For most businesses, there is a journey that becomes unavoidable as competitors get more nimble and innovative and customer expectations shift along with it. To stay competitive and relevant, businesses have to find ways to leverage real-time decision making, develop scalable business practices, and create tailored customer experiences. Leaders may implement different types of strategies, but ultimately they lead to one place: the cloud journey.
As these demands continue, curating new strategies will be crucial to ensuring a smooth and effective digital journey. This is why businesses must take a thoughtful and strategic approach to implementing cloud services and evolving on the cloud journey. In this article, we’ll explore how you can implement strategic plans to help make your business’s cloud journey easier and less painful.
What is the Cloud?
Many of us know that the cloud is used to access storage and compute power, but it's actually more than that. It’s not only an IT technology, it's also a powerful solution that can unlock a foundational platform that could advance your company's operating model as it aids your digital evolution.
You can leverage your data effectively, adapt to ever-changing business conditions, and boost productivity gains with the cloud. The advantages of adopting cloud services are numerous but some industries, such as banks, are facing challenges such as moving secure data and redesigning their IT organization. With thoughtful guidance and a fully formed strategic framework, banks and other businesses can successfully adopt cloud solutions to identify and mitigate challenges like these.
Business and IT strategy alignment
When thinking about adopting cloud services, it’s necessary to ensure that your business and IT strategies are aligned to maximize the benefits of cloud technology. With this alignment, you may face business challenges such as quantifying your business's value, creating cloud deployment models, balancing solution design and execution, security, and more. But, by planning ahead, you can mitigate these challenges and create business cases that can be cost-effective and enhance your workflow.
Many business leaders are increasingly focused on building new capabilities, enhancing innovation, reducing costs, and optimizing the organization. Strong alignment between business and cloud strategy can provide clarity throughout an enterprise, making it easier to achieve these goals. For example, creating shared platforms and common datasets can reduce overhead and provide enhanced analytics and insights.
Build a better operating model
There's no denying that cloud transformation doesn't happen overnight, and businesses must focus on reimagining their entire IT infrastructure to become cloud-centric. Cloud transformation requires building an effective operating model that moves fast and adapts to your workforce.
The financial industry, for example, faces the challenge of siloed IT teams that are not only split internally by function, but are also outsourced to subcontractors. These factors can make it harder to migrate so it’s important to remember that the cloud journey is about delivering solutions through cloud services, not the delivery of specific components. Business leaders will need to examine their current workflows to determine where and how cloud services can improve their processes.
As with any operational shift, responsibilities and roles may get blurred or confused so it’s important to establish frameworks to help catch any inefficiencies or slippages. Leaders may also want to consider creating a strategic planning committee to provide oversight of the implementation of the new operating model including governance and resource onboarding.
Focus on Security and Governance
As you shift to the digital platform, security is the number one priority for most industries. Having secure operations is a key component for industries such as health care and banking, and a security breach could affect your institution's reputation, as well as leave you with significant legal and financial consequences. Given its importance, you need to weigh security risks and ensure compliance with government regulations to ensure you’re making smart decisions as you make the switch.
If you’re choosing to use the cloud, you’ll want to look for the right service model for your business, such as public, private, or hybrid. Depending on your institution, some can have a combination structure like Platforms-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or Software-as-a-Service. When choosing between these models, you need to consider the level of control you want over your institution.
If you have regulated secure workloads and private data that you want full control of, private or hybrid models will probably work best. For less private institutions, where an area of your application needs to expand, the public cloud can provide the right reliability and security.
Of course, there are some protocols you need to establish through deployment. With proper planning and a cloud model, you can reap the benefits of strong hardware security, patching, and maintenance, allowing for a smooth workflow.
If your business is considering making the transition to the cloud, there are many elements and factors to consider. Before jumping in, it’s important to take the time for thoughtful and strategic planning to ensure your cloud journey is a smooth one. From creating a business model that aligns with your IT goals, to focusing on security and compliance, to adopting a new workflow that will benefit your team, these are just a few of the strategic elements that can make your transition to cloud services a smooth one.
If you're looking to leverage cloud services for your business, connect with Everestek to help you on your journey. We are a software development company offering modern technology services and solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Our in-house team of cloud experts can help with migrations, DevOps and ongoing support - from developing a completely automated cloud deployment solution to customizing current applications with cloud services. We also have experience working with AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud to migrate our customer's on-premise infrastructure to the cloud.