2012… Who’d have thought only 5 to 10 years ago that we would now be in what can only be described as a revolutionary change within the IT industry. Well – I’m hoping you may have noticed… we’ve now reached a pinnacle point in time where those who are brave enough will reap the benefits and will be rewarded with growth in the next few years ahead. Yes – I’m talking about cloud adoption in business & the enterprise.
Thanks to technology advancements over the past decade, the business world has become an increasingly adaptive, and fast paced competitive world, where only those who are prepared to fail (but fail quickly and cost effectively) will survive. It’s therefore time to become a part of the journey, and to adapt to what can only be described as an industrial revolution within the world of IT… before your competitors leave you far behind. It’s “IT Transformation” Time!!
There have been various radical advancements in technology over the past few years, including virtualization, consumer driven advancements in mobility, and ultimately changes in how as individuals and business we interact and consume IT services within today’s world. Yes – I have to agree that the term “cloud” is the most over-hyped but often misunderstood topic, however let’s get straight to the point here and demystify just how big a change we are about to witness within the world of IT and business.
The key thing I need to re-iterate is that there are some HUGE opportunities for businesses that are brave enough to embark on what can only be described as a transformational change in the use of Information Technology. OK, so everyone has heard of the term “cloud”, but the majority of us don’t fully comprehend just what it is or how much it will change the way in which we consume IT and operate as a business.
There are so many myths and misconceptions about cloud adoption which ultimately prevent most large businesses and enterprises from embarking on the cloud journey. For clarities sake, I’m predominantly talking about Infrastructure (IaaS) and Software (SaaS) Services in the cloud in this context.
Enterprise Cloud Adoption Strategy Tips
So, without further ado, I wanted to share my initial recommendations & tips for any large business or enterprise considering cloud adoption….
1. BRING THE OUTSIDE IN
Bring the outside in – and drive some interest and excitement from a cloud adoption perspective with your influential leaders by demonstrating what other competitors and market leaders are doing in this space. Most are very vocal online about what they have achieved, and what they intend to do from a cloud adoption perspective. Check out some of the big banks within Australia…
2. BUSINESS AGILITY THROUGH CLOUD ADOPTION
Ensure your leaders understand that it’s not just about “cost saving” being the driver for cloud adoption, but more importantly it’s all about true “business agility”.
The focus here should be around having the ability as a business to be quick to adapt – both in providing new services, solutions and the required IT environments to bear fruit of new business opportunities, but also to be able to “fail quick”. Enabling the business to fail, cut their losses quickly and cheaply when a new product, service or concept doesn’t work out can make a huge difference financially. It also encourages businesses to innovate and try more “out there” ideas.
Gone are the days of procuring new IT hardware, or signing a 3 to 4 year lease agreement with your IT vendor for IT services. Stranded IT costs for failed projects should be a thing of the past. If not – your commercials and ultimately your relationship with your IT vendor needs some focus.
3. START SMALL… THEN GET BIG
Start your cloud adoption journey in small palatable pieces. Consider running a proof of concept for low hanging fruit so you can build some further interest and momentum from an adoption perspective. Pick low profile systems which are not critical, don’t have customer data, and are easy pickings.
4. PARTNER WITH THOSE IN THE KNOW
Consider partnering with cloud adoption specialists who fully understand the technology offerings and common misconceptions and challenges. They should help you visualise how cloud will integrate and change how you operate as an IT function. They should be able to help draw together a starting position, and a plan of attack for cloud adoption.
5. RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS…
There is a mammoth amount of change in the relationships, roles and the related processes wrapped around IT that needs to occur in order for our new IT world to materialise. The traditional IT roles, and IT outsourcing models, need to adapt to enable a new cloud model. Reconsider the relationships you have, and the approach you need to take on new service providers, whilst building in adaptability from a commercial perspective.
6. SECURITY AS AN ENABLER FOR CLOUD ADOPTION
Lastly, and most importantly, build security right in from the start. Security can ultimately be the enabler for cloud adoption, so businesses need to change their perception of IT security, and put in the time and effort to partner and work proactively with security to get the best outcomes.
What are your experiences or views of enterprise cloud adoption? Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and opinions here.
I am very passionate about what is happening within the world of cloud adopton and mobility, so if you wish to discuss this topic direct – please get in touch using the contact page on this site, or tweet me @PhilHall - http:/www.twitter.com/philhall