Including cloud adoption into your overall business strategy
According to the Microsoft SMB Business in the Cloud 2012 report, many SMBs around the world want to boost their purchase of cloud solutions in the next five years. Looking forward, 50% of SMBs say cloud computing is going to become more important for their operations, and 58% consider that operating in the cloud can make them more competitive.
The companies that are going to purchase cloud solutions must understand that success in the cloud is 90% about business and 10% about technology. Although anyone can purchase cloud solutions, without understanding how they will assist the business strategy and without planning, the service will fail to add considerable value. Purchasing services in the cloud allows you to invest in resources that would be difficult to making the same investment in-house. Generally, it is more affordable and more efficient to purchase cloud solutions than it is to buy assets that will not be used at full capacity.
Cloud computing enables access to a wide range of virtual computing resources. While this advantage is driving the high demand for cloud services, some companies might end up purchasing more cloud services than they really need. Purchasing of unnecessary cloud solutions becomes a challenge as organizations move to the cloud. With the cloud, any department from a company can easily identify and purchase cloud solutions to address its specific needs. The virtual nature of the cloud makes it difficult to monitor what you’ve actually purchased at a departmental level.
You can get more out of your cloud investments if you strategically position and prepare your company for cloud. One way to do this is to incorporate cloud into your integrated business and IT strategy. You must develop an enterprise cloud adoption strategy to grow and stay competitive. It is also important to determine the “who, what, when, how and why” of IT purchasing before moving to the cloud and to establish a strong governance model to overcome the problems after implementing the cloud structure.
Cloud procurement is part of implementation planning, which is the final phase of cloud adoption strategy. Implementation arrangements are made with suppliers in this stage and contracts are signed in order to begin work efforts. Implementation planning includes also defining SLAs and selecting vendors. A cloud procurement plan should be performed to achieve that. Cloud provider selection takes place as a final task. Update of the cloud adoption plan is based on the actual vendors and SLAs agreed upon. Updating the plan with reasonable time lines and identifying key resources is the next step.
By understanding how the cloud adoption strategy links with integrated business strategy and by adopting an effective cloud purchase approach, you can ensure your company benefits from both the short- and long-term cost savings the cloud affords, driving your overall cloud success.
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