/ TMCPR: BUILDING THE BUSINESS CASE

The Motivations and Grande Opportunities

Unleash the power of the cloud in your organisation. Leverage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Venture into uncharted territory. Here’s how.

This article is part of the limited preview of the “The Missing Cloud Programme Roadmap”, a generic roadmap for any enterprise cloud adoption programme.

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The Cloud and Enterprises
  3. The Missing Cloud Programme Roadmap
    1. The Cloud Programme Roadmap
    2. The First Iteration of The Cloud Programme Roadmap
    3. The Unavoidable Disclaimer
    4. The Roadmap for The Missing Cloud Programme Roadmap
    5. The Manual for the Missing Manual
    6. Building the Business Case
      1. Key Achievements
      2. The Definition of Cloud
      3. The Rationale for the Cloud Programme
        1. The Motivations and Grande Opportunities
          1. Improving the Status Quo
          2. Leveraging One-Off Opportunities
        2. The Anticipated Outcomes
        3. The Broader Picture
        4. The Business You’re In
      4. Managing the Message
      5. Securing Regulatory Approval
      6. Connecting With Your Peers
      7. Recording Outcomes: The Cloud Manifesto
    7. Starting the Cloud Programme
    8. Iteratively Building the Delivery Pipeline
    9. Iteratively Executing the Delivery Pipeline
  4. A Cloudy Future

The Rationale for the Cloud Programme

With an unambiguous, common, and organisation-wide definition of “the cloud” established, the next step is to honestly and realistically fathom out the organisation’s rationale for adopting it in the first place.

This includes finding out both why the organisation should leverage the cloud as well as what the anticipated outcomes are. The answers to those questions then form the very basis of the ensuing cloud programme — or its cancellation in case the outcome is cloud-negative.

The Motivations and Grande Opportunities

An organisation’s workforce might be driven by countless motivations or believes around why their organisation should or should not be adopting the cloud.

More importantly, the organisation itself needs to have a clear and defined set of motivations for adopting the cloud; overlaps with the workforce’s motivations are opportunities but not obligations.

On a map of potential states of the organisation, the organisation’s motivations then provide the strategic locations that are going to keep the entire cloud programme focussed on the road to delivering the overarching vision. So,

Why should the organisation adopt the cloud in the first place? Or not.

Note that this question is deliberately phrased to keep the outcome open. In order to remain open to all potential outcomes on the quest for a resounding answer, take a scientific approach!

Evaluate all options and actively look for disconfirming evidence. Confirming evidence will eventually manifest itself! In most cases, this means to mainly focus on why not to go to the cloud, as adopting the cloud can seem all to alluring.

Also, use real data (where available) when making assertions, ultimately taking a data driven approach. Instead of the story-and-myth based approach that’s still common in some places. Oh, and don’t make up the data if you can’t find any!

The outcome of this section is a document which allows to make an informed decision whether the organisation should be adopting the cloud or not — and why. While the document represents a point in time snapshot, its structure allows to rapidly generate new versions using updated data points, thus providing a generic cloud evaluation template for the organisation.

For this, the information generated in this section needs to be captured in a re-usable format, describing the general though process, the assessment framework, and the collected data points.

Improving the Status Quo

Given the cloud is such a grande opportunity, why not start off by thinking bold and asking

If the cloud was a magic wand, what problems should it make go away?! In which order?!

While it’s tempting to shoot for the moon, a reasonable answer to the above most likely starts closer to home in the form of an honest and realistic assessment of the status quo. Guiding questions here to keep the net results of a potential cloud adoption positive are

  • What’s wrong with what you have at the moment? Problems can depend on circumstances and the cloud might not be able to fix them after all. Rather make them worse. Correctly identifying and categorising problems in terms of their resolution by a cloud adoption is vital in order to keep the net result positive; if in doubt, then the cloud will most likely make the problem worse.
  • Could it be that you’re actually chasing a trend? Candidates in early 2021 are still the cloud itself, micro services, event driven architectures, or containerisation to only name a few. If you find yourself indeed chasing a trend: Start with Why?!
  • What’s working well that you would like to keep? Any programme can and will introduce changes to existing solutions or processes. Identifying the pieces to keep is crucial in order to only change those that need improvement without loosing the ones worth holding on to. In other words: Don’t fix what isn’t broken. But then you already knew that.
  • What would need to change in order to make the cloud a reality? This questions aims at the visible, hidden, and unexpected dependencies as well as their sometimes far reaching implications. In our experience, dependencies have the potential to exponentially increase the complexity of any cloud programme. Especially, when ignoring or working around them.
  • How much change can the organisation absorb? Any programme is going to introduce changes. Given the cloud programme is an organisational transformation programme, it is going to introduce changes to almost every aspect of the organisation, sometimes with far reaching impact. The organisation needs to be able to embrace those changes for the better while simultaneously maintaining steady and stable business operations. Correctly identifying the capacity and then managing it with a sufficient buffer is crucial to avoid a collapse.

The key ingredient in finding resounding answers to all of the above questions is honesty, realism, and pragmatism. Struggles at this early stage can be indicators that bigger troubles are ahead. The choice to push forward is all yours.

Leveraging One-Off Opportunities

Apart from improving the status quo, there are also much broader one-off opportunities that might be unlocked as a side effect of adopting the cloud. They also need to be taken into consideration when building the business case.

As the cloud might be a once-in-a-generation opportunity, it pays dividend to think outside the box and venture beyond traditional areas of improvement. Hence,

Investigate how solutions available in the cloud might help solve business problems that cannot be resolved at the moment.

Thus, turning existing problems into new opportunities and ultimately

Turn the transformational burden of adopting the cloud into a grande opportunity for the organisation as a whole.

Questions helping to identify those opportunities are

  • What are existing problems or pain points in other parts of the organisation or the organisation as a whole?
  • What’s generally slowing down other parts of the organisation or the organisation as a whole?
  • Which novel cloud solutions would allow to solve the above problems?
  • Which novel cloud solutions would unlock innovation?
  • Which novel cloud solutions would allow to advance the organisation?

An example for solving problems in other parts of the organisation might be ongoing compliance problems, say, due to poor record keeping. The current solution might require unsustainable investments to retro fit a non-compliant solution with a poor track record (pun intended).

However, the cloud might offer a native solution that goes even beyond the regulatory requirements of mere record keeping. Generally allowing to more easily handle the data lifecycle as a whole.

On top of that, it also allows to establish relationships between records by leveraging commoditised graph technologies readily available in the cloud. Eventually providing insights and new business opportunities.

The Anticipated Outcomes

Find out more about it in the next article.

So, How Do You Identify the Rationale?!

While the above Worx for Me!™ when it comes to identifying motivations and grande opportunities, you may have an alternative or better way.

Think this is all rubbish, massively overrated, or generally heading into the absolutely wrong direction?! Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn and teach me something new!

As always, prove me wrong and I’ll buy you a pint!

dominic

Dominic Dumrauf

An Enterprise Solution Architect by profession, an avid outdoor enthusiast by heart, and a passionate barista by choice. Still hunting that elusive perfect espresso.

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