02 June 2016
While it’s important to recognise that not all good strategies succeed, the odds are stacked against you when business and IT strategies are not properly aligned, planned and executed.
Indeed, the results of ‘bad’ strategy are clear to see: migrations that are never fully or successfully executed; failure to meet compliance and security requirements; that are inadvertently invalidated; or a sudden realisation that the services you thought you were getting are not actually what’s being delivered (despite what the supplier had promised).
We need to join up our creative thought processes and apply our knowledge of our business in order to formulate a strategy for business and IT. And nowhere more so than in cloud deployments.
Here, a bad strategy may look something like this: ‘We are going to take all of our business into the cloud’. It’s easy to imagine and create that vision, but where is the application of knowledge and experience? Where’s the systematic science of studying the IT world in taking this approach? How can a business actually achieve this and why would it want to do it? What are the benefits and risks?” Without asking and answering such questions, we cannot simply make a statement and expect a successful outcome.
Strategy needs to come from the bottom up and not the top down. To gain the insight and to fully understand all of the benefits and all of the risks, one must simply ask for help – engage others, internally and externally, but also take responsibility for having a strategy and the planning and execution of it. In fact, it’s essential to direct and empower others to deliver. But don’t just come up with an idea and tell everyone else to go do it.
Ultimately, cloud strategy means understanding all of the possible outcomes, the risks, the benefits, the opportunity cost and the impact to others and how they feel. A good strategy is one that everyone understands – not only what it is, but also the why, how and when.