys. We understand not only the technology challenges that organizations face, but also the implications for finance, operating model, regulatory compliance, line of business and more.
Want to know more? Please contact us via the contact details below.