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Document Your Cloud Strategy

Drive consensus by outlining how your organization will use the cloud.

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Contributors

  • Joe Johnson, Director of Cloud Strategy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Glen Cottick, Manager, Business Technology Services, City of Winnipeg
  • Nabeel Yousif, Executive Consultant
  • Norman Neil, IT Director, Westoba Credit Union

Your Challenge

  • Cloud services can be thrust into the lap of IT by business users who bought applications that they now expect IT to manage.
  • It is impractical and inefficient to build out a robust cloud strategy before your organization has experience with the cloud, but at the same time it may also be difficult to explain to the business why IT is putting in effort after the fact.
  • Finally, when tackling the cloud strategy question, it can be hard to identify what needs to be spelled out and what components of governance should have clear strategic statements.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Beware of the sunk cost fallacy. Start with a blank slate! Despite sunk costs into already existing cloud services, don’t try to retrofit your strategy. Rather, ensure the strategy contains the necessary guideposts for decision making moving forward.
  • Use of the cloud is business driven. Moving to cloud is not an IT project. Start with the business needs or else fall into the unfavorable position of having to maintain applications resulting from shadow IT.
  • Strategy is different than tactics. Don’t use this project to focus on action items; instead, focus on high-level statements that will stand the test of time. Writing your strategy is similar to writing a law, and the tactics on how to enforce the law should be part of a separate project.

Impact and Result

  • People: Get the right individuals at the table; decisions around cloud strategy should not be made in isolation. Start with a steering committee that comprises representation from IT, business, and leadership teams.
  • Process: Governing the use of cloud is crucial to successful cloud strategy. Effective governance will keep data safe, cost in check, the environment safe, services verified, and operations running smoothly.
  • Technology: Lastly, decisions around getting to the cloud by way of migration or adoption must be made, as well as how to provision and monitor the established cloud environment(s).

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read this Executive Brief to understand why you should document your cloud strategy and how to begin.

1. Empower your team to use the cloud

Read Phase 1 to ensure you have the right people making the right decisions to drive the success of the cloud strategy. This phase will help you create a cloud council, prepare your staff for changing skills, and determine guidelines for insourcing versus outsourcing necessary skills.

2. Establish appropriate governance for the cloud

Read Phase 2 in order to mitigate risks associated with cloud by establishing proper governance.

3. Determine guidelines for cloud technology

Read Phase 3 in order to establish when you will migrate versus adopt a new cloud service and how you will provision and monitor the environment.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Empower your people to use the cloud

Call #1 - Identify individuals for your cloud council.
Call #2 - Prepare your staff for the changes to skill sets that will accompany use of cloud services.
Call #3 - Discuss your hiring strategy.

Guided Implementation #2 - Establish appropriate governance for the cloud

Call #1 - Determine appropriate strategic statements for cloud data and security.
Call #2 - Determine appropriate strategic statements for Finance, Vendor, and Portfolio Management.
Call #3 - Determine appropriate strategic statements for Integration, Architecture, and Ops Management.

Guided Implementation #3 - Determine guidelines for your technology

Call #1 - Discuss when to migrate existing versus adopt new cloud solution.
Call #2 - Identify necessary controls for provisioning and monitoring the cloud environment.

Onsite Workshop

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Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Empower Your People to Use the Cloud

The Purpose

  • Determine how to effectively leverage stakeholders and staff to take advantage of the cloud.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Consensus around cloud council, required IT skills, and talent acquisition approach.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Identify individuals for your cloud council.

  • Sections 3 and 4 of the Cloud Strategy Template
1.2

Discuss messaging to staff around skills that will accompany use of cloud services.

  • Sections 3 and 4 of the Cloud Strategy Template
1.3

Discuss your hiring strategy.

  • Sections 3 and 4 of the Cloud Strategy Template

Module 2: Establish Appropriate Governance for the Cloud (Part 1)

The Purpose

  • Develop the cloud strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Strategic statements around key governance areas.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Determine appropriate strategic statements for cloud data and security.

  • Section 5 of the Cloud Strategy Template
2.2

Determine appropriate strategic statements for finance and vendor management.

  • Section 5 of the Cloud Strategy Template

Module 3: Establish Appropriate Governance for the Cloud (Part 2)

The Purpose

  • Develop the cloud strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Strategic statements around key governance areas.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Determine appropriate strategic statements for cloud portfolio management.

  • Section 5 of the Cloud Strategy Template
3.2

Determine appropriate strategic statements for integration, architecture, and ops management.

  • Section 5 of the Cloud Strategy Template

Module 4: Determine Guidelines for Your Technology

The Purpose

  • Determine the approach for managing the cloud lifecycle.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Strategic statements for managing cloud assets from provisioning to migration and adoption through monitoring.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Discuss when to migrate existing vs. adopt new cloud solutions.

  • Section 6 of the Cloud Strategy Template
4.2

Identify necessary controls for provisioning and monitoring the cloud environment.

  • Section 6 of the Cloud Strategy Template