Be prepared, have a cloud strategy
Cloud adoption is growing, yet few organisations have advanced strategies to steer their cloud migration.
That’s according to a recent IDC CloudView survey of over 6,100 IT leaders, in which only 3% of respondents described themselves as having an ‘optimised’ cloud strategy, while 47% described theirs as ‘opportunistic’ or ‘ad hoc’.
These results coincided with a Logicworks/Wakefield survey, which found that:
- company leadership often underestimates the time and cost of cloud maintenance
- the IT workforce isn’t completely prepared for the cloud
Both reports indicate uncertainty among IT leaders on how best to utilise and manage the cloud to drive organisational growth and efficiency.
It’s surprising that so many organisations aren’t investing time in their cloud strategies as there’s clear evidence of the benefits. A 2016 Cloud Industry Forum report found that 55% of organisations with a cloud strategy believe the cloud has enhanced their competitiveness.
Why having a cloud strategy matters
Most business leaders would agree that any change programme needs a clear strategy to direct the path of travel, so why should cloud adoption be any different?
A cloud strategy can help organisations plot their adoption roadmap, identify technical and application requirements, and clarify business requirements such as performance, security and integration.
For those of you who take the time to develop a clear strategy, the benefits are quick to follow:
Setting out a migration roadmap allows you to prepare for every stage of your cloud journey:
- identify cloud services and applications that meet real needs
- predict their likely network demands
- plan the adoption process
- consider migration risks, enabling creation of a risk management plan
Value for money
Using the cloud without any clear direction could easily result in a sprawl of applications, creating high maintenance and high risk. A cloud strategy sets out which applications are required and approved, defines clear processes for using them and ensures organisations get the most value in the most effective way, at the lowest cost.
A long term view
A Cloud Industry Forum survey found that 57% of organisations took, or expected to take, one to five years to complete their migration. For that reason, it’s important to look at both short-term and long-term migration objectives, to reduce the possible impact on productivity and profitability.
The opportunity’s yours for the taking
The cloud opportunity is huge, giving businesses of all sizes access to tools and applications previously only available to larger enterprises, at a fraction of the cost.
Whether it’s a full or hybrid migration, the key to fully unlocking the benefits is the adoption of a cloud strategy, and identifying and implementing the right one will involve every business function.
It’s an ongoing process needing regular attention but getting it right can open the door for all sizes of business to become challengers in their industry.