Leadership Cloud Computing

Leadership Cloud Computing

Leadership Cloud Computing

4 Steps to Making Your Company a Cloud Leader

From not having to develop and scale your own infrastructure to more flexibility and speedier deployment, cloud computing has a lot to offer businesses of all kinds. But it doesn’t imply you can just put your credit card in, sit back, and wait for things to take care of themselves.

Taking use of the cloud, on the other hand, necessitates strategic leadership from IT, from the C-suite to every level of the business. This is especially true for companies who are finally moving away from more conventional IT strategies. Unlike cloud-first businesses, which may operate entirely in the cloud, traditional businesses often find it difficult to establish and implement cloud computing strategies. Skeptics who overtly oppose change or simply bury their heads in the corporate sand are one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome.

That begs the question: do you want to be one of the hurdles to technological innovation, or do you want to be one of the leaders who nurture its success? (I’ll give you a hint: Make the decision to be a leader. It will be far more beneficial to your career.)

“On the other end of the spectrum, a contemporary IT department, in my opinion, has a very clear perspective on where they can bring distinct value to the company all the way to where, honestly, they just need to serve as a procurement and vendor management organization,” says Cloud Foundry CTO Chip Childers. “Along that spectrum, you can go through a variety of different stages and combinations.”

Given this diversity, how can IT operations, development, and other tech positions inside firms become cloud leaders as they start on the hard, often controversial process of transferring substantial workloads to the cloud? These four steps are an excellent place to begin:

Step 1: Decide whether to construct or buy.

First, the good news: You don’t have to throw out your previous playbook for addressing business demands because of technology. Simply update it to take use of the strong new cloud-based choices for developing, distributing, operating, and sustaining software and infrastructure. Procurement vs. development is still the main question.

“Is what I’m seeking for a solution to an issue that has already been solved?” Childers enquire. If you answered yes, you’ve already started down the procurement road. If the answer is “no,” you may be embarking on a new development project.

However, in the majority of circumstances, the solution isn’t always obvious. For example, you may opt to develop and administer apps on the cloud. You might even completely outsource the need with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. Email, for example, is a solved problem that is readily available as a cloud service that eliminates a lot of the under-the-hood grunt work that comes with maintaining users, mails, servers, and so on, according to Childers.

Costs are, of course, a major factor in the decision-making process. According to Childers, this includes not just total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) studies, but also opportunity cost. What may be saved or gained, for example, if your team no longer needs to deal with the annoyances of the corporate email system? The advantage of freeing developers and other roles to focus on more creative apps and business challenges should be considered.

Step 2: Create a methodology for evaluating cloud vendors.

One feature of the cloud landscape that is difficult to ignore is the fact that there are many more options than there were previously. When it comes to SaaS and other cloud technologies, IT experts may serve a vital need by becoming a go-to resource for organizational planning and decision-making.

If you work for a major corporation, Childers advises IT operations and developers to form partnerships with procurement: “When we think about a piece of IT changing to a procurement-style position, they can learn a lot from the individuals who have been doing this for years,” he says.

In a middle or small firm, such experience might not be as readily available, thus the do-it-yourself method comes into play. Of course, the Internet is your friend: internet research is a necessary. Don’t overlook a technology analyst business if your organization works with one. In any case, it’s critical to create your own set of questions and criteria to lead your evaluation process, which are tailored to your particular organization and sector.

“In the past, how did you decide which software systems to use and deploy in your own datacenter?” Childers enquire. “The only variable is the degree of imagination and the bond you have with the company you’re shopping from.”

Consider the following examples of items to consider:

  • Reliability and availability: Understand the terms of the service-level agreement (SLA) and what it guarantees. Make sure you understand how a provider will make amends if it fails to satisfy its SLA obligations.
  • Data availability: Where will the data be stored? Who owns the information? How will it be safeguarded?
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Terms and Conditions: Childers adds, “They obviously differ substantially.” “Make sure your data is your data… and that you have a mechanism to extricate it at some time as a corporation.”

Step 3: Check for security flaws.

“As an IT professional working in the cloud, you must continually examine what you can and cannot share in the cloud,” says Mark Broderick, Eliassen Group’s IT applications director. “Data requirements are entirely dependent on a thorough examination of the hazards and risks associated for any cloud migration.” Broderick explains. “Could you kindly tell me more about your business?” “What laws govern the data you collect and publish as a business?” Is it the health IT data of tens of thousands of patients? Or are you attempting to keep your clients’ insurance and financial information safe?”

Indeed, if your firm is subject to industry rules like HIPAA, this will influence a large part of your evaluation process: potential cloud providers must provide the essential security and compliance measures, or they won’t be allowed to work with you.

But, as Childers points out, “the same principle applies” even in less regulated industries. According to the author, “you still need to know exactly what each vendor’s position is on achieving multi-tenancy [and] contractual guarantees around the privacy and safety of the data you’re putting into the system.”

Step 4: Make long-term plans.

From providing business value to procurement and vendor management, successful cloud leaders must strike a wise balance across the contemporary IT spectrum. This necessitates verifying assumptions and expectations against changing business and technological requirements on a regular basis. This should involve a frequent check-in—say, once a quarter—to verify that all parties are on the same page.

“Let’s simply say that this year, CRM solution ‘A’ was a no-brainer.” First and foremost, the market will have altered in five years. Second, it’s likely that the solution you’ve been using has evolved over time,” adds Childers. “If you’re not continually assessing your judgements and then reconfirming that your criteria are met and that the business users are satisfied, you’re putting yourself in a bad scenario.”

Many people associate cloud computing with a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. That is not the case. The long-term potential for developing cloud leaders in the business is to properly capitalize on cloud computing, which necessitates continual monitoring and assessment.

It’s logical that some operations personnel might react defensively to the huge changes brought on by cloud migration. It might be difficult to find new skill sets when you need them. In an increasingly cloud-centric environment, however, a circle-the-wagons approach is unlikely to succeed. Instead, IT professionals should concentrate on the new leadership prospects that the cloud has generated.


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