Nearly every organization relies on cloud computing, but many organizations still lack a cloud strategy or even a cloud implementation plan. Organizations that maintain a cloud strategy (and corresponding documentation) are more likely to benefit from cloud transformations than organizations that lack a clear vision for cloud.

In short, a cloud strategy serves as a guide that enables an organization to get the most out of their cloud adoption while mitigating the potential for instrument failure and negative business impact. In this article, we’ll discuss common cloud strategy mistakes and provide insights that will help you avoid them…

Top cloud strategy mistakes

1. The most common cloud strategy mistake that organizations make is assuming that the strategy only concerns IT. In reality, cloud adoption affects nearly all business units. Departments such as HR, legal, finance and procurement may have uses for cloud that IT professionals may not be aware of. If your organization has an IT-only cloud strategy, update the strategy’s ‘living document’ to reflect all cloud-based business needs.

2. Lack of cloud exit strategy. A cloud exit strategy enables an organization to downscale cloud usage, if needed. While many organizations see cloud exit strategies as superfluous, such plans can help your organization change providers or engage in other strategic cloud-related decisions as technologies, processes and business priorities evolve.

3. Combining or conflating a cloud strategy with a cloud implementation plan. People commonly refer to a cloud implementation plan as a cloud strategy. Yet, an implementation plan is typically a bit more technical than a strategy. (It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 pages longer when written out).

A cloud strategy should be developed ahead of a cloud implementation plan. A cloud implementation plan enables an organization to put a cloud strategy into effect.

4. Buying into the myth that it’s too late to devise a cloud strategy. If already set-up in the cloud, organizations may believe that it’s too late to roll out a cloud strategy. But experts argue that it’s better too late than never.

IT leaders should ask themselves why they’ve elected to use cloud computing, and investigate the role of cloud in the organization’s larger development journey. Assess impact, mistakes, and lessons learned, recording the information in a cloud strategy document. A cloud strategy document can help your organization make progress as new leaders, ideas, and business needs enter the picture.

5. Assuming that a cloud strategy means moving everything to the cloud. If organizations assume that a cloud strategy means moving everything to the cloud, it also commonly means that organizations assume that cloud must be used across all aspects of the enterprise.

A cloud strategy should describe which workloads are moving to the cloud, but should also describe where they are and aren’t going – in a detailed way.

6. Conflating a cloud strategy with a data center strategy. Cloud strategies and data center strategies should stay separate, but aligned. This point is particularly relevant for organizations that have decided to consolidate or eliminate data centers.

Cloud strategy decisions should be made workload by workload, not data center (all or nothing) decisions. While the primary cloud providers now allow organizations to “lift and shift” a given data center, it’s critical to recognize that this is more relevant to the execution of a data center strategy than a cloud strategy.

7. Perceiving that an executive mandate represents a strategy. Many organizations switch to cloud computing because a member of the C-suite believes that doing so will create a more agile and cost-optimized business. While cloud computing can save money, it doesn’t always. General perceptions alone should not be the reason for a cloud transformation.

A cloud computing strategy should focus on achieving specific business outcomes. If your cloud strategy is not based around achieving specific business outcomes, consider updating your strategy now.

Further thoughts

An effective cloud strategy means fewer roadblocks during cloud adoption. It also means that organizations can optimize for business benefits.

Achieve success with your cloud. For more strategic cloud insights, click here. Further, for the latest cloud security insights, see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage.

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