So you’ve had a rough journey to the public cloud … and now you’re not getting what you expected.

Higher costs? Operational complexity? Reduced availability? And let me guess, the project was a time and materials based on a ‘fail fast’ approach?

Time again, we hear the phrase “we have a cloud first strategy” but, when it comes to planning for migration, it is more often project cost and not cloud first that is the driving factor.

We can all throw in a low cost, let’s see how it pans out approach, and issue you with a change control for “unforeseen issues”, but what public cloud is really about is transforming digital services. And this needs to be addressed up front. When planning cloud services, we need to look at business process transformation as well as training both IT staff and business teams to understand a whole range of cloud capabilities including operations, security, how you’re going to use data, and what the new digital workspace you’re attempting to create will look like and how it’s going to be accessed.

Expecting real business benefit from simply re-hosting your servers on IaaS and managing them with old toolsets will lead to disillusionment, and result in reporting to your CIO on why your services are performing poorly; to your CFO on why your costs have actually increased; and potentially even to your CEO on why he or she can’t get to that important document they need urgently.

To gain just some of the benefits, you should be understanding your applications’ lifecycles and deconstructing the traditional infrastructure-based approach to align to the principles of public cloud. Architecting for the cloud is about changing the thought process from infrastructure services to application services that will support the way your business works.

Let’s take a mailbox for example. Simply migrating it doesn’t enable user efficiency. Using a more consultative approach allows us to deconstruct the business processes and leverage cloud capabilities to add value to the work process. How many times has a SharePoint project failed because a user has simply been pointed to a new team site? Failure to engage them with and educate them about the reasons for the change, ends up with them failing to adopt the new approach. It’s much easier for them to just continue doing what they did before.

With a better understanding of business processes and application functions, along with the ability to be more agile and use new tools, you will enable knowledgeable staff to engage with the change and positive results will follow. It has taken little time for cloud to become such a disruptive force, and there’s no doubt it will continue, so now is the time to transform the operations team into a self-sufficient business change team.

Some would-be adopters are being left disenchanted and frustrated after being sold the public cloud dream without any forethought as to their suitability and operational readiness to truly embrace its capabilities. Organisations should be helped by cloud providers who can offer valuable advice, guidance and experience, and not just to quote on a time and materials basis to migrate a server or a mailbox.

Consider what you want to gain long term from moving to the cloud and ensure the processes are in place that are right for your business. Otherwise you could be risking a headlong plunge into Gartner’s Trough of Disillusionment as a lack of preparedness causes you to struggle with business downtime, complex IT systems and a lack of agility – the exact opposite of what you had hoped for from your cloud investment.

By getting it right from the outset, with properly planned and managed business change, you can achieve real digital transformation.

By Martin Powell, Cloud Solutions Architect, SystemsUp

At SystemsUp we understand the importance of working with you to map out a proper strategy for your journey to the cloud.

Our Cloud Enablement Workshop uses best practice and our experience of working across many types of organisation, to build a comprehensive approach to cloud computing across your business and transform your processes, technology and above all, your people to support it.

Please get in contact if you would like to know more. 



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