While early cloud adopters blazed a trail with their migration towards OpEx spending models and reduced infrastructure investment, many made costly strategic mistakes. And as the rest of the world races to catch up, the same mistakes are still being repeated.
But there are some best-practice principles which can help your business avoid mistakes and maximise return on your cloud investment.
1. Start with security
Moving data to the cloud is relatively easy – but if it is not properly secured, you risk potentially disastrous consequences. Losing data creates problems with customers, partners and regulators with long-term implications.
Because of this, successful cloud deployments have security as one of the foundational principles. This means that data is secured edge-to-edge to properly protect against loss or theft.
Successful cloud adopters build security strategies around three key factors:
Risk and compliance – ensuring security standards can be monitored, understood and managed consistently across the entire estate. Leaders will use automation to accelerate and scale monitoring to ensure their growing cloud estate is properly protected.
Security controls – leaders will adopt hybrid tools that provide comprehensive, consistent protection for systems in the cloud and the local data centre. All of their security processes are upgraded to deal with this new hybrid operating model.
Governance – Cloud technologies may change the way your IT systems work, but the same compliance rules still apply. Leaders upskill their employees to ensure they are equipped to deal with this new reality. They will also deploy tools capable of enforcing compliance requirements across all systems, regardless of location.
2. Build a transformation blueprint
It’s a well-worn cliché, but those businesses who carry out the most planning are also least likely to make basic mistakes with their cloud deployments. Leaders are effective at building an effective strategy and governance capabilities.
Their blueprints will include a business-driven and unbiased business case for their projects, underpinned by return on investment. They will also refine and improve communications and oversight, and they recognise the need to develop a culture that embraces change.
3. Evolve your operating model
Cloud technologies should allow your business to do more work, faster and with less friction. However, leaders have realised that the new ways of working demanded by cloud platforms deliver the greatest agility benefits.
Existing processes are not optimised for the cloud, so leaders will evolve their operating model accordingly. Service operations will be adjusted to become more proactive. Platform operations are restructured to develop new enterprise standards and policies and to leverage cloud-native tools. Pipeline operations have a clearly defined process for building, deploying and retiring containers – preferably using automation tools to accelerate the continuous integration and delivery pipeline.
4. Invest in your people
One of the biggest barriers to cloud success is skills, particularly as there is currently a global shortage. Leaders will invest heavily in attracting and retaining the brightest talent. They will also spend to upskill their existing workforce, helping to plug gaps in knowledge and experience so they can continue driving their cloud strategy forwards.
The staffing strategy looks beyond current requirements too, developing a pipeline of talent to support succession planning and reward the highest performers. They can also call upon their partners to provide additional guidance and advice sand to impart knowledge to the in-house team.
Avoiding common cloud pitfalls is harder than it looks. However, these four concepts are all used by cloud leaders to help them realise the maximum return on their investments. To learn more about successful enterprise cloud adoption, please give us a call