Today’s post is the second in a three part series on moving to the cloud, courtesy of guest contributor Matthew Johnson of Cloud Sherpas, one of CloudLock’s technology partners. Matthew Johnson is the Vice President of Global Cloud Advisory Services at Cloud Sherpas. Matt is an executive-level management consultant with 30 years of experience in the fields of sales and marketing effectiveness, strategic planning and business transformation. His background includes a career-long focus on managing changes surrounding the introduction of new technology into the organization. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Vermont and a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Valparaiso University.
Consider the Opportunities for Business Improvement
Moving to the cloud is an important opportunity for IT. It can improve agility and, as I discussed last week, turn security from a liability into a benefit. But it’s also a big opportunity for the business.
The cloud opens a lot of doors for business users, putting applications that can help them work smarter and do their jobs better right at their fingertips. It’s up to IT to help the business take advantage of these opportunities.
In order to truly drive business improvement, you need to look to the future. Focusing on past needs will only maintain the status quo. Use the move to the cloud as an opportunity to imagine what the future holds.
Survey your users and evaluate your current processes to determine where the shortcomings lie and how they can be improved. Additionally, think beyond the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. While certain processes may be “fine” currently, will the same still hold true down the line? Take any opportunity you can to bring your processes into the future and stay one step ahead.
Outline Your Requirements
Use this new knowledge to outline your requirements, including desired capabilities, to support these new business processes. As you do so, be sure to clearly communicate these requirements and your end goals to key stakeholders across the business. Ensuring alignment early on will be key to your ultimate success in this transformation.
Based on this outline, you can begin to determine which applications will be best positioned to support your users and these business changes. Whether it’s improved communication and collaboration, tighter engagement, better data or anything else, there are plenty of options out there. It’s a matter of determining which is the right fit for your business and its users in the long run.
Don’t Fear the Unknown
Again, I’d like to take a moment to talk about security here. Every time you introduce a new application, you likely ask a handful of questions regarding security — and you should. Just because security changes in the cloud, doesn’t mean this behavior needs to change. What does need to change though are the questions you ask.
As you provide your business users with new cloud applications, make sure you understand what other applications and APIs they might connect to that initial solution and how you can protect the data that solution houses.
While there are countless applications that users might add to the mix here, with the right mindset and data monitoring tools in place, you can think of this as a further opportunity for business improvement, not a threat.
Ready to learn more about the opportunities for business improvement in the cloud? Check out this white paper to uncover seven key cloud transformation factors: Transforming Your Business in the Cloud