A cloud strategy answers the “what” and “why” questions. Only later does the cloud implementation plan answer the “how” questions.
Key considerations in cloud computing strategies
It is best to craft a comprehensive cloud strategy before adopting cloud computing, but, in reality, most organizations build out their cloud strategy after they’ve gained some experience with its use. But the sooner you establish a cloud strategy, the more issues you’ll avoid.
Cloud strategy should be optimized for business outcomes, including speed, resilience and agility, and aligned with supporting strategies around data, security, governance and architecture.
Design cloud strategy for speed and business value
Start by mapping cloud strategies to three key CIO priorities (as aligned to enterprise strategy):
Strategy and innovation. How can cloud services help to solve business problems and drive innovation?
Governance and security. Can cloud enable adaptable governance frameworks flexible enough to handle different implementation demands and risk profiles?
Mobilization and migration. How can cloud support enterprise initiatives such as digital transformation?
Build resilience into application architecture
Cloud models, architecture and service providers will be key components of your operating model and their selection must support cloud strategy — now and in the future. Consider as part of your strategy what key outcomes you expect to capture in terms of capability, reliability, agility, automation, efficiency and cost optimization. (Also see ‘What are the key types of cloud computing and cloud services?’)
Cloud skills and talent
Cloud strategy must include a review of your readiness to enact and evolve that strategy. For example, ask if you need a chief cloud architect to lead a cloud center of excellence. If you’re migrating to the public cloud, you may need to hire new talent and upskill existing employees to bridge skills gaps.