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Create a cloud strategy (and share it!)

Updated: May 22, 2023

Do you have a public cloud strategy? Organizations with strong cloud strategies are in a much better position to realize business value from their cloud investments. But a strong strategy is only useful if people follow it.


Why do I need a cloud strategy?


Many organizations don’t share their cloud strategy widely and some don’t even have one. It’s easy to spot the impact of a badly communicated or missing cloud strategy:

  • Confusion over which service model teams should be targeting.

  • Sprawl of data and applications across multiple cloud providers.

  • Fear of losing old skills and learning new ones.

Cloud can be confusing when nobody understands the direction
Cloud can be confusing when nobody understands the direction

Your strategy provides clarity and sets direction. If nobody knows what that direction is, how will people follow it?


Who needs to know about my strategy?


Every department in your organization needs to know. For example:

  • Your HR department needs to know what skills to hire for.

  • Business teams need to know what their options are for procuring new software.

  • Development teams need to know whether they should be learning about AWS or Azure.


How do I create a public cloud strategy?


I’m not going to cover the details on exactly what should go into a Cloud Strategy. Gartner already has a fantastic article on how to create a public cloud strategy - The Cloud Strategy Cookbook (gartner.com).

But how many people want to read a 56-page document about your intent to use Kubernetes for platform agnostic delivery of applications? Even if you’ve shared your strategy, chances are very few people have read it.

What use is a strategy if nobody reads it?
What use is a strategy if nobody reads it?

Communicating your strategy


Consider creating a lightweight version of your cloud strategy to circulate to the entire company. This gets your message across, is much more likely to be read, and ultimately leads to greater strategic alignment.


It should contain just enough information to keep everyone moving in the right direction. Communicate this widely and often. You can add a link to the full strategy for those seeking more context.

A lightweight cloud strategy
A lightweight cloud strategy

Sharing the high-level points in a live presentation also provides your staff with an opportunity to ask questions and dig deeper into the why.


How do I know I got it right?


If nobody knows what the strategy is, then nobody is going to follow it. This applies to any strategy. Luckily, testing the effectiveness of a well-communicated strategy is easy. Simply ask the people you work with about your strategy.


For public cloud, ask your executives these questions:

  • Why is it important that we explore cloud technology?

  • Should we be buying software, or building it?


Then ask your engineers and developers these questions:

  • When do we target SaaS / PaaS / IaaS / OnPrem?

  • Which public cloud provider should we be using?


If the answers don’t align with your strategy, then you have work to do.


Further Reading


This article was Part 1 of our “9 things C-Suite executives need to know about Public Cloud” series. Follow us for more Public Cloud strategic insights!


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