Once the cloud roadmap has been defined, the cloud projects should be initiated immediately.
Selecting the right Cloud Solutions
The key driver for cloud solutions are the business benefits and the business units should be the owner of the project - yet the alignment of the cloud solutions with the IT Strategy is critical. The lesson learned from early cloud solutions, implemented by the business “under the radar of IT”, is that the integration and extension of cloud solutions into the existing landscape can be costly and time-consuming, negating the expected benefits!
This requires a clear understanding of which projects require IT participation and which platforms or providers are preferred, if any. A “white space” of functions, organizations or countries that don’t require IT participation can be valuable!
Rapid time-to-value requires a rapid selection process! As a starting point for each initiative, the top three to four providers should be identified based on IT guidelines, experience with existing solutions or (brief) market research. These providers should be compared with the focus on the key business benefits, as during the roadmap exercise. Which provider is most likely to deliver the benefits within the time and cost constraints given? It simplifies the process to remember that you are planning to rent a solution, not buy it!
How is Cloud Project Execution different?
The key differentiator for cloud solutions is that they can be consumed on day one of the project, leaving the remainder of the project timeline to make adjustments as needed! This is a significant shift in mindset and needs to be reflected in the project approach.
The business owner and project manager should focus the team on ensuring the delivery of the key benefits, and secondarily allowing for as many adjustments as time and resources allow.
Agility is the number one driver for cloud projects - and to maintain that agility, the project team needs to be small, the phases of the project need to be short and the approach needs to be simple: Your “proven software methodology” will not do! The project should start with a brief prepare phase to ensure that the business and project team have a common understanding of the business scenarios in scope, how the solution will deliver the target benefits and what integration and extension is required to deliver the results.
From this common understanding, multiple parallel tracks can be launched to collect the needed data, build the required integrations and extensions and fine-tune the solution to deliver as many nice-to-have benefits on top of the committed results.
Once the solution tracks are complete, the new elements of the solution can be tested: the data, integration, extension and infrastructure, as well as the readiness of the users to consume the solution. Because the solution is ready for consumption on day one and works out of the box, detailed functional testing is not really required!
Project administration is overrated!
The nature of cloud solutions also allows for minimized project administration. The time-tested approach to plan, design and build is replaced by consume, trial and error! Any task that does not contribute to the business benefits should be eliminated.
Once the integrated solution delivers acceptable benefits, the consumption should start! Done is better than perfect, value should be delivered as soon as possible and optimization can increase the benefits delivered over time!
Get started today - you can start the transformation of your organization leveraging cloud solutions today. Contact us to review the approach remotely via WebEx as a first step. A Cloud Roadmap workshop with key business representatives can take as little as 1 day, delivering the first tangible results quickly. Contact us!
Find out how other companies have transformed their business and delivered value quickly. Read Cloud Success Stories