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Three factors to consider when designing your organization for the cloud
Feb. 3, 2016 12:45 AM
Cloud adoption across enterprises is accelerating and this momentum will continue to be a core focus for many organizations in 2016. Realizing we are still in the early stages of the cloud migration tsunami is both exciting and scary at the same time.
When it comes to the cloud, unprecedented opportunities lie ahead that can be capitalized upon. There is also a serious threat of being left behind if not well prepared. Cloud enabled IT will percolate throughout all parts of the enterprise in some form or another. Every single aspect of IT - including server infrastructure, networks, storage, application development, packaged apps, and applications management - will all be touched and transformed by the cloud in short order.
Several underlying lead indicators enabling this massive shift include:
- Widespread movement of enterprise transformation to digital powered by mobile, social and technology delivering personalized experiences to meet the ever-growing demand of super-empowered consumers.
- Every noteworthy tech company having an offering today that supports cloud with growing revenue share stemming from this offering.
- Continued adoption of methodologies like design thinking and agile development requiring automation, self-service and rapid deployments to support short life cycles.
There is a critical need for enterprises to reimagine how to structure themselves to best take advantage of the cloud. Organizations need to consider applying the following so that they can take advantage of the cloud's potential:
1. Decentralize adoption to unleash innovation
To realize the full potential of something as fundamentally transformational as the cloud, it's important to unleash the power of cloud with super empowered line-of-business teams. Those teams closest to the customer action should be positioned to take advantage of these opportunities. For a product / services organization, every department or a service offering should have a cloud-based variant of their offering to bring to market.
For example, a marketing team should be able to put together a quick campaign before the launch of an upcoming product release. With cloud-enabled technology and tools, the number and scale of such campaigns can be put together in days that otherwise could have taken months.
Additionally, an applications management division or an infrastructure management division of an IT services company should have a cloud offering to supplement their traditional services to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the space
2. Federate governance
With any decentralized cloud adoption strategy, there comes an increased threat of security, governance and compliance, among other issues. The model of standards, governance and compliance teams that will establish systems and processes that line-of-business teams would need to comply with becomes paramount. The current CIO / IT organizations could become the custodians and enforce these standards without constraining the ability of the innovators in the customer front line. For a services organization, a cloud governance board could be tasked with bringing the new technology-driven innovations, repeatable best practices and platform partnerships that empower and strengthen the decentralized adoption with proper checks and balances.
3. Embrace an automation economy
With a massive move to cloud, governance, standards, release management and execution efficiency of digital transformation projects cannot happen without a widespread proliferation of codified and repeatable best practices around automation. A learning organization design should feed off of the operational data and fine tune the codified best practices around key business processes like release management, auto scaling, infrastructure and applications management, just to name a few. The core team led by a CIO's organization could lead the innovation around automation and the data-led response to business needs.
In essence, the key for an enterprise to be successful in today's economy is to empower and unleash the creative innovation of its people to meet and exceed the expectation of clients. For this to happen, enterprises need an organizational structure in place that encourages innovation without burdening too many processes. The key to that is enabling an organization structure that increases the pace of innovation by having systems which encourage low cost, high volume and high value innovation, all while taking advantage of the power of the cloud.