Cloud Strategy series, part 2: Aligning cloud strategy with your Business goals
In his first blogpost in this series, Sogeti Cloud expert Vikas Kumar highlighted 8 top building blocks to build a solid cloud strategy. In this follow-up blogpost he dives deeper into the first building block - Aligning your Cloud Strategy with your Business Goals. What exactly needs to be aligned, how to manage complexity and is it possible to manage the strategy in an agile way? Here are his five cents on this topic.
In today’s world of disruptive, competitive, and turbulent business environment, the key to success lies in the degree of congruence between IT and Business Goals. More than 40% of business leaders feel that their strategic goals are not adequately supported by their IT functions. Two of the top three expectations for CIOs are to align to business strategy and to transform business processes.
Necessity of aligning to Business Goals
The very survival of the business depends on the success of achieving its goals and technology is the backbone of this race. The end customer for every organization is only interested in the value and it is the business function which creates that value. Cloud is only an enablement to create that value.
Organizations that do not adapt loose their competitive edge over time and disappear.
Complexities of aligning
CIO’s tend to fall in the trap of having a list of ‘’TO DO’s’’ from backlog of projects, applications or workload migrations or some new development and call it a ‘cloud strategy’. This is often because business functions are given more importance in the organization and the IT organization becomes a ‘order taker’ rather than an enabler.
CEO’s and CIO’s needs to co-own both the business goals and enablement goals to achieve a maximum degree of alignment. It takes two to tango…
Areas of Alignment
Aligning your cloud strategy with the business goals is a process of continuous change; an incremental series of ‘learn and do’ cycles and a perfect alignment might be a long journey however the following actions could be a nice start for same:
- Strategic Alignment: It is imperative that the journey starts by identifying business drivers. Once you identify the business drivers, the cloud portfolio and budget can be directly tied to the business community.
- Operational Alignment: Once you have the strategic alignment of what needs to be done, this is more about how. Here you define the target operating model, Target skills requirement/gaps and evaluate implementation options. I shall share more details around this element in my blog for ‘designing cloud operation model’. Stay tuned!
- Time Alignment: Once you have figured out about ‘what & how’, the next important question to be answered in ‘when’. This is needed to get ‘in sync’ with the business on major releases, events etc. This is where you detail out a migration plan. I shall share more insights about in my upcoming next blog over ‘journey & adoption’.
- Budget or Financial Alignment: This enables you to do budget allocation in the order of priority towards cloud consumption, acquiring skills etc.
- Cultural Alignment: Cloud changes the ways of working in the organization and the magnitude of this change can scare the most important asset of your company, your people. Hence managing this organizational change requires great skills and a collaborative effort from both business and IT organization.
Achieving the first Cycle
While we learned that achieving this alignment is a continuous process, the first cycle can be achieved by following simple steps of: -
- Identifying the business drivers
- Gap assessment
- Evaluating alignment initiatives
- Re-defining priorities to adjust cloud strategy
- Plan and run pilots
It is important to follow the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle in an agile way to keep improving the degree of alignment. The organization must view cloud as an instrument to transform the business.
Journey towards cloud nine?
I hope my views were able to help your thoughts towards aligning business goals with the cloud strategy. While I successively will dive deeper into the remaining key building blocks connected to building a solid cloud strategy, I am always available for a deeper discussion around any topic around cloud adoption.
Stay tuned for upcoming blogposts or feel free to reach out to me directly.
- Vikas KumarCloud Practice Head, Branch Stockholm
073-023 53 17
Vikas KumarCloud Practice Head, Branch Stockholm
073-023 53 17