How to Build a Cloud-First Organization?
To truly develop a cloud-first organization, there are four realms you will need to excel in — whatever your business objectives are. These four pillars define the foundation of cloud readiness:
Education, training, and on-the-job learning are the key ingredients that make your IT organization a competitive advantage. Explore the quality and scale of your learning program in place for your technical teams, as well as your ability to engage with experienced partners who can augment your staff.
Who is engaged? How widespread is that engagement? How concerted is the effort? How effective are the results?
Lead with the cloud is a research-based, transformational initiative that helps you strategically migrate to the cloud and gain business benefits — faster and with greater agility. The extent to which IT teams are supported by a mandate from leadership to migrate to the cloud, and the degree to which the teams themselves are cross-functional, collaborative, and self-motivated. It creates the conditions for teams to individually and collectively lead their organizations through those changes, so they can be successful in the long term.
How are the teams structured? Have they got executive sponsorship? How are cloud projects budgeted, governed, and assessed?
The extent to which you use cloud-native services that reduce operational overhead and automate manual processes and policies. Cloud-based services typically require a significant upfront investment in automation. However, the payback of such investment quickly becomes apparent as you are able to scale with speed and at a low cost. This will evolve over time so that existing processes can be made more efficient using automated deployment and update management of workloads.
How are cloud-based services provisioned? How is the capacity for workloads allocated? How are application updates managed?
Security on the cloud reduces operational overhead and automates manual processes and security policies. The focus is on simplicity, scalability, visibility, efficiency, and interoperability.
What controls are in place? What technologies were used? What strategies govern the whole?
Your readiness for success in the cloud is determined by your current business practices in each of these four pillars. For each pillar, those practices will fall into one of the following stages:
The dream of the cloud is now a reality. Workloads are migrating quickly with minimal disruption, but the focus remains on reducing the cost of discrete systems and on getting to the cloud with minimal disruption. The wins are quick, but there is no provision for scale.
The cloud is more than a buzzword now. From consolidating data centers to streamlining business processes, you have embraced change. The people and processes portion of the equation is now involved. IT teams are both efficient and effective, increasing the value of harnessing the cloud for your business operations.
Now that you’ve become comfortable with the cloud, you’re focused on integrating the data, insights, and analytics gained through using cloud services. Your people, processes, and business is transformed as IT ceases to focus solely on cost containment and becomes instead an active partner.
These are the three main stages of cloud adaptation. In the tactical phase, you are reducing costs with a quick return on investment and little disruption to your IT organization. This is a short-term goal. In the strategic phase, you increase the value delivered by your IT organization by streamlining operations to be both more efficient and more effective. This is a midterm goal. In the transformational phase, your IT organization becomes an engine of innovation, Making it a partner to the business. This is a long-term goal.
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