Determine a cloud strategy is a very good thing to do. But how do you make sure your cloud strategy is successful?

After reading this article you will know:

  • What a cloud strategy is
  • Your strategy should have a business focus
  • Why you should involve all relevant stakeholders
  • That a multi-cloud approach is a good strategy
  • You need to update your strategy to stay on track with your business goals
  • How to get the right information to update your cloud strategy

What is a cloud strategy?

Cloud strategy is the role (why and what) of cloud computing within your organization. The goal of your cloud strategy is to maximize the benefits of cloud services. Your cloud strategy should be derived from your long-term business strategy and is the input for your operational plans (how) like your cloud adoption (implementation/migration) plan.

A successful strategy for using cloud computing

To make sure your cloud strategy will be successful you need to avoid the most common mistakes in cloud strategies. In the below paragraphs you can read the ingredients for a successful cloud strategy.

Business focus

Your cloud strategy should have a business focus. Not an IT cost reduction focus. The reality is that the business benefits can swamp the costs of cloud computing. Derived from the long-term business strategy you want to make sure that your cloud strategy will contribute in achieving your business goals. These business goals can be like; faster time-to-market to start in new markets, increased innovation speed of new products/services, improved analytics for better business decisions.  

Involve all (relevant) people

Your cloud strategy will drive as much business value as possible. So, make sure you involve the business when determining the strategy for your cloud computing. The scope of your cloud strategy will be all the systems, processes, and procedures of your organization. It will have an impact on all the people. Involve people from operations, HR, finance, etc. as well. They need to contribute to the strategy and find ways how cloud can benefit their specific functional area. Only this will make your cloud adoption and so your cloud strategy successful.

Multi-Cloud

Your business needs to have the best of breed solutions to maximize the benefits of cloud services. No one vendor can deliver the best of breed for all your needs. Besides this argument, you want to make sure the continuity, agility, and flexibility of your business are secured. This makes many companies choose a multi-cloud approach.  

Cloud strategy document

Your Cloud strategy is not a fixed document. Periodically you need to review your strategy with news insights of the market, your competitors, and the things you have learned in your cloud adoption. With these insights, you can determine the updates of your strategy and update your cloud strategy document.

Report

To get the right insights for your periodic cloud strategy review you need to have the right information. Cloud adoption will make sure you will receive this information. But you need to make sure that you will receive the right information. 

You started your cloud strategy by involving all people. Make sure, like with finops and your cloud governance that you keep involving all people to maximize the cloud benefits and updating your strategy.

Make sure that you get the right information, focused on your business, multi-cloud, and share it with stakeholders so you have everything in place to update your cloud strategy.

Conclusion

Having a cloud strategy is a must-have for your business. You need to focus on the business, the why and what, to achieve the most business outcomes with cloud computing. Your cloud strategy is derived from your long-term business strategy and is input for your operational cloud adoption plan. To make sure you will be successful you need to involve all relevant stakeholders, not only IT, to define your strategy. You will maximize your business benefits with cloud computing by using a best-of-breed, and so multi-cloud, approach. Periodically you need to review and update your cloud strategy in relation to your business strategy and goals. Make sure you involve all relevant people for this review and that they have the right information. The right information for a successful cloud strategy is; business-focused, multi-cloud, and has been shared with relevant stakeholders.

A successful cloud strategy:

  1. Is business focused so you manage the cloud costs in relation to business outcomes
  2. Has been setup with your entire organization, because it has impact on the entire organization
  3. Has a multi-cloud approach so you use best-of-breed solutions and don’t have vendor lock-in
  4. Is a strategy that will be updated periodically so you stay on track with the market
  5. Makes use of shareable cloud information so all stakeholders can take their ownership.

Good luck in making your cloud strategy successful!