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Prepare IT for Increased Cloud Adoption

The forecast is Cloudy with a chance of disruption.

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Contributors

  • University of Washington
  • CB Fleet Co. Inc.
  • Kaizen InfoSource LLC
  • Independence First
  • Alberta Finance and Enterprise
  • Horsley Bridge Partners

Your Challenge

  • Adoption of the cloud has seen incredible growth in the last year, and has passed a tipping point. The impact of adoption will be experienced throughout IT.
  • The cloud allows IT organizations to be more flexible, scalable and competitive than traditional outsourcing, but organizational change is required to take full advantage.
  • Full utilization of the cloud will require changes to the way technology decisions are made, the way IT processes are designed and executed, and the type of staff and roles that are required by IT. Managing these IT shifts effectively will allow IT to thrive in harmony with the cloud.
  • IT organizations not prepared for the shift will find themselves in reactive mode, and will not make full use of the cloud services they have acquired. This limits their functionality and raises the TCO.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Take the cloud seriously! It will change IT staffing requirements and require better vendor management and integration capability. It’s critical to proactively prepare for the fundamental changes that the cloud will bring.
  • Integrate multiple cloud vendors with each other and with current internal apps and infrastructure, and continually monitor the TCO and performance of adopted cloud services to hold vendors accountable for their promises.
  • Adjust and realign business and functional processes that dictate the way IT works to leverage the unique advantages that the cloud brings, including a higher focus on requirements gathering and vendor management.
  • Achieve financial targets by leveraging the right staff to fill the shifting roles as a result of the cloud, and get there by evaluating, retraining, and eliminating appropriate staff and roles.
  • Be flexible and prepared for deeper cloud integration and the changes that come with it. Recognize the signs that show when IT organizational change is needed, and adjust future decision making processes to eliminate traditional bias for internally provided services.

Impact and Result

  • IT organizations that leverage the cloud in the best way will create higher business value and become a bigger strategic asset to upper management, whereas those that ignore the cloud will begin to lose the support and the faith of the business.
  • Adoption of the cloud isn’t enough. Key changes made to the way IT handles people, processes and technology will result in higher gains from the cloud.

Research & Tools

1. Make the best IT organizational changes

Better utilize the cloud and the advantages that come with it.

2. Assess current cloud utilization effectiveness

Understand the magnitude of changes that are required.

3. Contrast and evaluate a shortlist of cloud service providers

Make the best choices for implementing cloud services.

4. Have the right staff in place

Minimize staff overhead and properly manage cloud vendor relationships.

5. Understand the best time to make organizational changes

Ensure a smooth transition to fully utilized cloud services.

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Search Code: 37212
Published: November 23, 2010
Last Revised: March 14, 2011