In today's uncertain business environment, organizations must be able to move quickly to seize opportunities ahead of the competition. Cloud services have an important role to play in making the business they serve more agile and, therefore, more likely to succeed.
Organisations are increasingly looking to cloud services to help meet their changing business demands. Industry experience has shown that when done well, cloud services can provide organisations innovative ways to deliver existing services, whilst also providing rapid access to new capability. When adopted in a planned and well-governed manner, cloud services can also help reduce operational costs.
Today, the question isn't whether you're going to move to the cloud but how you'll do it and how fast. However, adopting the cloud without a clear strategy and implementation roadmap is not effective and can cause problems. The first step in developing a cloud strategy is to change how you think about cloud technology. Though numerous enterprises have proclaimed a "cloud-first" approach, many of them don't have a well-established cloud strategy that clearly defines the "why", "how" and even "what" of their cloud implementation.
Without a cloud strategy, an organization may try to accommodate a multitude of choices that often conflict with each other and fail to guide the business towards achieving its important corporate goals. With no cloud strategy, a firm doesn't have traceable business objectives and lacks the appropriate focus for the key challenges that need to be solved.
Below the steps to formulate a comprehensive, actionable cloud strategy that aligns with business needs:
Set business objectives and identify your goals for moving to the cloud
Perform an assessment to evaluate the cloud-fit for business and technology
Assess the current (as-is) on towards to the desired (to-be) state
Address potential risks of the cloud and perform a risk assessment
Choose the right cloud deployment model (Public, Private or Hybrid)
Assess the value of moving selected services to the cloud
Evaluate the readiness of selected cloud initiatives
Establish cloud strategy implementation roadmap with cloud financial modelling and estimated operating costs
The cloud journey involves more than just evolving your IT. It's about transforming your business-everything from your technology to your processes, to your people. The cloud strategy must address business imperatives and opportunities that are specific to your industry, your business, and your team's requirements.
By Minos Georgakis, Director, Technology Advisory Services, PwC Cyprus