With all the upheaval that has happened over the last two years, most organisations will have jumped into or accelerated their move to cloud application. However, not all this activity will have been fully planned, or backed with a clear cloud strategy and business case. With survival at stake for many companies, a ‘Just Do It’ attitude was taken, leaving a messy and/or expensive cloud landscape. Now is an ideal time to take stock of your cloud estate and map it onto a sustainable future state, aligned to your digital strategy. In this blog we will look at how you can seize back control of your cloud journey.
No Going Back
The first thing to realise is there is no going back to the way you did business pre-pandemic. The world, and your customers’ behaviour, has changed forever. You can’t rest on your laurels , as you are unlikely to have achieved an ideal cloud state. There may be some historical capabilities you need to restore, particularly around customer service quality levels. The way you should deliver these services may well need to change, for example you may need better omnichannel integration to improve communication hand-offs.
Action: Re-assess your IT organisation and capabilities to ensure they are fit for future purpose, not for old ways of working.
Re-assert Your Digital Strategy
The fact you managed to spin up many cloud services to support your business at short notice does not mean that: A) you got it right first time, or: B) it is the right platform for your company’s growth.
Action: Dust off your original cloud strategy, update it to meet projected business needs, and align your investment and resources with your new strategy.
Minimise New Technical Debt
Unfortunately, you may have to unpick some of the rushed cloud capabilities you put in place a couple of years ago. Much of what you did was good enough to keep your business afloat, but some of your quick and dirty solutions may need to be unpicked, e.g. Move back from Zoom to Teams (if you are a Microsoft shop), or to Google Meet (if you took the Google Workspace route).
Action: Cull the tactical cloud apps and services that are just accumulating technical debt and have no long-term future in your organisation.
Become truly agile
I expect your business has never changed so fast as it did in early 2020. Now your company has had a taste for rapid evolution, and has recovered from the shocks of the pandemic, it is a good time to persuade your sponsors to enter the true spirit of agile. Encourage them to engage collaboratively with you to create a more nimble organisation which is able to move quickly and leanly.
Action: Embed agile principles and culture across the business by showing how IT produces better, faster customer services and products.
Streamline your services
It is likely that you still have a large overhang of legacy systems that you have kept limping on as there was no business appetite to make unnecessary changes amongst the major business shocks endured recently. However, it is now time to brush off your digital transformation plans and return to simplifying your application and infrastructure estates.
Action: Revisit your service catalogue to identify legacy apps and build fresh business cases based on value, cost and risk to feed into your digital transformation plan and budget for this year.
Carpe Diem – Seize the Day
Seize the day! You have a unique opportunity to reset your role as a key enabler for your organisation, having demonstrated the value of swiftly deployed IT, particularly cloud-based, over the last two years.
Action: Present your sponsors with a bold cloud vision that provides them with the confidence to pursue their new products and markets at pace.
Hopefully, with these hints and tips you should feel confident to plan and pitch your cloud strategy and restart your journey to becoming a cloud-oriented company.
For more details of how to execute the journey to cloud, read our blog series here.