The decision to move to the cloud is not easy. There are so many aspects to consider – strategy, costs, security. Many companies are struggling with exploring and evaluating new options.
But the real fun starts later. Cloud adoption is a process. A long one, we may add. You do not just decide one day that you will move your organization to the cloud and get everything done the next. It will take time and several iterations.
Don’t get us wrong – it is worth it. Cloud may be a life raft in today’s fast-changing world, preventing the organization from staying far behind its competitors. It may bring new values to the customers, simplify internal collaboration, and improve budget allocation. But you need to approach this journey the right way.
How to describe the usual approach to cloud adoption in one word?
Very often it starts with a decision: “Let’s move this workflow to the cloud.” Considering the advancement of current solutions, it is possible to perform any business task you can imagine in the cloud. So, there is a high possibility that very soon after the first workload transfer, another business unit will catch on and demand their own workflow. If the situation repeats, the complex architecture that will inevitably happen, as a result, will give your IT team a headache.
And then the question will be asked: “Can we even control this cloud thing?”
Organizations often treat cloud migration as yet another project and rush into it without planning for the human or process aspect of the change.
Now… how should it be?
The cloud has the potential to become an integral part of your business operations, driving ideas, growth, and revenue. It is not meant to support the business, but to become a part of it.
With that in mind, it seems logical that all business assets should be considered when designing a cloud adoption plan. All of them should be included in your strategy.
What are the key business areas influenced (intentionally or not) by cloud adoption?
- Strategy – long-term plans and the approach to their execution
- Architecture and governance – deployment and management of resources
- Data – information gathering, its storage, and usage
- Operations – management of processes and projects
- Finance – allocating and executing budgets, monitoring costs
- Security and risk – mechanisms and strategies in place to protect business assets.
Ideally, these areas should advance together on the cloud journey but in practice, this is often not the case. As you increase cloud usage in your organization, these areas need to be aligned, so that they advance together.
The cloud journey methodology
At Predica we created a 5-level methodology, called the impACT grid, to help companies orient themselves on their cloud journey and decide how to act next. It’s “impACT” because it shows what action you need to take to increase the role of the cloud on your organization. The “grid” stands for moving each business area towards a higher level – a bit like on a chessboard.
This method allows two things:
- Position yourself on the grid. Find out which areas are supported with the right technology, and which are neglected.
- Define the next steps to take to move the organization to a higher level. Which technologies should be introduced? Which good practices are still missing?
Moving to the cloud cannot be about reaching unrelated goals! The processes, data, people, should all form and support the core of your business, and the technology you use should drive the business value. What are the differences between cloud maturity levels?
We define the 5 levels of the cloud journey as below:
- Cloud-resistant, where the organization does not use any cloud services and the IT department is mostly responsible for providing support and solving infrastructure issues.
- Cloud-aware, where the first tools and practices are introduced (e.g., remote work) and the main goal is to optimize IT operations to make more of it.
- Cloud-guided, where public cloud takes priority over on-premises and the full migration of services to the cloud is being executed.
- Cloud-savvy, where IT becomes a genuine business partner, helping elevate innovative ideas.
- Cloud-driven, where the organization has a considerable advantage over competitors with the newest technologies in use and is able to offer new services or values to its customers through the cloud. All of the available IT resources have KPIs assigned that relate to business objectives.
Not every company needs to target the highest position in our guide – it depends on the business model. But all business areas should be aligned on this journey to avoid chaos and lack of profitable outcomes.
Bet on the cloud
Adapting in a fast-changing and uncertain market is challenging, but also necessary to maintain the competitive edge. That is why flexibility and agility will be crucial competencies for businesses in the next years. By being in the cloud, you will be able to survive the highest rate of change. The question is “Where to start?” Download the impACT grid guide and take the assessment to find out.