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Why stakeholder collaboration is key to your cloud success

Fri 21 Apr 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Cloud is for your entire business, not just your IT department.

It should unlock new ways of working, accelerate DevOps and agile practices, and define new processes in your organisation. However, adoption of the cloud often starts with the infrastructure team and fails to bring other key teams along on the journey.

This leaves the cloud as simply a new hosting provider and doesn’t unlock any exciting features like flexibility, agility or scale.

It’s easy to change this by bringing key stakeholders along on the cloud journey, right from the start. Best practice is to create a group of individuals that engage and evangelise cloud adoption within an organisation.

They should then collaborate with key teams along the way to ensure your cloud journey is faster, easier and more beneficial to your whole business.

Teams and areas that require collaboration:

Infrastructure

The cloud journey starts with the infrastructure team. Engaging them ensures your cloud environment is connected to existing services, uses technology that has a current support structure, and can be used by all departments in your business.

This team often manages the cloud budget and optimises the cost of cloud at an enterprise level.

Application teams

I see many cloud environments forgetting to involve the application teams and what ends up is a very secure and manageable cloud that no one is using.

Engaging your application teams provides direction for building foundational capability and sets a timeframe that needs to be achieved.

Procurement and Legal

Procurement can help you to set up the correct payment structures, manage payment processes and enterprise agreements with the cloud provider. Legal will help you understand your legal commitments.

Technology and Business Leadership

Support from the technology leadership and subsequent business leadership is critical in the cloud journey. There will be times when you will need your leadership’s support to push through roadblocks or bumps on the path.

Risk

Your risk team will help you identify risks that are material to your business, prioritise and put controls in place.

Cloud agreements are not the same as third party outsourcing agreements as the risk process is key in ensuring you understand the differences between your responsibility and the responsibility of your provider.

Finance

On-demand pricing and pay-for-use are the cornerstones in defining what is a ‘cloud’ and what is not.

Early engagement with your finance partner will help setup the budget, a process to manage and report dynamic billing, how to bill teams directly, and work out any exchange rate or tax implications. Implementing a tool like Stax can make this engagement much easier.

IT Security

The cloud journey allows for an uplift of current controls with the cloud provider’s tools, reduces the control points that need to be managed, and enables teams to embed controls while migrating.

While it is important not to change too many security controls, the journey to the cloud should improve your overall security position.

Don’t take old controls to the cloud – rather, take the underlying reason for a control and implement it for your new cloud technology and processes.

Service Management

For your first move to the cloud, your service management processes should remain similar to your current position. Over time they can improve with new features offered by the cloud.

Don’t leave engaging your IT service management (ITSM) team to last – they will be keen to understand what the cloud offers and how they can use it to simplify and improve their processes. 

Architecture

Your architecture team can help to select the first workload on your cloud journey, start to update their roadmaps and drive subsequent applications to the cloud. They help develop and shape the cloud for new workloads.

Operations

The cloud is the same as any other IT system – it requires people to run and support it. Engagement of your operational team on the journey ensures that they are trained and confident to take over support of the cloud and the applications that run in it.

Business and Investment

Your business and investment committees need to support and understand the benefits of moving to the cloud. This will ensure your migration project gets funding, and people can understand the importance of the move from a business enablement viewpoint.

Testing

Your testing teams need to be involved in understanding how to test on the cloud, and what new processes are available.

Partners and software providers

Your partners and providers should be engaged with your journey, either to understand how the new processes and services will be used or to replace partners with ones that are cloud-fit and can integrate with your models.

People and Culture

During the cloud journey, people’s roles will likely be adapted. Ensuring they have a clear understanding of the steps will remove anxiety and confusion from the team.

People may additionally need training and support to improve their capability in the cloud.

Bringing your stakeholders along the journey will accelerate cloud adoption and lead to a smoother project that delivers greater organisational benefit. The adoption of infrastructure and platform services has a greater impact than just technical processes.

These teams work around technology all the time and offer key insight and expertise that will support your journey.

Article by Tim Hope, technical director, Stax

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