impACT grid – a new model for your cloud journey Cloud adoption

It is clear nowadays that IT is the backbone of every business. As Satya Nadella stated in 2019 – “Every company is now a software company”.

Over the years, businesses learned how to operate their environments and how to manage their workloads in a sustainable way.

These principles still apply to on-premises environments, but what we’ve learned in the past is that they don’t apply to the cloud. This becomes a more and more significant problem, considering the rapid pace of cloud adoption.

Key points

  • What is the common approach to cloud adoption, and what is wrong with it?
  • How to address the key mistakes?
  • What is the impACT grid?

The key lessons on cloud adoption

Working with businesses, which operate in different industries and various locations, we’ve learned that there are a few things they often have in common when it comes to cloud governance (or IT governance in general). Here are our top learnings:

  1. There are 3 main assets at every business:
  • Organization – people with processes and resources
  • Data – information about the past and insights into the future, gathered through the Organizational Wisdom
  • Technology – used to quickly and securely gain insights from this data, and facilitate the competitive edge in real-time.

These assets are often managed separately. That’s a mistake!

  1. The old truth about the weakest link in the chain is also valid when it comes to cloud adoption. There are companies that are super mature when it comes to data analytics, and at the same time super vulnerable when it comes to security or identity management (and vice versa).
  2. There are actually 2 simultaneous cloud journeys happening at every organization:
  • Internal adoption – using cloud-based tools and capabilities to support internal processes and allow teams to achieve more in the same amount of time
  • External adoption – meaning transforming products and services to overcome obstacles or to develop new business models and thus – get the upper hand.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m very happy to see companies adopting cloud and benefiting from this move, and I don’t want anyone to get discouraged. What I’m saying here is that you can still expect more and build your experience on the lessons of others.

What’s the typical approach to cloud adoption?

What we often observe is that companies start adopting the cloud with the first workload. In most cases, it is something that is crucial for business users. In the meantime, the IT team gathers the knowledge and experience about this new approach. They aim to effectively support and drive the change.

Then, another business unit comes to the table and requires (or installs on their own) another workload. And thus, piece by piece, the architecture becomes a mess. The well-ingrained on-prem principles can no longer be followed.

This quite often leads to confusion among IT teams on how to analyze such a state, how to move on from this place, and re-engineer the existing architecture.

This repetitive situation is connected to our 1st top learning about cloud adoption – the aforementioned key company assets are being managed separately, whereas culture, data, processes, and technology MUST get aligned in order to prevent disorder.

Basic rule – don’t try to achieve too much at once

I strongly support the approach of getting ideas to production in an agile way, without overthinking it upfront. That said, you still need to prevent your organization from chaos. You should start introducing the governance processes right after you begin working in the cloud.

Having a defined strategy doesn’t force you to get to the ultimate state overnight. You are always allowed to adjust it. However this way, you at least have a baseline to follow and drive the adoption in an organized way. Another old truth comes in handy here: Think big, start small.

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Cloud journey, redesigned

We’ve had many discussions about this issue at Predica and decided that there must be a way to structure the thinking and strategic planning on the company’s road to the cloud and its governance.

Our conclusion was that most companies underestimate the importance of organized cloud governance processes, such as:

  • demand management
  • security management
  • resource provisioning
  • resource monitoring
  • utilization settlement
  • capacity planning
  • regulations management
  • automation.

That’s how we came up with the impACT grid method, which got released last month as an e-book.

impACT grid is a detailed guide to structuring your journey to the cloud from different perspectives. It takes into account the company’s different assets, as well as internal and external adoption matters (this is to address my note about 2 simultaneous cloud journeys).

We’ve built the maturity model that allows organizations to position themselves on the grid. The columns of the grid are 5 levels of maturity (from Level 0 to Level 4). The rows are 6 dimensions of the organization. These dimensions are:

  • Strategy
  • Architecture and governance
  • Data management
  • Operations and process management
  • Financial management
  • Security and risk management

For instance, you can be on Level 3 (what we call Cloud-Savvy), when it comes to data management, but at the Cloud-Aware stage (which we consider to be Level 1) in the security layer. That’s how you can explore and identify those weakest links in the chain that I referred to earlier.

impact grid visualization

You can visualize the elements of your cloud approach as being on various levels of advancement

I wouldn’t say that every company needs to target Level 4, which is the highest position in our guide. But I definitely think that all base dimensions need to be aligned and in sync with each other.

The modern world’s life raft

I’m very excited to have this material released, especially during times marked by the Covid-19 outbreak.

I believe that now, more than ever, the IT industry has a vital mission to fulfill. We will either enable the world to maintain balance and develop the “new normal”, or we will struggle with a crisis. That said, to some extent, the IT industry carries the weight of the potential economic breakdown.

With that in mind, it is even more important to plan the strategy and execute it accordingly, in the most efficient way. And that’s where the impACT grid comes in.

Based on the early feedback on it, I strongly encourage you to download your copy. Get your insights and learn from it.

We hope to hear back from you and build the next editions with your contributions. We publish this content completely free at your disposal, so go ahead and make the best use of it!

Key takeaways
  1. There is a typical pattern where organizations struggle when it comes to cloud adoption: they manage their organization, data, and people separately, while all these assets should have aligned strategies.
  2. Your organization is only as strong as its weakest link. You can be advanced in some areas and still weak in others.
  3. Cloud adoption impacts a business in two ways – internally (people) and externally (products).
  4. impACT grid is a model, which helps organizations to position themselves on the grid (which consists of maturity levels and strategic business dimensions) and decide what should be their next move to achieve their goals.

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