We’re heading into the home stretch for 2011, about ready to hang the new 2012 calendar. Are you and your cloud strategy ready for the new year? Do you have a well-thought-through strategic plan for what you are trying to achieve? Are you sure that your cloud strategy is going to deliver real business value to your firm?
If these questions make you uncomfortable, chances are that your ducks are at least slightly misaligned right now. It might be a good time to use these few remaining end-of-year weeks to review your plans and see if you can kick them into high gear. The worst thing you could do in 2012 is spend a lot of time and effort executing to a cloud strategy that won’t deliver business value.
- Cloud is big. Cloud computing is not just Virtualization 2.0. It represents a tectonic shift in the IT landscape, of the same order as the Internet. You need to be asking yourself, “How am I going to exploit this change in order to gain competitive advantage for my firm?” If you aren’t doing that, you are running the risk of your competitors getting there first and gaining competitive advantage over you.
- Innovation is key. A key way to get competitive advantage with cloud computing is by unleashing your firm’s business people to utilize cloud computing resources to create new ways of making money, improving your firm’s performance, or engaging more deeply with your customers. We’d all like to think that we’re innovative. Many companies write the word “innovation” into their corporate mission statements. But few people or companies consciously create the right environment in which innovation can occur.
- Innovation requires direct, self-service access to resources. In order to enable innovation with IT resources, we have to get IT out of the way. That’s a hard step both for IT people and for the firm’s management. Typically, IT has been a control point in the firm’s governance strategy. This worked when the world moved at a slower pace. But now, that thinking is slowing you down. Your goal as a cloud strategist must be to put cloud-based resources directly into the hands of your business unit users, reducing the friction associated with the development of new ideas. You can’t force people to be innovative, but you can definitely quash their natural innovative tendencies. In order to step out of the way, you’re going to need systems that can help ensure your environment doesn’t get out of control. That’s cloud governance and policy management.
Take a look at the slides and check out a couple of clips (here and here) from my delivery at Cloud Expo itself. Make sure your plans are going to deliver significant strategic value and that you aren’t just executing a plain vanilla, Virtualization 2.0 strategy.
If you’d like to talk about your plans with some folks who have done this before, ServiceMesh can provide a great sounding board for you. We engage with companies about cloud strategy all the time and we can help ensure you’re thinking clearly. We can help you move up to the big leagues. Contact us.
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