Strategies For Aigning Your Organization To Your Cloud Model
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In the past, IT was primarily about operations, cost reduction and management controls. Today this is changing, with word “innovation” in every other sentence, companies are expected to innovate in order to stay competitive. This means that you have to constantly change business processes and deliver new, ideally unique, experiences to customers. And that is not easy.
The move to cloud is still a very new development in the world of IT, but it is steadily gaining acceptance because it promises to help companies achieve their goals faster and more efficiently, with significant cost cut potential. And with the Internet of everything ( IoE ) accelerating the pace of change, line-of-business ( LoB ) owners increasingly are turning to cloud to capitalize on the new opportunities, as innovation catalyst and as technical resource.
In the cloud world, IT is being asked more than only build, manage and continuously improve organization’s infrastructure and processes. He is also being asked to help the business innovate and deliver unique customer experiences. Meanwhile, the business managers across organization are also trying to meet their goals as quickly and cost effectively as possible — sometimes turning to outside cloud services for help.
Unfortunately, wrong approaches to cloud services can increase risk and cost. And because of security and technical concerns, these projects may come back to be rescued by IT.
Organizations repeatedly face service-by-service build-or-buy decisions when sourcing their IT services. This requires them to evaluate cost, risk, and agility requirements to determine the right sourcing strategy. When acting as a service broker, IT can take advantage of multiple sourcing options and become an intermediary of cloud services offered to LoB consumers.
As IT is becoming more of a broker of IT services, it can add more value by dynamically combining, integrating, and tailoring the delivery of cloud services (whether public, private, or hybrid) to best meet company business needs. Taking an active role to manage sourcing flexibility enables IT team to achieve greater levels of agility, transparency, and speed of deployment. This acceleration in turn fuels innovation and helps your business achieve its objectives.
But...IT managers will now have strategic choices to make.
To help companies better prepare for their digital future, they have to mature into digitally advanced organizations, both organizationally and technically. Key activities that companies have to perform include:
Creating an effective digital culture is an intentional effort: Digitally maturing companies are constantly cultivating their cultures.
Senior-level talent appears more committed to digitally maturing enterprises: Companies that give their senior vice presidents, vice presidents, and director-level leaders the resources and opportunities to develop themselves in a digital environment are more likely to retain their talent.
Digitally maturing organizations invest in their own talent: Many digitally maturing organizations provide their employees with resources and opportunities to develop their digital acumen. Success appears to breed success — these companies will attract new talent based on their use of digital..
Soft skills trump technology knowledge in driving digital transformation: Both managers and employees will need to focus more on communication and business processes, and less on technology details. This technology “hiding” has good and bad sides, but is inevitable, and companies and people need to prepare.
Digital congruence is the crux: To navigate the complexity of digital business, companies should consider embracing something that is today called digital congruence — culture, people, structure, and tasks aligned with each other, company strategy, and the challenges of a constantly changing digital landscape. For example, a conservative and hierarchical organization populated with energetic entrepreneurs may not be able to harness their drive and energy. Similarly, an organization with a flat and nimble structure may still struggle if its culture fears risk. When culture, people, structure, and tasks are firing in sync, however, businesses can move forward successfully and confidently
Basic steps of cloud business and technical implementation
Once a company decides to adapt or expand its cloud infrastructure, it has to develop its strategic action plan, primarily aligning its IT and business goals.
Step 1 - Assess your service and application mix
For IT, the key task is twofold: (1) correlating applications and workloads with infrastructure requirements, and (2) assessing the corresponding business value.
Step 2 - Correlate services and applications with infrastructure requirements and cloud models
Next, company has to identify its infrastructure needs and determine the most cost - effective and strategic way to meet them. Using the framework in Step 1, we can see that private cloud offers more control for core applications requiring predictable demand and consistent high utilization for Strategic workloads, while public cloud provides the flexible capacity and “pay-as-you-go” efficiencies for Standard workloads. A hybrid cloud model gives your organization the best of both worlds—and the flexibility to adjust as you evolve—that is necessary for the unpredictable demands common with Pilot workloads.
Step 3 - Support strategic growth and innovation
When this foundational “map”, customized for companies organization, is created, you are equipped with a planning tool for deploying new services on the right type of cloud. New opportunities can be identified in collaboration with your internal and external customers.
Figure 3. Company service-centric infrastructure that supports growth and a clear path to cloud.
How can right strategy can help your company?
In this new brokerage role, IT needs to find a comprehensive, different...“cloud”...strategy, to
offer perspective, provide direction, and build confidence in your cloud decisions. The
intent is to achieve the required speed, agility, flexibility, and operational efficiencies
Cloud strategy gives you options and an industry-leading perspective. Key goals of any strategy should be:
Transition acceleration. Shortening time to value and methodically assessing
and planning the journey to the cloud. A structured, vendor-agnostic approach allows companies transition,capabilities assessments and solutions determinations, which focus on desired business outcomes, addressing the multiple layers that must be strategically aligned for moving to the cloud, whether public, private, or hybrid.
Deploy the right infrastructure: Promoting a modular, scalable, programmable
infrastructure for cloud deployments. This approach enables you to flex your deployment choices and providers.
Improving business agility: Company has to have a strategy which allows for freedom of choice in matters of infrastructure, applications, and services. More agility means more ways to increase the benefits of the cloud and accelerate your path to success.
Enable business everywhere: Easy deployment of cloud applications, regardless of where they reside, so employees, customers, and partners can easily do business with you anywhere and anytime.
Maintain future flexibility: Open, interoperable and standards-based solutions
ensures that you can cost-effectively evolve your cloud deployments and adapt
cloud to future business needs.
Reduce risk: Planning a secure path to cloud across on-premises and cloud-based solutions identify “shadow” cloud deployments in your organization, reduce your exposure to security risks, and securely extend cloud services across multiple clouds.
Additional reading - Cisco case studies
Cisco - Swisscom Ag - http://www.cisco.com/web/services/it-case-studies/docs/swisscom-telecommunications-case-study.pdf
Cisco - D+M Group - http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6788/vcallcon/ps11363/case_study_c36-720864.pdf
Cisco - Aegis Media - Aegis Media