Once a company has fully adopted the cloud at both technical and operational levels after the build and scaleup phases, it is common to make the mistake of thinking that the only way to generate additional value is through incremental optimization steps.
While this approach may be effective in the short term, it can lead to „cloud rigidity,“ where the company is unable to take advantage of new cloud technologies from other providers. Rapidly adopting new services or features from other providers can lead to significant value generation.
To avoid the “cloud rigidity” trap, companies need to have a team of „cloud innovation champions“ who are fully educated on cloud services, processes, and advantages, but who are not strongly biased by the framework and standards that have been created to scale the cloud transformation journey.
These champions typically are not included in the Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE), to avoid any kind of bias.
Their mandate is to test newly released or updated cloud services with a “pilot-like” approach, using dedicated accounts and playgrounds with limited standardization enforcement.
The champions are there to challenge the existing status quo, identify new features with proven business value and engage the CcoE to ensure these features are included in the existing framework.
This must be done even though it could result in the dismission of a previously selected and adopted cloud capability.
Companies should ensure that this group of people is fully supported during this highly valuable and complex mandate, meaning that certifications, attendance to Content Security Policy (CSPs) events, workshops and forums should be sponsored as well as included in their objectives. The necessary amount of effort should also be protected for these key objectives.
Every technology area that is strongly linked to the business value chain needs to be overseen by a designated champion, with the clear mandate of challenging the status quo with the introduction of new capabilities. These areas typically include, but are not limited to, process automation, data management and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and security.
At this stage of the journey, the company’s cloud expertise, processes and culture are mature enough to efficiently introduce a multi-cloud approach. Champions scouting for relevant new capabilities and technologies should go beyond the offering of the foundational CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) selected at the beginning of the transformation. They should instead explore and compare the most significant offerings by the other CSPs in the market. This shift is pivotal to maximize the cloud value, as it allows leveraging vertical and distinctive cloud capabilities from different players to enhance the foundational CSP offering.
The innovation phase has no end, both sides (incremental optimization and disruptive innovation) will continue if the cloud remains the company’s technology backbone, and if the company will consider the cloud as a business value driver, rather than a tech enabler.
The key to a successful cloud journey is empowering teams and establishing a culture of experimentation and learning.
Adopting cloud technology is essential for businesses to unlock new value and remain competitive, but the journey can be complex and fraught with drawbacks.
Leaders must create an environment where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn and improve, and where teams are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to drive and control the journey.
This includes establishing an agile organization, redesigning processes, and upskilling resources for strategic skills such as FinOps.
By adopting a stepwise and holistic approach, businesses can mitigate common risks and fully unlock the immense value that the cloud offers, ensuring they stay ahead in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape.
Find out how to master all the three phases in our article series.
The Road to Cloud SuccessLearn More
How to master cloud journeys and unlock their full value
The Road to Cloud Success: Build a Strategic ApproachLearn More
In the first part of our series you can find out how to set a robust strategic foundation for your cloud journey mastering target design, migration strategy and cloud risk management.
The Road to Cloud Success: Scale-up Your Cloud MigrationsLearn More
Find out how to level up your cloud migration in the second part of our series.