Cloud strategy antipatterns

Customers often experience antipatterns during the Strategy phase of cloud adoption. These antipatterns can complicate the alignment of IT and business strategies. These antipatterns also make measuring the success of cloud projects more difficult.

Antipattern: Adopt the cloud without establishing goals

Many companies announce cloud-first or cloud-only strategies. But, they don't clearly define what they want to achieve with those strategies. Few cloud projects can succeed without concrete KPIs and goals. It's impossible to measure project performance without indicators or specified targets.

Example: Migrate to the cloud without defining goals

A corporation's closest competitor launches a cloud-only strategy. The competitor's goal is to accelerate business by having all systems in the cloud within a year. The corporation doesn't want to trail behind. The corporation's directors begin strategic discussions on how to adopt the cloud quickly. But, they don't define any concrete success criteria like reducing costs or improving system performance.

The corporation's first system migrates to the cloud. The directors can't check whether their cloud strategy is successful because they never defined what they wanted to achieve.

Preferred outcome: Define goals and KPIs

Define concrete KPIs when discussing your reasons for adopting the cloud. Then you'll be able to measure how successful your strategy is. You'll also know whether you can use the same strategy for other projects. See Why are we moving to the cloud? to learn more about motivations for cloud adoption.

Antipattern: Fail to communicate motivations

Cloud adoption journeys can fail when motivations or cloud adoption triggers are misaligned within a company. A business might see major benefits in adopting the cloud but fail to communicate these adoption triggers to IT. This problem even comes up when these motivations influence the company's IT strategy, not just its business strategy. Without alignment or documented motivations, cloud journeys often fail.

Example: Fail to communicate benefits

A corporation starts using the cloud when its managing board announces a cloud-first IT strategy. But, the board doesn't explain how the strategy benefits the company. The IT and business departments aren't certain why they're adopting the cloud. This uncertainty leads to a lack of focus, meaning the departments fail to work toward this common goal. Hesitancy about adopting the cloud increases, especially within IT. Because the IT strategy has poorly defined goals, that strategy comes under scrutiny, leading to more questions than answers.

Preferred outcome: Define and communicate reasons for cloud adoption

Decide why you want to adopt the cloud. Then clearly define your reasons and communicate them throughout the company. Your IT and business departments will then accept cloud adoption more readily. You can also use these motivations to influence technical decisions in later stages of the cloud adoption journey. Before justifying a move to the cloud, review cloud migration myths.

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