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Technology advancements have changed the way we do business. To find a competitive edge in your market, you need to make use of emerging technologies, such as cloud computing.
Cloud adoption is continually growing, with many business in the UK putting cloud deployment at the top of their agenda in the future. Even though cloud technology can help to grow your business, it is important to have a strategy in place to get the most out of your cloud adoption.
However, despite the increasing popularity of cloud solutions, businesses struggle with making a cloud strategy a priority.
What is enterprise cloud strategy?
Creating a cloud strategy isn’t a plan to migrate to the cloud. Instead, it provides insight on the role of using cloud computing in your organisation.
The strategy asks the why, how, and what questions, that ensure fewer problems with cloud adoption, while maximising the business benefits. Effective cloud strategies allow enterprises to have a clear approach to responding to potential threats and disasters, so they can optimise cloud usage, costs, and resources.
The purpose of developing a cloud strategy is to:
- Identify the key areas cloud can deliver business benefits
- Understand the challenges of cloud adoption and how to overcome them
- Determine services that will be required
- Prepare for the shift to the cloud.
A poor cloud strategy (or no strategy at all) can lead to poor outcomes, such as the wrong cloud vendor being chosen, impacts on business continuity, unexpected costs, and negative impacts on customer or stakeholder satisfaction. This can all settle down to the bottom and create negative effects on your business.
This emphasises how important it is to think through your cloud strategy from a business perspective from the beginning to the end, to avoid wasting money and resources. Let’s take a look at how to develop an effective enterprise cloud strategy:
Developing an enterprise cloud strategy
A well planned cloud strategy is critical for an organisation’s successful digital transformation. The development of a well thought-out cloud strategy can help align different teams within an organisation to a cohesive plan that guides and informs the adoption of cloud services and allows you to evaluate the benefits and challenges cloud adoption can bring.
Define your business outcomes
The first logical step is to determine your motivation for moving to the cloud and what you want to achieve with cloud adoption. Cloud technologies bring many benefits to business, but how these can be leveraged depends on the nature of your business and its needs. There are also risks involved, and asking the right questions can help to find those and include them in your strategy:
- What business needs will be met by shifting to the cloud?
- How does the business benefit from the cloud (scalability, cost savings, emerging technologies, competition)?
- Assess current applications and data, which are best suited to moving to the cloud?
- What cloud configuration is being considered (public, private, hybrid, multi-cloud)?
- Are there challenges involved in moving to the cloud? Any existing problems that need rectifying? What is the plan to handle these challenges and problems?
- What is the budget for cloud migration?
- Which cloud provider best aligns with your business needs?
- Does the business have the right people and tools needed to handle cloud migration?
- How will the business know cloud adoption is successful and meeting business goals?
These questions form the framework of developing a cloud strategy for your business. It is obvious there is a lot more to think about than simply moving to the cloud and hoping for the best. This is why organisations hire cloud consultants to help them develop a cloud strategy that is optimised for their unique business and technology needs.
Risks of a poor cloud strategy
A poorly architected cloud strategy, can lead to disorganised efforts to migrate to the cloud. Data and services can end up housed in different cloud environments, which produces data silos and a lack of unity when it comes to data structure.
Security is another big consideration when it comes to cloud strategy. Without an effective plan to protect data from the planning stages, the consequences can be severe. Business critical data can be lost, or exposed to unauthorised access, whether that is internal users or the world outside. Data security should be embedded in the business strategy to move to the cloud, not least to ensure compliance and regulations are met.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to think about where data is housed and if it is housed in accordance with compliance guidelines. Not doing so can result in serious fines and other consequences.
By asking the right questions from the beginning, and determining the best options for your business, you can develop an effective enterprise cloud strategy. This allows your business to take full advantage of the cloud and ensure your migration is smooth and successful.
With a wealth of experience in developing cloud strategies and cloud migration, INTELLIWORX can guide you through the complexities of cloud strategy and how maximise the benefits of the cloud environment. Talk to our team of experienced cloud consultants today.