From outsourcing to transforming: the importance of enterprise-wide cloud strategies

eholders often point to the transformational effect of the cloud, but to get to that point requires far-reaching vision and planning.

Jeff Rowe | Oct 30, 2017 12:00 am

Given the amount of potential change involved, it’s no surprise that moves to the cloud are often called “transformational.” But not every move to the cloud, says one expert, is automatically so.

“Many organisations simply perceive cloud suppliers to be lower cost and have more concentrated expertise in the technology services involved, writes Brian Murray at CloudTech. “With such basic motivations, the organization simply has a goal to outsource, rather than considering anything transformational.”

The interesting thing he notes, however, is that “when organizations start looking at cloud from an outsourcing perspective, they soon recognise the benefits available i.e. agility, flexibility and self-service. But to take advantage of those benefits, a more transformational initiative is needed to address any functional bottlenecks that may exist within the organization itself, rather than simply a programme of work to shift from one supply base to another.”

The key, he says, is to shift from an “outsourcing” mindset to a “transformational” one. “This is most readily achieved by first taking the time to develop the strategy and business case – ensuring they reflect the appropriate strategic objectives and target benefits.”

In addition to incorporating ROI measures, Murray says, the cloud business case should cover the effort required to change operating models, including factoring in more modular designs and costing models, considering integration with, and flexibility around the choice of, service suppliers, as well as the critical large shifts in operational focus and skillsets.

“Last but not least, it’s important to ensure that enterprise-wide cloud migration initiatives have wholesale buy-in across the IT function, its suppliers and customers before embarking on any activity.