What strategies should organisations have in place when adopting the public cloud?
By Akesh Lalla – SAP Africa Cloud Solutions Lead.
Businesses are constantly challenged to improve their operations and transform their business to keep pace with the digital economy, whether by executing excessive growth strategies, usually through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), or continuous introduction of new products, services, and business models.
CIOs must also contribute to the organisation’s overall strategy, they need to deliver new levels of organisational agility, usually at lower and lower costs. This typically translates in to devising strategies and adopting new digital technologies to respond to the digital transformation challenges.
To attain new levels of agility, scalability and innovation, more and more organisations consider cloud computing as a strategic enabler of digital transformation. Public cloud adoption is no longer a choice but a necessity. Organisations are moving to a cloud-first strategy, where investments are being made across the three available cloud service models – software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). With this movement to a cloud-first strategy, cloud will become the main technology delivery mechanism.
The challenge we are experiencing in Africa is not whether organisations will adopt the public cloud, it is the opposite, a case of the proverbial, ‘the horses have bolted and we are trying to herd them back’. For instance, organisations have adopted and started using public cloud without having a defined cloud strategy in place.
Having a service provider that can advise on the key components for building an effective cloud strategy will enable organisations to embrace the many benefits of public cloud in a way that maintains control and balances risk.
Here are some of the key components for building an effective public cloud strategy:
- Ask yourself why? If one cannot articulate the business benefits, then it is most likely that you are approaching this project purely from a technical perspective and you will not be able to monitor business value
- Create a decision framework that will assist in identifying and evaluating which business applications are simple and less risky to be migrated and which ones are better off in a private cloud environment
- Understand the impact to your current employees. Put a development plan in place and understand what additional skills will be required
- Think Bimodal IT, your cloud strategy must address both modes based on your overall business strategy.
Organisations that decide not to leverage public cloud, or choose to take a ‘wait and see’ approach, will without a doubt run the risk of being disrupted by others in their industry. It is however imperative that the adoption of cloud technology, be underpinned by an effective cloud strategy.