Cloud Strategies Miss the Point

Posted on April 18, 2016

Summary I’m asked sometimes about whether an organization should have a cloud strategy and/or plan. My advice is: No. Which, coming from me, may sound like a strange response. Here's why (and what you should have instead).

I’m asked sometimes about whether an organization should have a cloud strategy and/or plan.

My advice is: No.

Which, coming from me, may sound like a strange response. Especially given that 90% (ish) of my web-based clients (mostly SaaS, eCommerce, Internet marketing businesses) are happily cloud-based, and my enterprise clients have extensive reliance on cloud-based services for their business operations.

The problem with a cloud strategy is that it doesn't matter what tool or technology is chosen from the perspective of the business. Once you have a cloud "strategy" the cloud by definition becomes the focus rather than the results. Even if the technologists do a bunch of cloud initiatives -- and everything goes reasonably well -- you'll have no idea whether you did the right thing or not.

Instead, have an overarching goal of maximizing returns to the business to support the organization's goals and priorities.

That would include increasing efficiency, increasing efficacy, and increasing responsiveness to organizational desires (which are are generally evergreen). It includes getting good at identifying the organization's top-level goals and formal priorities (as they change), establishing how to contribute to these areas on an ongoing basis and, even better, how to make them your goals and priorities too (because they're the only ones that matter ...not the 'cloud' or any technology specific goals at all).

Then perfect your ability to consistently identify and integrate these key business goals into your technology planning and getting better at converting all of your work into business results, that just happens to involve technology.

If you must have a technology strategy of some sort, there it is, in those last three paragraphs.


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