Digital data processing and communications have since long ago become inevitable for any business. Regardless of the type of business. Connecting to a server made it possible for everyone in a company to collaborate and exchange their knowledge.
As a manager, you are dependent on providing all employees with tools they need to contribute to the company’s goals. Server solutions have been a secure and good solution, and it still is. However, we know that there will always be development, not least in digital data processing and communications. Now the time has come for cloud solutions, private or public.
Benefits and challenges of starting a cloud concept for your business
Cloud computing is the future and the only right technology to approach in order to meet the market demands, keep competitive and evolve your company to achieve the corporate goals for the future. There is no need to wait! The technology train is moving and catching speed. The longer you wait, the harder and more costly is the transformation. This series of articles will be high level guidelines where we will share our experiences, tips and suggestions collected through customers within finance, travel agency, IoT and more. The customers we have guided on their journey are from Scandinavia and Netherlands and are also multinational. We will share why some struggle to continue their journey, pitfalls and how others made a great success. Let your journey begin!
Maturing and developing your organization is important and one of the keys. A modern and agile organization is the key to get there. With this mindset you will have a much more smooth, secure and safe journey. This is one of the most common pitfalls and often stall or slow progress. This mindset is also good to adopt even when you are not planning going to public cloud services now, since it can also be used in most other organizations to achieve more and meet new market demands. There are many names for this mindset of organization like DevOps, Agile, Lean, etc. Here we will use agile since that is the most flexible term.
Starting this great journey of opportunities can have some challenges. There are many aspects and questions to take into consideration. One important factor is that this is not only about technology, it the entire organization. Since the impact is so great, there is a need for a Cloud Center of Excellence. It will affect people, processes, finance, security, technology choices and more. This will be a continuous journey in the same way cloud technology will give you continuous delivery and improvements to your customers.
“A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) is a team of executives and key personnel, who will lead the introduction of new capabilities into an organization — through new skills, technology, processes and services”
This is the beginning of a journey to your future business. Doing this right can give endless opportunities for business and development. Most important is to understand is that there is no end state. This way you are open for opportunities that come along when transforming and continuously evolving your organization and services. You will get advantages like having your services faster to the market or new features since the organization is adopting agile mindset and cloud technology that support this. More flexible budgeting, you will only pay for what you use and no more high investments in hardware to your own datacenters, shifting IT investments from CAPEX to technology usage in OPEX. Higher security with native security services that is monitored by a large global security team. Security become much more flexible and adopting to your solutions also when you add machine learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Customers get more satisfied when you deliver faster and more secure services on their demands.
“Security is shared responsibility, meaning it’s your responsibility!”
There is a lot to pay attention to when starting this journey. You should have the CCoE to work out a roadmap for the first steps of the journey. This map should include the current state, needs and solutions to be transformed to the cloud as first release. Additional future roadmaps addressing the next state of the business and what solutions to be released next. This should be continued a regular basis and be open to change when new demands appear. It is rarely a good solution to lift all to cloud at one time. This is done only with very specific cases with special needs. The best thing is to give the organization time to get ready and mature while doing the transformation. Goals should be set so you can see progress, cost saving, added opportunities, etc. during the roadmap. It is not always you save money, but you can compare other areas like what more feature or flexibility is achieved when transforming a service. Always include a governance model with clear guidelines for your organization that is flexible, so it doesn’t need to be rewritten every time there are new services available.
As mentioned, there are different perspectives your business needs to look at and discuss when starting this journey. The discussion will be good to do while CCoE and senior management are establishing the strategy and the first goals for the journey. With these perspectives what will the cost be, return of investment, the total cost of ownership and others that may need to be approved by management or the owners. Here are the most important topics and questions I have experienced to be most relevant to address to get started:
- Business perspective: How and why will your business be affected by the change? Faster time to market? Better adapt to customer needs resulting in customer satisfaction.
- Platform choice: Public cloud vs. Private hosted cloud vs. Hybrid cloud. Short and long term for what cloud to choose. What is best for your applications? Local regulations opening or limiting what to choose?
- Security perspective: There are many advantages going to cloud solutions. It is important to change how you think about security. It works totally different in public cloud than traditional infrastructures. How do security affect development, implementation and running services?
- Process perspectives: When going to cloud you will need to change different processes. The financial process is one, you do not have investments in same way and have consume based payments. How will your organization work with the new environment?
- Maturity perspectives: There is a way to mature your organization to adopt to cloud computing. Adopting new ways of thinking and agility. There will be different levels of maturity in the organization for this journey, and how to make this work between different teams.
- Operations: When doing cloud computing in a more agile and safe way, make more automation and consolidate services, you will have more capacity from your work force.
- People perspective: How will your teams and divisions adopt new technology and more important the new way of working? There will be a different need for training and guidance for employees. What do you need to do through the journey in creating, managing and operating support for the new IT structure? There need to be developed guidelines for establishing, operating, developing and running the cloud service and how teams work together.
“There is much at stake when moving to cloud computing. A good plan is the key to start your journey with success!”
Enterprises are more and more adopting the culture and technology of Cloud Computing to achieve more at lower cost and faster to the market with the same people . As a CEO you need to know how this impact your business and give more opportunities. Cloud strategy is more than technology as in impact most or all your organization. You need to know how ready your enterprise is, financial aspects and how this will give better solutions and services for your customers and serve demands in peak periods. Doing this in a smooth way will transform your business!
Starting with the Cloud Center of Excellence is wise.
There is much discussions to be done and plans to make. Here are our recommended starting action points:
- Establish CCoE
- Get your strategy outlined
- Create initial roadmap
- Mature and modernize your organization
Arctic Cloud Solutions is ready to guide you on this journey!