Do organization’s have IT Cloud strategy and clear roadmap?

Building IT cloud strategy and clear roadmap for a company.

I just completed an assignment of building Cloud Strategy for one of my client and during this process some of my learning were eye opener. I always assumed that basics of IT cloud technology are very much clear to all IT staffs in the organizations. Because I felt that everywhere in the industry media, forums and conferences, IT cloud is discussed and in fact sometimes it is perceived too much about cloud everywhere.

During the process I learned that not only organizations are struggling to have a clear IT cloud strategy but many people in IT teams are so busy in solving day-to-day problems for their domain, that they haven't got time to learn or built expertize outside or around the domain itself, which may impact their effectiveness and sustainability in future!. As we know that IT cloud is not new, it exists with different terminologies and technologies. IT cloud and the CIO role together are evolving everyday, with the increase of focus in creating business value for companies by capitalizing upon the technology used in the company, than taking pride in what technology we use!

So I thought of publishing this article to share and help other IT strategist and architect's as they work on IT cloud strategy or clear roadmap for the organization.

Here are my few learning;

  • Vendors are pushing their products or their innovated products behind IT cloud!
  • Not many IT staffs are trained or qualified to have a holistic view of converged IT infrastructure and process automation software’s for business.
  • Also they need to understand the future needs for company’s process automation that maybe a key for organizational growth.
  • The holistic view understanding challenges, makes it more complex and difficult to put all the components together as a strategy or plan.
  • If the IT strategy is not aligned with business, than it becomes more difficult for CIO to sell the plan to CFO and CEO of the company.
  • Sometimes the projects and its cost gets approved by management, as they understand the importance and the requirement of taking technology in the company to the next levels. The aspiration is to differentiate themselves from competition based on technology.
  • In some case they were approved but it was difficult for the management to see the benefits of the projects executed, or still in execution so called non-ending IT projects by different groups, leads into dis-satisfaction on both sides..
  • Also for few IT projects to automate business processes or technology improvement, it is important to set the expectation clear about what will be the base outcome and what will be regular evolving improvements and benefits for the company and users!

Here are some of the questions people should ask, while working on IT cloud strategy;

  • Do the IT person assigned to build strategy understands the cloud needs of the company? if insider;
  • Approach of building the strategy? Also the depending on the approach, if the need is to align the steps with stake holders in the company; If person is consulting strategist from outside the company.
  • Our readiness or preparation of IT staff or systems for execution of IT cloud strategy for the organization?
  • Do the person working on strategy understand the organization's business goal, or spending time with right people to understand it, before he/she starts to create or build the cloud strategy for the company?
  • Is there any assessment or data about the business needs? This is important to build the logical approach about, what and which way to go?
  • Have the efforts been made to understand what section of organization's IT need to be on cloud? Means which part of IT should be taken to the cloud to start with. Is it IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service) or all in parallel?
  • Is the organization ready for public cloud or should focus only on private cloud as first step?

Here are some of the questions to find an answer in the IT Cloud strategy or plan or proposal document?

  • If the IT cloud strategy is built already, is it executable? Mean does it contain phase wise approach and steps for execution? Also can organization afford to execute or implement the plan?
  • Does strategy reflects the business sense or benefits clearly? Are the right people equipped with data to take decision on value proposition as an impact on the company’s business?

Please share your views or questions if you have about this article -