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Become a champion of your industry

Services and Competencies for a business in a changing world

Become a champion of your industry Services and Competencies for a business in a changing world

Werden Sie zum Champion Ihrer Branche

Leistungen und Kompetenzen für ein Business im Wandel

Werden Sie zum Champion Ihrer Branche Leistungen und Kompetenzen für ein Business im Wandel

Cloud Strategy

"Do you Remember what it was like when we had all and everything in our data center?" - many people today have to answer this question with "no" since the trend to move more and more infrastructures, data, applications, functionalities and services into internal and external cloud structures is going on since years and THE data center is no longer existing in many companies. Data center structures in addition to cloud structures are today more standard rather than the exception.

Advantages such as flexibility, faster response times, less maintenance, lower costs, better collaboration, worldwide availability are examples of cloud benefits that more and more companies are recognizing and realizing.

Cloud usage is a fully-fledged and recognized operating model for IT activities, both in IT operation processes and in IT design and build processes. But clouds are not only popular in IT departments, cloud has also arrived in business processes and is used intensively - and often bypassing IT. Finally, it is not possible in our day not to use cloud. The question is not "Do we need cloud?", but "When do we use the cloud optimally?

Ultimately, it is also the use of clouds that provide the prerequisites for value-adding digitization, effective use of automation, to be ready for IoT and that makes the application of artificial intelligence in business processes possible.

The HDP has prepared and accompanied several clients on their way from classic IT to cloud-using IT. We also supported the transfer of non-IT processes to cloud structures. The complexity of these ways for sure is big, but it is also manageable. One of the biggest challenges has always been to achieve clarity about the precise benefits that a cloud usage will bring to the company, what priorities should be set and what objectives/targets are wanted to be achieve by means of cloud usage.

This is where one of the first activities during the introduction of clouds in the company starts - the creation of a cloud vision and a cloud strategy. These considerations are not only basis for decision-making, but also a necessary orientation for employees and customers. The whole process is not only about changing technical and technological aspects, but also about further developing and changing the culture within the company. Not only the products are affected by the changes, but also every single employee.

Experience has shown that the objectives/targets can be derived very well by analyzing so called drivers. In the picture drivers and examples of cloud objectives/targets are shown as we experienced them in projects. They can be derived in a structured way and they are individually according to each company's circumstances.

 

It is important to get clarity right from the beginning: what is expected to be achieve by using clouds and into what overall environment it will be placed to. For this purpose, questions like

  • What value add is expected from cloud usage?
  • Which current requirements can be realized with cloud technology?
  • What is the current and targeted level of automation and standardization in the IT infrastructure?
  • Should a cloud first strategy always be preferred when the business case is positive?
  • Which competencies are available today and which are not?
  • What risks, but also opportunities, will arise for the business?
  • How it is possible to recognize that cloud is successfully introduced?

must be discussed and answered.

The creation of the cloud strategy is often in responsibility of the IT department and its governance role in the company. However, a cloud strategy is not an IT internal document, in the end it has an effect far beyond the boundaries of IT and thus actively influencing all types of business processes. A close and strategic coordination with all stakeholders is therefore very essential. In addition to internal stakeholders, there are also external ones, such as providers, suppliers and business partners. Especially the external non-IT stakeholders must not be forgotten, since their cloud readiness is also a criterion for determining whether it is possible to outsource processes or part(s) of them into the cloud.

In this context, it has been shown several times that the coordination and decisions for the cloud strategy must not take too long if it the wish to drive the development and change of existing markets or to prevent competitors to run much ahead. Moreover, the emergence of new competitors is often only made possible by the cloud - just think of how, for example, streaming services have made the business model of video stores obsolete or how online shopping is making the live of small city stores difficult.

All these aspects can be successfully addressed and solved - as HDP, we help to integrate precisely these points into a clear concept and ensure that it is implemented.

Another block of topics that must be considered at the early stage of cloud introduction is the security aspect. Data security plays a much bigger role in a cloud environment than when internal IT is responsible for operating applications and storing data in a local data center or server room. Legal requirements, access rights and protection against information loss or theft are central questions. This involves simple topics such as protection classes and data classification, but also the transfer of data via the network to the cloud, storage in the cloud, encryption and international and regional legal norms and laws. The cloud strategy is therefore a result in which besides IT the information security officer, the compliance officer and the legal department play a major role too.

The responsibility and added value of IT in a company lies in the clear management of this process of change. The procedure for developing and implementing a cloud strategy is shown in the figure. A more detailed description for this we have collected in our white paper "Cloud Strategy - Basis for Successful Cloud Use".

After the questions about the objectives, environmental conditions and principles have been answered, the cloud strategy has been formulated and backed up with appropriate measures and key projects, it must be checked how well the company is prepared to transfer the identified activities and processes into the cloud. Part of this work is evaluating the so-called cloud readiness. This is nothing more than an assessment of how well-prepared IT, processes, competencies and employees are to integrate cloud handled activities into existing processes and to work with them.

Gaps in the cloud readiness are specific to certain goals and can be addressed for different objectives/targets in parallel. Necessary interfaces must be identified, processes need to be adapted, competencies built up and last but not least, employees must be involved in the change way and trained in the proper usage of the new component.

In order to be able to show first successes quickly, "low hanging fruits" should be identified right from the beginning of discussions and alignments and these should be implemented first.

Regular monitoring of the implementation and an appropriate reporting to all stakeholders is an important function which, among other things, determines the success of the changes. The success factors defined at the beginning are now the standards to ensure a successful implementation.

 

HDP consulting services for cloud strategy:

  • Prepare and perform kick off workshop and initiation of project
  • Perform workshops to identify cloud objectives and targets
  • Perform risk assessment
  • Analysis of protection needs
  • Visualization of service provisioning by means of a sourcing map
  • Collection of interests and expectations of all stakeholders
  • Performance of workshops for strategy definition
  • Support in creation of the strategy document
  • Consulting for and realization of change management and communications
  • Performance of cloud readiness analysis and derivation of measures
  • Support in set up of cloud management structures