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What Needs to Be in Place for Successful Cloud Transformation

Rens Huizenga

Once you’ve examined the opportunities of the cloud model and assessed what can go wrong on the journey to cloud, you can start building your cloud transformation initiative on a solid foundation. The diagram below shows you the basic elements that need to be in place for a successful journey.

Commitment to a Vision

The vision is the starting point for any successful cloud transformation initiative. But a vision is not simply a dream of what might be possible. It must include clear objectives, defined in collaboration with key stakeholders, and the funding to carry it through.

The vision must also have the support of business leaders such as the CEO, CIO, CFO, COO, CMO, CHRO, and CISO, as well as the board and even shareholders, because cloud transformation has substantial business value and impact on operations.

Strategy and Business Case

The strategy and business should be tightly aligned. The strategy spells out how the journey will unfold and what the high-level benefits will be; the business case quantifies the expected business value, the impact, and the risks of the cloud transformation initiative.

In setting the strategy for cloud transformation, the CXO must consider a wide range of factors, including the target cloud architecture or foundation, the cloud operating model, the business operating model, cloud migration scenarios for applications, the expected financial impact, security and compliance in the cloud, sustainability impact and more.

The business case measures success using a wide range of metrics encompassing incremental revenue from new digital services, user engagement, workforce productivity, cost optimization (including license rationalization), and many more. Over the course of the cloud implementation, the business case should also provide a forecast for return on investment and connect IT charges to business KPIs that ensure ongoing project funding. The business case is also the starting point for benefit tracking during the transformation program.

Cloud Operating Model

The cloud operating model defines how the organization will transform traditional infrastructure and operations (I&O) into cloud-based service provisioning. It maps the mix of clouds that will be used to enable various business processes—public, private, hybrid, local, and edge clouds—and specifies how each will contribute to business value and how the cloud mix will be managed.

In short, the cloud operating model will guide the design and definition of processes (and related organizational structure) that will allow different product teams to follow the same set of processes for application development and deployment.

Culture and Skills Management

Cloud skills will be increasingly hard to find and retain; and cloud transformation directly impacts the organization’s culture. That is why business leaders need to address questions such as how cloud migration / modernization will impact the culture, how the needed skills will be obtained and retained, how leaders will indoctrinate change, what the impact will be for customers and partners, and more.

You’ll need to set up a strategy for re-skilling existing teams, re-badging employees, and recruiting new talent. Getting to the right resource balance and adapting to cultural change will require a continuous series of analysis, assessments, and workshops. Incorporating and acting on stakeholder feedback is essential to build trust and credibility for the proposed new ways of working.

Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE)

The creation of a CCoE brings together the skillsets and services required to deliver on the cloud transformation agenda. It provides a structured environment for delivering a high-frequency product-based organization with cloud-based DevSecOps teams; a clear overarching digital and cloud transformation approach; and the essential building blocks needed to operate digital and cloud use cases.

Ideally, the CCoE should serve as the hub of integrated service management, including design, operations, infrastructure, and development as well as risk and finance. This requires active engagement from a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external, including:

  • IT and cloud engineering teams
  • Enterprise architecture
  • Cloud and information security teams
  • Application / Product owners
  • Compliance and risk
  • DevSecOps
  • Cloud and network operations
  • HR
  • Finance
  • Vendor/supplier management
  • Partner and cloud service management

Execution Strategy and Roadmap

The success or failure of the cloud transformation initiative ultimately hinges on execution, and that requires cloud teams to carefully consider and prepare for a wide range of factors—from planning and executing application migration to cloud security, quality assurance, testing, governance, automation, sustainability, and more. Download a copy of Capgemini’s  handbook, “Executing Cloud Transformation,” for details and recommendations about each of the top 10 considerations.

In our final post, we’ll recap our core beliefs about cloud transformation to provide additional context for preparing your cloud transformation journey.