More and more enterprises are shifting their applications to cloud. However there is a great amount of confusion and lack of matured cloud strategy. Cloud adoption is on the rise across all industry verticals but unfortunately many companies are still in the process of designing mature cloud strategies according to a recent survey by IDC. In fact, a meager three percent of the respondents confirmed to have optimized cloud strategies in place. 

              

Lack of mature cloud strategies

It is also disturbing to note that almost fifty percent of the surveyed population confirmed to depend upon ad-hoc strategies. Considering the extensive penetration of cloud based applications in many enterprises, lack of a properly optimized cloud strategy can result in major issues in longer run impacting the success of projects that are based on cloud solutions. 

There are three categories of enterprises who have embraced cloud based solutions. The majority of companies have not developed any type of cloud strategy while some are banking on opportunistic or ad-hoc strategies and negligible population have their optimized cloud strategies in place. 

Understanding effects of ad-hoc cloud strategies

There are multiple reasons why enterprises adopt ad-hoc cloud strategies. Companies implement cloud on project by project basis or the speed of adopting cloud and a spread out structure of data center contracts are some of the factors that may force companies to adopt opportunistic cloud strategies. 

In spite of a plethora of reasons to have ad-hoc cloud strategies the consequences are common. These can include absence of reliable and consistent financial data for the purpose of tacking, presence of cloud projects that are isolated and lack common standards. There is no possibility of resource sharing across teams and learning that could enhance efficiencies. 

Ad-hoc strategies can be useful for experimenting with multiple platforms. These are mostly used in isolated cases such as Center of Excellence or by DevOps teams. It is expected that the best strategies are cascaded across the IT infrastructure. It is observed that in spite of sporadic success of such experiments many companies are not sure about implantation process in terms of expanding the usage of successful strategies.
 
Underestimation of efforts and costs

Thanks to some of the marketing strategies of cloud vendors that focus on ‘simplified’ maintenance of cloud infrastructure, majority of enterprises feel that there is little or no presence of infrastructure maintenance. In short, it implies that the maintenance of cloud infrastructure will be very easy. 

There is a widespread feeling among most of the IT decision makers that there is a gross underestimation of efforts and costs need to maintain cloud infrastructures resulting in lack of initiative by the leadership to design a dedicated plan for resources and manpower to help IT teams design and operate cloud systems with high scalability and availability. 

This underlies the need for enterprises to focus on management and governance of cloud deployments rather than deciding about when and where to adopt cloud in the organization. Continuing with ad-hoc cloud strategies can be severely detrimental to the success of cloud adoption in the organization that could impact all projects that rely on cloud. 

             

Highlights of matured cloud strategy 

Optimized or matured cloud strategy can be designed by using in-house IT resources or companies can engage short term strategic management consultancy. Alternatively, organizations can explore long term cloud management solution providers. It is vital to understand relevance of a resilient framework for cloud management, large scale DevOps, and automation as the cloud continues to mature. 

Businesses need to brace themselves with ability to transform and adapt to the convergence of digital empowerment and an ‘always available’ culture. Cloud adoption is not just an advanced IT segment nor should it be measured in terms of cost of ownership. 
Companies need to design matured cloud strategies to drive agility and business innovation. Cloud adoption must be able to enable new processes and innovations that were hitherto impossible. 

In conclusion

Given the fact that cloud computing is the basis of digital business, it surprising to know that less than one third of the organizations have a clearly defined cloud strategy. Cloud strategy must be able to define clearly the projected outcomes of business and the precise road map to reach to the business goals. An optimized cloud strategy helps businesses mitigate delays to accelerate the process of achieving the desired business objectives.