Technology

Assessing organisational readiness for the cloud

A while ago I wrote a blog on “Increasing Efficiency Through Cloud Technology”. As mentioned in the content, the benefits of moving to the cloud can’t be over looked most especially given the current pandemic. But why should an organisation conduct cloud readiness assessments? To help discover if such an organisation is ready to move to the cloud, the type of cloud technology of choice, the associated cost and areas to focus its resources on.

Outcomes from readiness assessments help in developing strong business cases for management buy-in and decision making.

This leads to the questions “how do we assess an organisation’s cloud readiness to determine if such an organisation is ready to make its move to the cloud? To respond to this question, we’ll address cloud assessment using a few points;

  1. Needs

Various department or units within an organisation have needs which they believe can be met most especially using cloud technology as an enabler. These needs can be mapped and translated into an assessment. Results from such assessments contribute towards the development of a business case and enables clarity, examples to follow and use cases.

An early articulation of value supports quick wins and senior management buy-in to make the move to the cloud much quicker. It also helps to identify areas within the organisation which do not require cloud enablement hence ensures you make best use of resources. An early articulation of value helps with stakeholder communication and awareness which supports the change management processes.

So how do we do this?

  • Articulate the digital vision making it clear
  • Ensure to understand needs across departments, services and map in relation to the cloud
  • Select business units that are quick wins for cloud adoption i.e. which have capacity to show value early in order to maintain senior stakeholder buy-in
  1. Culture and People

Culture exist within every organisation irrespective of size, geographical location or even leadership structure. It also determines how an organisation operates and relates with both internal and external stakeholders. So when we talk about culture, we also talk about people as they are the medium through which culture is exhibited. Some organisations may have a culture of providing services customers in ways that excludes technology but includes direct engagement in a bid to foster relationship and build on trust.

Organisations such as this may think critically on areas to migrate to the cloud as against the relationship established based on the direct and physical engagement with its customers.

In understanding the culture, there is need to understand the technology staff. People have different tolerance for change, to learn new things and ways of engaging with work.

So how do we do this?

  • People review which includes some high-level assessment of cloud technology skills, education, available time, and exposure.
  • Understand the value chain and map against culture and people.
  1. Technical

Every organisation has that complex area it wished it would never have to worry about. The ICT Infrastructure which comprises of application software, data, hardware etc is a critical part for cloud transformation hence the core of the assessment take place here. Such an assessment will entail the need to assess servers, applications, networks, migration options etc

This entails long sessions of engagement with stakeholders such as engineers, regulators, vendors, users of the ICT assets and in some instance users of the organisation’s services. So you might want to ask “what about legacy systems?” migrating to the cloud don’t mean legacy systems are discarded completed. We review and check legacy systems for what could be most valuable to the cloud journey. Sometimes legacy systems may not be compatible with the target cloud model. In this instance try to understand the time, quality and cost implications and how to mitigate.

So how do we do this?

  • Run a discovery of the ICT infrastructure to understand the current state
  • Define the target cloud model to help arrive with a migration strategy which puts into consideration cost, associated risks, mitigations to eliminate risk and vendors
  • Document as much as possible as and when required
  1. Resource and Strategy

Assessing the resources and strategy required for cloud migration could sometimes be a taunting tasks. Most especially when time is of the essence. You need to know what resources are currently available to support the goal. Equipped with results from ‘Needs and Technical assessments’ you can determine the resources and strategy required.

Then the question arises ‘How do we migrate?’ It may be worth assessing current commitments as an organisation against the need for the migration to ensure balance. Often time may be of the essence, in this instance outsourcing the cloud migration project to a delivery partner may seem a reasonable thing to do as internal staff may be burdened with the day to day commitments of keeping operations at the optimum pace.

  1. Budget

Does your cloud migration project have a ring fenced budget? Does it cover what’s required to successfully get you to the target cloud model? Is the budget part of a wider programme? What dependencies exist around the budget? This and many more questions to ask. Finance plays an important role on projects such as this as insufficient finance allocation or delays could create changes to the scope of work over time. To embark on cloud projects, there is need to apportion a budget which covers, material, people and other expense. The finance model around cloud projects may be unfamiliar to the day to day finance operations of an organisation. Hence a change in the way organisations funds projects which means a learning curve for finance directors. There is a lot of cost control and forecasting involved which needs to be well managed throughout the project into Business As Usual (BAU).

So how do we do this?

  • Changing finance mindset into knowing it is an investment which will create efficiency, save cost and increate output
  • Allocate a finance human resource to manage project finance life cycle through to BAU
  • Identify current ICT infrastructure cost and match against cost for target cloud model
  • Define budget and ensure flexibility in line with business changes
  1. Communication and Change Management

Communicate and manage change. If you get this right then you are on the way to a successful transformation. Every change creates within it an element of resistance and one of the best ways to manage this is to ensure clear communication of the vision but also provide answers to blind spots.

There is also the need to identify the organisation risk appetite. How much risk can you take on without impacting operational efficiency? You may have to measure alignment with security and compliance requirements both within the supply chain and on suppliers side.

So how do we do this?

  • Have a clear communication strategy in place
  • Adopt a change method and flex to suit the organisation’s culture and people
  • Embrace a suitable risk management approach
  • Document and communicate

If you are looking to conduct a cloud readiness assessment, migrate to cloud, improve or support your existing cloud services? Reach out and we will be more than happy to join you on the journey.

Watch out for our next set of blogs which focus around “Office 365 and Microsoft 365” and “Making sense of scenario planning”.

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About EBS

EBS is a digital agency and Microsoft partner established for over 10+ year which provides business solutions, technology consulting services and outsourced project services. Headquartered in London United Kingdom with a global reach. Learn more About Us

What we are offering

  • An initial 1 hour free consultation session to assess your organisation’s cloud reediness. This would be valuable to you if you are strategizing and planning for new implementation, migration to a new cloud solution, simply making improvements to existing cloud solutions or in need of support services.
  • Tailored training and Coaching (one to one or group sessions) session to support your leadership team.
  • More about our service

Reach out via info@enebusinessstrategies.com to find out more.

About the Author

Ehime Enahoro is a business and digital consultant with years of experience and has provided consulting services to organisations across a number of industries such as FinTech, Healthcare, Travel, Property, Education and Government. Passionate about sustainable innovation, process re-engineering and well-being. Other interests includes writing, speaking, coaching, mentoring, long distance running, football and golf.

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