7 Questions to Ask When Building Your Cloud Strategy

October 18, 2017   //   Cloud

Recently, I have been meeting with top IT leaders and strategic business executives to help determine the best path to optimizing IT, driving business efficiencies, and capturing opportunities to innovate, all with the intention of building competitive advantage in today’s fast-paced market. Without a doubt, these conversations inevitably lead to discussions around the speed, scalability, and economic value of the cloud.

While the cloud helps businesses overcome many of the limitations of traditional IT, the constantly evolving digital world holds a whole new set of challenges, as well as opportunities. When it comes to managing the ever-present change, risk, and opportunities in the cloud, the same questions seem to come up over and over again.

What Every Executive Wants to Know About Cloud Management

In my experience consulting with CEOs, CTOs and CIOs, there are seven predominant questions that are frequently asked, regardless of industry or company size, about cloud management. Some of these might sound very familiar to you, while others may be something you hadn’t thought of before – but should be thinking about now!

When embarking on your cloud journey, it’s important to understand the types of questions business leaders are asking to help you determine the best approach to building a cloud strategy within your organization.

  1. Planning for Growth – “We want to use the cloud to right-size the datacenter, purchase only what we need, and with the flexibility to pay-as-you go to grow infinitely… but how do we balance leveraging our current assets with cloud platforms in a hybrid model while continuing to provide a high level of service to our users?”
  2. Leveraging Platform Services – “We want to use PaaS solutions in coordination with our current applications, or replace legacy apps with PaaS to provide flexibility and reliability at cost. At what point do the cost/value curves cross? When does it make sense to use PaaS? What does it take to get there?”
  3. Vendor and Tool Sprawl – “We have tools to manage our tools. When we can replace two applications with one, that works just as well. If we can do this all with a vendor we already do business with, great! What real world experience do you have, and what tools are other organizations seeing success with?”
  4. End User Confusion – “The plethora of options available to end users to collaborate and innovate has resulted in mass confusion, and in some cases resulted in offline processes or solutions built without IT’s knowledge, putting our trade information at risk. What should we do?”
  5. Leveraging Licensing – “We aren’t using licensing of cloud solutions we own, and we haven’t fully enabled end users to leverage what we have given them access to. At the same time, we are paying for on-premises solutions with similar functionality. How do we unwind the mess?”
  6. Analytics – “We have the data; we have the presentation layer; but we aren’t sure what we want to do next. Is there a way to get started quickly and start leveraging our corporate data assets as soon as possible?”
  7. Security –We know the cloud is secure, but when working in a hybrid environment, we want to be able to leverage the cloud’s unique offerings to secure both on-premises and cloud assets to compliment solutions already in place. Or, is it better to replace old assets with the cloud to save money on device management, provide enhanced accessibility restrictions, manage identity, and protect sensitive cloud information. Is that even an option for us?

In today’s complex IT environment, there are a multitude of challenges and opportunities business and IT leaders are faced with, making it is difficult to know where to begin. When a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist, it’s more important than ever to have a unified partner with the experience to ask the right questions in order to determine which initiatives will have the biggest impact with the fewest implementation hurdles.

If you’re looking for a strategic partner who can help you navigate your rapidly changing IT environment to build competitive strength, Contact SWC to learn more about our Cloud Acceleration Strategy engagement.

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