Five Tips for Developing your Cloud Strategy

Now that COVID19 has driven everyone to the safety of their homes, many organizations realize that they don’t have an effective cloud strategy.  Let me re-phrase that, they don’t have ANY cloud strategy.

You need one.  My crystal ball broke, so I can’t tell you what the future looks like, but I think it is safe to say, there will be more employees working from home.

What is a cloud strategy?  Is it a simple manifesto that states we will store everything in the cloud?  You probably have a strategic plan.  A cloud strategy is a strategic plan focused on handling digital assets and artifacts.  It shouldn’t stand alone but it should be a supporting piece of the overall strategic plan.


1.  Get more than IT’s input

One of the worst things you can do is develop a cloud strategy with only the IT group’s input.  It needs to be holistic and take into account the needs and requirements of all aspects of the business.

What are the needs of the manufacturing floor?  How will data be transferred to the cloud from the many sensors attached to equipment and machines?  Is it a better option to use edge computing for this information?

What are the needs of the legal team?  Procurement?  Sales and marketing?  Customer service, etc.  Some information collected by these departments is confidential.  Is the cloud the right place for this information?

2.  Cloud strategy is not an implementation plan

Developing a strategy for deploying cloud methodologies comes first.  It lays out the strategic elements and needs of the different users.  It is less technical and more developmental than the implementation plan.

The implementation plan, like all implementation plans, includes steps, milestones, technical validations, testing, etc.  It is the “how-to” or roadmap of deploying the cloud strategy.

3.  It’s not too late to develop your cloud strategy

Your IT team might have had to scramble starting in March 2020.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to develop a well thought out cloud strategy now.  Take the time to be thorough.  The recent change provides you with a better picture of what your needs will be in the future.

4.  “We’re moving everything to the cloud”

That might sound awesome, but not everything belongs in the cloud.  Some businesses can’t have information stored in the cloud.

I do a lot of work in the aerospace supply chain.  Think machine shops.  Many have been discouraged by their Prime customers in the aerospace and defense arena against storing their information in the cloud.  Several Primes have told them they can’t store the primes information in the cloud.

While it sounds great, it might not be a reality for your business.  Use your cloud strategy to ensure you understand what you can and can’t do regarding this.

5.  We’re guaranteed savings

You might save money, you might not.  Automatically assuming your company will see huge savings is something to be cautious about.

Yes, maybe you won’t have the on-premise infrastructure costs, but you will have off-premise storage and data costs.  Why do you think AWS (Amazon’s) cloud storage makes up 13% of their sales and 62% of their operating income?

I hope you consider these five elements as you develop the cloud strategy for your organization.

As always, it’s an honor to serve you and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little bit better today.

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