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Is Your Organization Really Prepared?

by Mark Adams, on November 5, 2014

Original article at http://cloudtweaks.com/2014/11/organization-really-prepared-move-cloud/

Is Your Organization Really Prepared?

Cloud computing is playing a transformational role in how businesses function. It’s a disruptive technology that is influencing the growth trajectories of businesses. Irrespective of the industry, cloud computing is being adopted at breakneck speed. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that if a business is to survive and prosper in today’s times, it needs to leverage the benefits of the cloud.

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But making a move to the cloud or at least moving a section of your data to the Cloud is not easy and if you don’t go about it in the right manner, you are liable to make mistakes; this in turn interferes with your business’s ability to maximize cloud potential to trigger strategic growth.

One of the biggest errors that organizations make while thinking about moving to the cloud is that they see the cloud purely from a technical perspective. This is wrong because a move to the Cloud also impacts the work culture of the organization; roles, processes, deliverables, and objectives change.

Before you actually begin the process of migrating assets to the cloud, you need to be very sure that your organization and employees are actually ready for this move.

So, what are the aspects you must consider before you actually start migrating processes to the Cloud?

Let’s take a look:

Skillsets

Moving to the cloud is a good thing, but in order to make the most of this move, you need people with the right skillsets who can manage and control your organization’s presence on the cloud. It’s of mission critical importance that you hire people with expertise and experience in cloud technology. You also need to initiate training programs that help your existing employees get a better understanding of cloud technology and how its use can be optimized. There is a surprising lack of skilled cloud personnel on the market. You might be hard pressed to find a CIO who is well-versed in the Cloud and its interlinked technologies. So, first get this part sorted out, everything else comes later.

Is your Cloud Approach only about the Money?

One of the most prevalent myths about cloud computing is that the use of this technology only helps your organization save a lot of money (overheads).

A move to the cloud is much more than just a means of saving money. What your business essentially profits from is the elasticity, scalability and reliability of the cloud. Cloud technology allows you to improve business processes by enhancing collaboration and access to data. With the cloud, you can shorten the time taken to market your products, speed up product upgrades, and respond faster to the competitive challenges facing your business. This is what helps drive the growth of your business. And all this happens without making a massive investment into the proceedings.

Before you implement a cloud strategy, clearly underline what you want to achieve with the cloud; thinking of the cloud as a technology that helps you save money is self-limiting.

Transition of IT

The IT department of your organization must get used to the idea of a transition and change in priorities. There will be a rethink as far as their portfolio of responsibilities is concerned. IT personnel might find they are no longer in charge of systems administration and maintenance and don’t have to configure, secure and manage a computing service or application.

They will find that they are now asked to become innovators and tasked with generating more value for the organization.

Is the department ready to perform this role?

The cloud can take care of their usual responsibilities, thus making it possible for them to play a more strategic and proactive role in an organization’s growth strategy. It is important they are made well aware of this transition in advance and are imparted the necessary training that will help them make this transition smoothly.

Are you Thinking Long Term?

The cloud shouldn’t be seen as a short term solution for the existing lacunae in your organizational processes. It does fill the existing gaps, but it also helps you plan a long term growth oriented strategy for your business. The advanced infrastructure that you thought was beyond your reach is now available as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); the platforms that were prohibitively expensive are now within your budget, courtesy Platform as a Service (PaaS); and all those software that you coveted but never got round to using because of the cost perspective can now be tapped into, with the help of Software as a Service (SaaS). This essentially means your business can leverage cloud computing for the long term and keep benefiting from it.

Learning from Mistakes

If you’ve already got the 4 pointers mentioned in this article sorted out, good for you! But this doesn’t mean your organization’s move to the cloud will be seamless. There is always a chance of missteps occurring for e.g. you might choose to move to a public cloud when a hybrid cloud has been the right choice for you. Or you might pick a cloud provider whose services might not reach the ideal levels of security compliance.

Such mistakes shouldn’t act as an impediment, but must be seen as a learning opportunity.

Learn from them and move forward with your cloud strategy.

Conclusion

Preparing your organization for a move to the Cloud is one of the most important parts of your Cloud strategy. If you want your move to succeed, make sure everybody in your organization looks at this move positively and has the required skillsets to accept this move and take it towards its logical conclusion.

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