Practical approach for Cloud adaption to drive Social, Mobile and Analytic initiatives in an Organization

Many organizations big or small are struggling these days on how to transform their organizations including people, processes, and technologies. The transformation is due to this new disruptive technology stack which includes Social, Mobile, Analytic and Cloud (SMAC).  These technologies and concepts have been around for a while but their usage in this combination is new.

All over in the media the advantages of this stack have been advertised with great promise. There is no shortage of articles in the media on how organizations in every industry have started using these technologies and their business units are benefiting from the value these technologies are providing both in agility and cost. Irrespective of this hype many organizations are having a hard time in understanding the applications of this technology mix in their organizations. It is very hard to look at this technology stack holistically from an implementations perspective and not worry about the cost.  The cost alone is not justifiable and the risks are too high because some aspects of this technology are still maturing.

There are innovative ways in which this problem can be addressed.  Different organizations have different strategies, people, processes and technology mix. These corporations have different positions in the market they compete.  All these companies have one thing in common they are all facing similar challenges when it comes to transformation of their organizations to this new disruption. These challenges can be met and solved in a very systematic way so that their impact on the organization both from the cost and culture perspective can be absorbed.

Organizations can take certain steps to approach this problem.  They can start with their corporate strategy.  Some of the questions to ask are what are the capabilities the organization is looking to create and improve? Is the corporate strategy is mapped to the IT strategy? How much of this strategy is being followed? If there is no clear corporate strategy the organization should create one and map it to its IT strategy. If the initiative can’t be taken at the company level, the department(s) can create their department(s) strategy. This approach if taken and communicated in successful manner can become the catalyst for the change in the rest of the organization. Other questions to ask are what business and technology capabilities the current IT organization supports? What are the current systems in place that support different business units? What are the programs and projects in flight or in plan to be delivered?

The Corporate strategy, IT capabilities, business priorities and current programs will determine what approach the organization should take to start consuming the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytic and Cloud). Most all organizations have legacy infrastructure with huge investment and cannot be converted into the Cloud. Now a days vendors are offering cloud-based Services for almost all the services traditionally offered by the internal IT. For example there are Cloud-based back-up Services, Cloud-based Disaster Recovery Services, Cloud Gateways and Connections for Cloud storage, Cloud-based Automation tools. There are so many choices of services available in the market for organizations to pick. Some of these services are new and some have matured. All these services provide a good business case from cost and time perspective.  Organizations can subscribe to these services based on their needs. The main factors to look at when deciding to use a cloud based service are the cost, time, impact on current systems and the risks. All these variables are manageable. Corporations can start collecting data on their implemented cloud based services both for efficiency measuring and cost benefits.  They can use this data to build their case for transformation of other IT services into the Cloud.

The bottom line is that all organizations need to find ways to get into the cloud game otherwise they will be playing catch-up with their competitors and their business will lose out to new opportunities that are being presented due to this new distributive technology mix.

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