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Our top ten beliefs about cloud transformation

Rens Huizenga

Our previous three posts highlighted the new opportunities the cloud model can deliver to enterprises, common mistakes on the road to cloud transformation, and the keys to success on the journey to cloud. This final post summarizes our core beliefs, with the hope that these considerations will help shape your thinking about the role of cloud transformation and its potential impact.

  1. Successful cloud transformation results in industry leadership through unprecedented agility and superior customer experiences. While almost every enterprise has already adopted cloud for a few use cases, there is still a first-mover advantage to adopting a cloud operating model as the centerpiece of a cloud transformation strategy. And adopting a cloud operating model is the key to attaining the new levels of agility you’re after.
  2. Cloud is a board-level business priority, and the role of CIO is pivotal as a driver of change. The board and shareholders now recognize the strategic advantages of cloud transformation, and this presents an opportunity for the CIO and the IT organization to firmly establish themselves as key strategic partners to the business.
  3. A cloud journey is a steep learning curve and far more than an IT change. It is all too easy to underestimate the complexity of cloud transformation and overlook key considerations. Business leaders need to set expectations properly and work with a partner that can tame the complexities and deliver results on time and on budget.
  4. Assessing organizational readiness is critical before embarking upon the transformation journey. Cloud transformation can have a huge impact on existing operations and staff, so make sure you understand what your organization’s cloud maturity level is and accurately identify skill gaps before proceeding.
  5. Attracting and retaining top talent will be the critical success factor for both client and provider organizations. Cloud skills are difficult to find, but modernizing your applications, operations, and IT processes will help your organization attract top talent.
  6. Self-funded commercial models can enable organizations that lack funds OR are struggling during COVID-19 to invest in cloud. The transition to cloud use cases is likely to have immediate cost savings, which can be used to self-fund additional or larger-scope initiatives such as adoption of a cloud operating model.
  7. Cloud transformation needs to be based on a well-defined business case co-owned by the CIO and business leaders. All senior business leaders should be involved in and supportive of the cloud transformation initiative. By owning the business case and collaborating with other C-suite executives, the CIO can strengthen his or her reputation as a business leader, not just a technology implementor.
  8. Laying down the initial cloud strategy with a clear target state is essential. The centerpiece of the cloud transformation journey is the target cloud operating model, because the COM defines the transformation agenda and the mix of clouds that will be used. Therefore the initial cloud strategy must focus on the COM.
  9. Establishing strong governance is critical and should include processes, applications, data, infrastructure, and organizational management. The implementation of cloud creates complexity arising out of multi-vendor, multi-services environment, challenges to security and compliance, external factors such as regulatory requirements etc. In order to address these challenges, a well-defined governance model is required.
  10. Information security and data protection are of paramount importance and investments made by hyperscalers should be leveraged to the maximum. Public cloud models employ shared-responsibility security, so it is important to build security into the application architecture to protect from vulnerabilities and use the cloud to streamline compliance processes – but it is also important to fully leverage the security investments of hyperscalers. Make sure you understand and take full advantage of the data protection mechanisms that are available.

Additional resources:

>>Handbook: Executing Cloud Transformation

>>Brochure: Cloud Transformation: Connecting the “Why” with the “How”

>>Cloud Transformation Video