May 9, 2016

5 signs your organisation needs Cloud Advisory

Sukant Panda

Head of Infra Advisory Service, Tieto

According to research from Tieto and Radar, more than 40 per cent of large Nordic organisations have no defined cloud strategy in place. Is it possible to realise the full potential of the cloud without one?

Last summer, Tieto and Radar produced a survey called the Cloud Maturity Index 2015. It found that one of the key differences between Nordic organisations with a high level of cloud maturity and their less mature counterparts is the presence of a cloud strategy: the former group don't procure cloud services ad hoc, but anchor their use in a long-term vision and roadmap.

The survey also found that many organisations have yet to start thinking about the cloud in this way. More than 40 per cent of respondents had neither defined nor implemented a cloud strategy, and - on a scale of one to ten - the Nordic region as a whole scored just 3.5 for strategic cloud maturity.

This is alarming, because the absence of a cloud strategy is a significant threat to the value and success of cloud adoption. It can undermine the organisation's ability to choose the right cloud services for its needs, optimise cloud performance, meet security and compliance requirements, and - ultimately - use the cloud to drive digitalization.

Conversely, a cloud-mature organisation with a well-defined strategy in place can expect to realise both cost savings and a wide range of other business benefits around innovation, development and change.

So - where does your organisation stand when it comes to strategic cloud maturity? Are you ahead of the curve, or could you benefit from conducting a cloud readiness assessment and defining a new cloud strategy?

If you're not sure, think about whether you've seen any of the following signs.

1. You haven't identified the full range of cloud opportunities for your business

The cloud offers ample opportunities for both IT and business, allowing organisations to develop and deploy new processes, systems, and products and services.

Without a cloud strategy, however, many organisations remain unable to identify the full range of their cloud opportunities. If you can't answer questions like how the cloud improves IT flexibility, allows your business to expand into new markets, helps you attract new customers and reduces time to market, it may be time to define and implement a cloud strategy.

2. You don't know how to measure your own cloud readiness

In order to plan a move to the cloud successfully, it's vital that an organisation has a clear picture of its own cloud readiness. The migration process might involve a significant change in technology, workflow and even culture, and require skills and expertise not currently present in the organisation. Most of the time, it'll be possible to move some workloads quickly but approach others more cautiously.

This makes a well-defined strategy and cloud adoption roadmap absolutely essential.

3. You find assessing different cloud services a struggle

Without this roadmap, organisations will struggle to assess whether different cloud services are suitable for their needs or not. Questions like whom to buy from and what to buy from them, and around issues like price, security, compliance, licensing, partner contracts, and time to market become very difficult to answer.

4. You don't know how cloud will impact your IT architecture

The cloud has made it possible for organisations to virtualise practically every aspect of their infrastructure, from networking, servers and storage right through to databases, applications and security. With a well-defined strategy, you can leverage this evolution in IT architecture over the long term and use it to create value for your business.

5. You have a growing cloud portfolio, but it's difficult to manage and use

Finally, there's a possibility that you already use a large number of cloud services and find them increasingly difficult to manage. Defining and implementing a cloud strategy will give you an opportunity to establish best practice and create a management framework that drives usage, delivering a smooth and efficient cloud experience on a day-to-day basis.

Developing your strategic cloud maturity isn't necessarily easy. In some instances, it might be best to seek an outside perspective on how your organisation can transform its vision into an actionable roadmap. Still, as our survey showed, the benefits are plain to see - a cloud-mature organisation spends 34 per cent less on ongoing IT operations, and 30 per cent more on supporting business innovation, development and change.

As a first step, we recommend running a workshop with an experienced partner to gain a better understanding of your organisation's cloud readiness and accelerate your progress to the next level of strategic cloud maturity.

To read the survey, click here - or visit the Tieto Cloud Advisory Services webpage.

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