You may remember that we published our latest Cloud research end of last year? Although we weren’t exactly the first – nor the last, rest assured – to investigate the state of the Cloudscape, we thought the findings were quite intriguing. Particularly the clear shift of responsibility and budget for Cloud-related projects towards the business side was striking, and it generated many discussions at both sides of the curtain of our clients.

We synthesized the insights of these discussions in a neat point of view (‘Simply. Business Cloud’) that we released just now. As it is supposed to be in the era of Cloud, we kept the document crisp and focused. Also, there is a short video that explains the highlights. Essentially, we believe the Cloud should no longer be a separate topic: it is embedded in business change and an integrated part of the entire IT value chain, from infrastructure and applications all the way up to architecture, strategy and managed business services.

So no Cloud Czars, Cloud centers of excellence or Journeys to the Cloud for us. It’s not a destination, it’s a way to reach a destination differently: faster, more flexible, more cost-effective, more scalable and – maybe above all – simpler.

Not that it turns out to be easy to keep things simple in the Cloud: from our discussions we are finding that – despite all the benefits – Cloud can easily bring complexity to the management agenda, rather than relief. We are addressing this in our point of view and for your convenience,  here is a summary of 4 ways that will help you to keep the Cloud simple:

  1. Think Business / IT fusion, not alignment. The Cloud has created phenomenal momentum at the business side: the benefits are widely understood and true business change can be achieved on top of Cloud-driven solutions. It’s a unique moment in time to truly melt together business and technology, rather than ‘just’ re-align business and IT around a new power balance and maintain the gap.
  2. Get Cloudified. The Cloud has quickly created an entirely new benchmark in terms of how cost-effective, flexible and quickly solutions should be made available (‘What would Amazon do?’ in a manner of speaking). Go through your existing business / IT landscape and apply this ‘cloud lens’ systematically to understand where the benefits can be achieved.
  3. Take an Orchestration perspective. Companies tell us that they are fully convinced of the qualities of the Cloud, but still have uncertainties around topics such as integration, standards, legislation, security, service level agreements and multiple vendor management. Make sure you orchestrate these issues from a central place (could be the IT department or an external party), so that consuming Cloud power is not entwined with managing it.
  4. Move Close to the Edge. Despite all – often very valid – reservations around the Cloud there are areas where organizations are already fully exploring its potential. This is particularly close to the ‘edge’ of business: activities that are new to an organization (such as customer experience management or human capital management) or where the applied technology is new (think mobile, social, big data) and the need for flexibility and a short time to market is obvious.

Much more in our new point of view, which is only a download away. As simple as that.