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Cloud Strategy – How to Plan a Successful Implementation

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Cloud Strategy – How to Plan a Successful Implementation

Published: 2023/10/11

5 min read

For some organizations cloud strategy implementation remains a challenge yet to be overcome. Read on to discover what a cloud strategy is, why organizations need one, which benefits it brings and what steps organizations should follow to implement their own today.

Could you answer the question “how does cloud computing work?” Indeed, in today’s market the need for a market-leading cloud consulting service remains strong, which helps take the burden of knowledge off organizations – but it should not.

Perhaps handing off key jobs to third parties is the cause of the disconnect being seen in the market today when it comes to the cloud. Everyone wants a fully functioning cloud team well-versed in cloud technology, but many organizations are still struggling to make their vision of operating in the cloud a reality.

So, how can organizations overcome this challenge? The following blog will outline how cloud strategy implementation can help, the benefits and challenges it presents to modern organizations and how businesses can create a unique cloud strategy that best suits their needs. However, before any of those questions are answered, we need to start at the beginning.

Read more about: Workforce cloud

What is a cloud strategy?

Like any business strategy, a cloud strategy ensures that everyone involved in migrating services to the cloud is on the same page. This ensures key milestones are reached and the business sees the return on investment it expects from such an undertaking.

For example, a well implemented cloud strategy clearly outlines the current state of cloud usage in an organization, levels it wants to get to, what needs to be migrated to the cloud and what applications etc. are to stay on-prem to achieve the business’s desired outcomes.

However, in addition to this, a fully realized cloud strategy implementation contains some details that might not be as obvious as the points outlined above. These include:

  • A clear step-by-step strategy for exiting the cloud: in case an organization wants to move an application back to on-prem, its cloud strategy will also include the details of any possible fines that will need to be paid to the cloud provider if any contracts are broken by the business
  • Clarification around approval processes and risks: a well-structured cloud strategy will always include a clear hierarchy of who to go to if a department wants to engage with its new cloud services, as well as clear and easy-to-follow information around the risks of using the cloud and steps employees can take to mitigate them.

Why do you need a cloud strategy?

All this means a fully realized cloud strategy implementation will function as an organization’s first port of call when it comes to answering any questions or disputes that might arise during its journey to becoming cloud-first.

Additionally, having a clear approval process in place for accessing the cloud ensures there is more transparency across all functions, which in turn mitigates out of control spending and improves cybersecurity by involving legal and purchasing teams in the provisioning of new cloud services. This, of course, helps ensure no bad actors can infiltrate the cloud – but this is in no way a silver bullet for overcoming this challenge.

Finally, putting a comprehensive cloud strategy implementation in place within any organization enables companies to innovate and ensure they bring better services to their customers than ever before. But this is only possible if your cloud strategy team has aligned their cloud strategy with your organization’s needs and outcomes and isn’t just migrating to the cloud to reduce costs.

Challenges and benefits of cloud strategy

Put simply, the main challenge around any cloud strategy implementation is choice. What infrastructure should be implemented, what providers should be used, what outcomes are desired and what should be moved first and what should stay on prem?

All these questions need to be answered if organizations want to implement a cloud strategy that works for them. However, doing this can be stressful, which is why many organizations focus on the money the cloud can save them, without thinking of any other long-term benefits it can provide.

These benefits include gaining access to:

  • Market-leading cybersecurity solutions: it is the cloud provider’s job to ensure a safe and secure cloud environment, which in turn offers organizations better protection against cyberattacks
  • Proven disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities: which is critical for any global business as climate events continue to become more extreme, as they ensure operations can continue even in the face of the most extreme market disruptions
  • Increased infrastructure flexibility: which enables organizations to scale up or down quickly and easily to keep pace with today’s fast-paced marketplace.

All these benefits outweigh any challenges that come with putting together a good cloud strategy. But how do you create a cloud strategy implementation plan from scratch to access all these benefits?

How to create a cloud strategy?

First and foremost, if organizations want to get the most out of the cloud, they need to ensure their cloud strategy goals align with their organization’s overall objectives. This makes the process of improvement much easier as problem areas can be identified and addressed much earlier. This approach also guarantees organizations meet cybersecurity and compliance requirements.

Next, organizations need to assess risks realistically and plan exit strategies for them in case they become an issue later. Key risks that need to be assessed at this stage of the cloud strategy implementation process relate to agility, security, suppliers, compliance and availability.

Additionally, while working on these steps remember that it is important to take a holistic approach to cloud adoption. This way, risks associated with the cloud can be minimized, while the benefits associated with it can be maximized. Focusing purely on expenses during these steps is the easiest way to guarantee your cloud operations will cost more than they should in the long run.

Once strategies are aligned, risks are assessed and the right mindset is in place, businesses need to decide what route they will take to the cloud. The six most common routes are:

  • Rehosting: simply moving everything to the cloud
  • Replatforming: making small changes to applications to align with the cloud’s architecture
  • Repurchasing: deciding to use cloud-native applications instead of the applications the organization already uses
  • Refactoring: redesigning applications to make them cloud-native
  • Retiring: decommissioning applications that have become irrelevant
  • Retaining: deciding which applications will be sent to the cloud and which will remain on prem.

Finally, it is important to remember that whatever route organizations take, both the cloud provider and the organization are responsible for smooth operations in the cloud. Cloud providers provide the services organizations believe will lead to the benefits outlined above, but it is up to the organizations themselves to leverage the services provided to them correctly to get the results they want.

Want to learn more about what cloud services can do for you and how you can start your own cloud strategy implementation to get the results you want? Then reach out to Software Mind’s cloud service professionals to get the robust, flexible and secure cloud services your organization deserves – today.

Read also: Deep dive into enterprise cloud

About the authorSoftware Mind

Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world. 

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