3 questions to ask when building your cloud road map

The cloud is a valuable tool to help enhance storage capabilities, security and agility while also cutting costs. Unfortunately, many companies do not understand the steps involved in implementing a cloud initiative, or fail to develop a thorough transition plan. Fully evaluating your options for implementing a comprehensive cloud road map can help your organization realize the potential of the solution and how it can support your business goals. 

Many organizations also do not recognize the cloud’s inherent flexibility or the number of potential options. The cloud is more than just a generic, rigid solution. Instead, many different cloud solutions can be leveraged to develop a customized platform to fit your unique needs.

Cloud computing solutions take many different forms, including public cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, private cloud hosting services for regulated technologies, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms to replace your server room facilities.

With the amount of cloud options and differing levels of capabilities, organizations can struggle to find the right path to the cloud. However, there is a logical process for matching different parts of your information technology (IT) infrastructure to specific cloud solutions. Implementing the most appropriate road map can help reveal opportunities to improve performance and make more strategic technology investments.

Asking three important questions can help you begin developing your cloud road map:

  1. What technology support do you have in place and how are you using it? You must understand how technology is utilized within your organization and what you want to continue using in the cloud. Compile an inventory of your existing IT resources, including infrastructure, applications, staffing and security measures. Detail the locations of critical systems and how they are accessed, user roles, usage details and other key processes.
  2. What are your goals and where are your competitors? Evaluate the role technology plays in your overall business strategies and important growth initiatives. Take a close look at your IT strategy and how it aligns with your needs. Assess how your peers leverage technology and gather any available competitive intelligence to determine how your technology utilization compares. Consider what you need to be successful in the short and long term to keep pace with, or even outpace, the marketplace.
  3. How do you develop a logical sequence of events to meet your goals? Considering your current technology and goals, evaluate cloud options to determine how they can enhance your capabilities and productivity. Transitioning desired IT applications and infrastructure to the cloud is an established strategy for business success, but several important areas must be detailed, including implementation steps, a realistic timeline and key responsibilities.

Developing and implementing a cloud strategy may seem overwhelming, as there are several factors to consider, and effective implementation has become a critical element for business success. Working with a qualified advisor with significant cloud experience and a proven methodology can help you understand the available options and which ones fit your needs. The right advice and recommendations can provide peace of mind and help you develop a logical road map for a seamless transition.

RSM contributors

  • Lee Voigt