In part one of this blog I discussed what the Cloud is and the key benefits. In part two, I will be discussing the challenges of moving to the Cloud; the need for a new operating model; capabilities for the Cloud; and preparing for transition to the cloud.
So, what are the challenges of moving to the Cloud?
If moving to the cloud were easy most companies would be further along the transition path.
Like any transition from one IT operating model to another it needs to be designed, planned and executed by people who know how to manage the transition of services.
Adoption of the Cloud means a change in the IT operating model and the under lying processes. The Cloud offers many hosting and service opportunities e.g. storage and servers on demand, but you are still end-to-end accountable for these services. Many regulators will want to understand the controls you have in place to ensure the services to your customers are safe and secure. You have to understand ‘the travel of risk’ across this new operating model. You will need to develop and implement processes and roles to operate your new service model. Your old one simply won’t work.
Many CEO’s/COO’s believe the IT organisation is shifting from a traditional service provider to a service broker offering everything as-a-service.
More agile companies already do use service brokers. These are generally new companies without the legacy services and operating models to transition.
01. New operating model and capabilities for cloud
Exploiting the cloud and the as-a-service capabilities that comes with it means reengineering the IT organisation and the way the company operates. It requires letting go of old command-and-control service delivery and operating models, moving away from centralised structures that value rigor and certitude, and instead, adopting new, agile ways of working as the new norm. The traditional IT organisation still has a significant place in the enterprise for at least the coming decade, but a larger portion of it will move to new digital models.
Making these changes will require companies to manage their new high speed, digital organisations in an entirely new way, driving a different mind-set across the company culture. Those that succeed can match or beat their start-up rivals at their own game by adapting to changing market conditions faster, while leveraging the value of scale that has always been at the heart of the enterprise organisational structure. Those that do not will face the consequences e.g. who thought Kodak who invented the digital camera would now be extinct.
Companies need to create a workforce strategy to shape the future organisational structure, develop new IT capabilities and roles.
One of the first steps in transforming the IT operating model is to establish Cloud expertise into your organisation which will provide leadership in defining and deploying the cloud strategy, design, technical and operational standards, best practices and training.
This expertise will help you transition the newly built cloud infrastructure and developed operating standards and best practices to the Cloud Operations team to run and operate.
Very often, this Cloud expertise serves as an “interim” entity that draws resources and domain experts from external companies as well as the current workforce.
A Cloud Governance framework will also be required to govern processes, policies, controls and enabling technologies to ensure the optimisation of cloud resources; prioritisation of investments; all while maximizing the realisation of business, IT and operational benefits from the Cloud. This framework can be extended to govern the entire lifecycle of planning, architecture, acquisition, deployment, operation, management and retirement of the cloud infrastructure and services.
02. Preparing to move to the Cloud
Moving to the Cloud is like moving house. When you move house you have the opportunity to throw out the things you don’t want or need anymore. Basically de-clutter and tidy up. Moving to the cloud is the same. If your data is fragmented, poor quality and difficult to manage you need to improve it before you move to the Cloud. Otherwise you will just shift the problem and more importantly expose it to your customers.
This is also the same for areas such as Configuration Management, Capacity, Performance and Availability. You can’t simply left and drop your bespoke and configured applications. There will be the need to integrate with Cloud APIs. If you already have open API’s with strong data services then this will be easy but many companies aren’t there yet and this requires investment in order to realise year on year benefits of moving to the Cloud.
I suggest the following steps on how to prepare and transition to the Cloud:
- Current Operating Model assessment
- Define the future state Operating Model
- Analyse the Operating Model process and competency gaps
- Develop a transition roadmap for Cloud adoption and operation
Did you find this blog useful? If so, you might like to read Why move to the Cloud (Part 1).
If you would like to discuss how iCore can help you with your transition to the Cloud then contact us on +44 (0)207 868 2405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.