What you should know: I am currently working for Nordcloud as Cloud Advisor, but any posts on this blog reflect my own views and opinions only.
This is the first part of a series of posts that will cover aspects of the business value of public cloud. It is intended to give an overview, other posts will go into details.
The digital landscape is rapidly evolving today, and businesses need to keep up with it to stay competitive and innovative. Public cloud technology has emerged as a powerful catalyst for change, offering organizations a wide range of benefits and opportunities beyond cost savings and operational efficiency. This blog post explores the stages of enterprise transformation that encompass IT infrastructure transition, IT transformation, lean and agile practices adoption, and a full-fledged business transformation. With each layer, organizations can unlock new possibilities and move closer to digital maturity.
As part of the journey to adopting public cloud with maximum impact, organizations must not only embrace new technologies, but also adjust their mindset, culture, and processes to realize their full potential. In the increasingly digital world, organizations can unlock the true power of the cloud by understanding and navigating these layers, revolutionizing their business models, fostering innovation, and ultimately ensuring long-term success.
Propelling Business Value: The Cloud Transformation Rocket
In the pursuit of digital transformation, organizations can liken their journey to the launch of a powerful rocket, with each stage propelling them closer to their ultimate goal. We can view the four layers of value generated from public cloud adoption as the distinct stages of this rocket, each providing the necessary thrust and momentum to move to the next level of digital maturity.
As we continue to explore the rocket stages analogy for public cloud adoption, let’s elaborate on the roles and characteristics of each stage, equating them to specific components of a spacecraft. This new perspective helps to emphasize the importance of each stage and how they work together to propel an organization towards digital maturity.
In the quest for digital transformation, organizations may approach their journey differently, depending on their existing IT infrastructure and requirements. While the four-stage rocket analogy provides a comprehensive view of the public cloud transformation journey, it’s important to note that not all organizations will require every stage.
Stage 1: (Optional) Booster Rocket (IT Infrastructure Transition)
In this optional initial stage, the IT transition from on-premises to equivalent cloud environments (“datacenter in the cloud”) acts as a booster rocket, giving companies an initial boost. It helps them break free from the constraints of their existing systems and prepares them for the next stages of their journey. Once the booster rocket has done its job, we can jettison it, allowing the organization to focus on the stages of enterprise transformation.
This stage is most relevant for enterprises facing a brownfield scenario and relying heavily on legacy IT infrastructure. Transitioning from on-premises to cloud (IaaS) environments helps these enterprises consolidate their IT infrastructure and reduce operational costs before moving to the next stages. Enterprises that have already embraced modern infrastructure or are starting from scratch can skip this phase and move directly to the next stage.
Stage 2: Engine Section (IT Transformation)
In the second stage, the spacecraft’s rocket engines are fueled by the transformation of IT towards cloud-native technologies. These innovative approaches, such as Platform as a Service (PaaS), Containerization, Function as a Service (FaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), supply the essential thrust for the subsequent stages. As organizations adopt these cloud-native solutions, they lay the groundwork for a more agile, scalable, and flexible IT infrastructure, better positioning themselves for success in the digital age.
Stage 3: Life Support Systems (Value Delivery Transformation)
The third stage emphasizes value delivery transformation, which seeks to optimize the flow of work and bolster business agility by implementing lean and agile practices. This stage acts as the life support system of the spaceship, ensuring that the organization can navigate the constantly shifting digital landscape with ease and resilience. By embracing methodologies such as DevOps, SRE, value stream management, and agile practices, organizations can streamline their workflows, deliver enhanced value to customers, and sustain an efficient digital backbone for their business operations.
In the context of a space journey, this stage provides the necessary resources and environment for the crew to adapt and excel in the vast expanse of space. Similarly, value delivery transformation equips organizations with the tools and processes needed to respond effectively to market changes, capitalize on new opportunities, and maintain a competitive edge in the digital era.
Stage 4: Navigation and Control (Business Transformation)
The final stage signifies the apex of the journey, as the organization accomplishes comprehensive business transformation through digitalization, innovation, or servitization. This stage acts as the spacecraft’s navigation and control system, directing the organization through the intricacies of the digital realm and ensuring it remains aligned with its strategic goals. In this phase, the organization capitalizes on the capabilities honed in the previous stages, blending them with advanced analytics, cutting-edge technologies, and strategic alliances to generate new revenue streams, deliver exceptional customer experiences, and secure long-term success in the digital era.
By navigating the complexities of the digital landscape with precision and foresight, organizations can chart a clear course towards their objectives. In the context of the space journey analogy, this stage helps the spacecraft maintain its trajectory and adapt to any changes in its environment, ensuring a successful mission outcome. Similarly, organizations that effectively leverage the synergies between Stages 2, 3, and 4 will be better equipped to thrive in the ever-evolving digital world and achieve lasting success.
The Flight Plan
Organizations must understand their public cloud transformation as a progressive, multi-stage ascent to digital maturity. Each stage serves a vital function in powering and guiding the organization toward its ultimate goal.
A successful cloud adoption journey hinges on a comprehensive understanding of the stages and the synergies between them. Developing a well-rounded strategy, including a robust roadmap, requires organizations to look beyond mere IT infrastructure and IT transformation. Focusing solely on the technological aspects can severely limit the potential for unlocking the true business value that cloud adoption has to offer.
To maximize the benefits of the cloud journey, organizations must consider the bigger picture and recognize the importance of all levels contributing to business outcomes. By aligning IT transformation (Stage 2) with value delivery transformation (Stage 3) and business transformation (Stage 4), organizations can create an environment that fosters innovation, agility, and growth. This holistic approach allows them to fully leverage the capabilities of cloud-native technologies and agile practices, ensuring that their cloud journey results in tangible, positive impacts on their business.
As a final thought, always remember that the cloud adoption journey is an ongoing process of learning, adapting, and optimizing. By understanding the interconnected nature of the core stages and continually evaluating and adjusting their strategies, organizations can ensure that their cloud journey remains aligned with their evolving business needs and objectives. This strategic approach will empower them to harness the full potential of the cloud and drive long-term business success.
Continue with Part 2.