Cloud Adoption: Putting the Cloud at the Heart of Business and IT Strategy

Ed Page, Managing Director Technology Strategy, Financial Services

Cloud computing is on the rise as businesses respond to rapidly evolving consumer behaviors, changing business models, and the opportunities and risks brought by new market entrants. Chief information officers and chief technology officers must manage this shift under mounting regulatory pressure and growing concerns about data security and privacy, while simultaneously managing complex and aging legacy infrastructure in a “do more, faster, with less” environment.

Given the criticality of a successful cloud transformation, we are publishing a series of white papers focusing on cloud adoption. The first paper in the series focuses on strategy.

In a nutshell, cloud computing’s elastic capacity allows companies to rapidly deploy and scale technology by outsourcing IT infrastructure and maintenance. This not only allows companies to focus resources on their core business, but can also improve their agility, resiliency and business continuity management capabilities. By placing cloud adoption at the center of a renewed business and IT strategy, firms can capitalize on efficiencies and drive business success. The challenge, of course, is formulating a comprehensive adoption strategy. We break it down into four components:

  • Strategy — Deploying the right application on the right architecture is not as simple as migrating existing applications to the cloud. There are several strategic considerations to evaluate, including architecture, governance, readiness and platform integration with legacy systems.
  • Implementation — Implementation and day-to-day management of cloud operations should be owned by the organization’s service operations function to ensure timely issue resolution and minimal disruption of the technology stack (infrastructure, platform, applications). Considerations should include risk management, capacity and operational excellence, and vendor selection.
  • Service Assurance — A cloud migration is an excellent time for business process improvement. Legacy applications may not be ready for cloud deployment. Care must be taken to ensure a seamless customer experience. And the IT function will need to adapt to a new role of “service broker,” capable of navigating between cloud and non-cloud platforms to deliver the best possible service to end users.
  • Security — There is a notion that cloud deployment means lower security. Security is certainly a major concern, but it is also a differentiator among cloud service providers. During vendor selection, it is important to vet candidates for data security and privacy safeguards, access management, compliance with company standard policies and procedures as well as industry-specific regulations, and incident management practices.

Clearly, cloud adoption is much more than an IT issue, and requires carefully designing, developing and implementing a cloud transformation strategy. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned. Download the white paper and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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