Friday, December 12, 2014

CIO’s Cloud Navigation: Three Big Whys to Deploy Cloudification

Adopting cloud when it's needed. It's not an end-all, be-all strategy.

Though “Cloud” has been proven to bring visible benefits such as faster delivery or CapEx-OpEx transformation, etc, and many organizations have already reaped the benefit from the SAAS model. Still, as an emerging IT trend, most of organizations lack of well-defined cloud strategy to run an agile IT, especially, Cloud itself takes some time to get matured, from vendor maturity to technology and methodology maturity, as a CIO, how should you navigate the Cloud journey via fundamental questioning: WHY, WHY and WHY you should go on Cloud?

WHY always implies the noble business purpose behind the Cloud: It just goes to illustrate that CIOs need to be business savvy, make an executable strategy, and always benchmark and understand the ROI and long and short term game about cloudification. This is about understanding how the cloud supports business strategy and how it compliments your existing IT strategy (or possibly helps change it). Like every other IT innovation of the past, 'cloud' needs to be understood and treated as a horse for a course, not a panacea, manage a good checklist of sensible things to be thinking about as a CIO decides how to deal with their business colleagues questioning the use - or non-use - of 'cloud.' Cloud (all flavors or definitions) is not the least expensive short-term solution; however, properly tuned cloud strategies will deliver business initiatives that help organizations achieve goals quicker. Once this occurs, the cost of cloud strategies becomes the cost-effective way to deliver IT value. This, of course, needs to be examined on a case by case scenario.

WHY needs to be explored on how Cloud can improve IT maturity. Cheap isn't always best and besides cost-effective, what other benefit are you leveraging for go on the Cloud? Speed to market, scalability, elasticity or overall IT maturity? There’s no doubt in many organizations, IT continues to get mature, and the art of the maturing process is the integration (beyond alignment) of IT and business, at the higher mature level, it is about IT-Customer alignment and IT-Business engagement. This will lead to effective strategies where the cloud can truly be evaluated for its value. Unfortunately, so many IT (and cloud) initiatives are evaluated on what is the cheapest in the short-term. If IT could truly position itself as a true business partner and behave like an integrated business resource, then perhaps the discussion will become business outcome driven. Cloud application covering operational functionality are of little value if the offered functionality does not have additional functionality that realizes business effectiveness and efficiency. No use trying to save money from support perspective but at the same time have a weaker cloud application with additional constraints like performance and limited resilience and extreme rigidity. The operational cloud application that has seen so far is quite infantile, mainly because builder are cloud builders (expert in technology but maybe poor in content) with the little business process know-how.

Why is being deployed on how Cloud transforms CapEx to OpEx and improve the flexibility of IT finance.  Cloud applies when you want to apply a flexible IT service to your customer and accept to be billed with a variation on a monthly basis. Cloud is applicable to the pay as you use services. it allows to not oversize necessarily to be covered "just in case.” Cloud OpEx model provides flexibility to improve IT cash flow and allows IT to make a more value-driven investment in order to catalyze business growth and innovation.

Most CIOs see the cloud differently, how to deploy IT in which speed is situation driven. People add to it and take away from it what they perceive is correct. In all cases "Adopt cloud when it's needed. It's not an end-all, be-all strategy." It must be aligned to approved strategies, and it shall follow the logical steps: experimenting, strategizing, scaling, integration and measuring, to ensure your cloud journey running smoothly.


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