The pandemic has tested us personally, professionally and organizationally. Making a successful transition to this new reality required certain immediate, practical adjustments that not every employee, leader or company could reasonably make. When we pull back the curtain a bit, we find that organizations that have thrived during the pandemic share three things in common: they are flexible, agile, and future focused. In particular, cloud-first organizations have found themselves in the strongest position: having the technical flexibility and agility to adapt quickly, and the strategies and framework in place to carry them forward into the future.
We heard it first-hand from corporate eDiscovery leaders at our virtual PIIP 2021 conference who credited their organizations’ investment in business agility prior to the pandemic – from enterprise-wide O365 implementations to cloud-based legal department technologies like RelativityOne – with providing the foundation for seamless transitions to remote working and virtual team collaboration.
If the pandemic has taught leaders anything, it’s that business agility is not a nice-to-have, it’s essential for growth and adaptability no matter the circumstance. At a minimum, it ensures that your organization has the tools to keep pace with your competitors.
Business agility relies heavily on cloud adoption. Whether the move to the cloud was inspired by the pandemic or a cloud-first organizational mandate was deployed years ago, one thing is clear: cloud is now. According to Gartner, by 2024, more than 45% of IT spending will shift from traditional solutions to cloud. That shift is expected to accelerate in a post-Covid world as organizations increasingly use cloud services for new initiatives or to replace existing systems.
That said, not every organization has made the cloud leap. Adopting a cloud-first business strategy is no small feat; if an advisor suggests that this type of organizational shift isn’t potentially a heavy lift, you may want to look elsewhere for expert consulting on cloud strategy, implementation, and deployment. If you’re looking for a springboard to cloud adoption, here are some things to consider:
Strategy – Why are we moving to the Cloud
While there are many steps that an organization can and should take to arrive at this point, the adoption strategy could very well serve as the first major milestone. Achieving buy-in from internal stakeholders, understanding the business requirements from all organizational divisions, and aligning cloud implementation with current and future organizational goals all happen during this milestone.
Planning Phase – Digging into the details
At this point, everyone is on board and understands why the cloud leap is being made and what it means for the future of the organization. The next step is a comprehensive planning phase, which will tackle the analysis of the below, but is not limited to:
- Current enterprise systems (local or cloud)
- Integration of legacy systems with cloud platforms
- Risk v. benefits of cloud-first
- Adoption cost
- Short and long-term cost recovery
Once this evaluation is complete, the organization should be in a position to determine which platform/s will undergo a cloud makeover first, and what cloud environment/s will be utilized. From a business continuity standpoint, it is imperative that the timing and cadence of deployment and implementation does not affect day-to-day operations, or at least minimizes downtime as new systems are launched.
Business Case Phase – Defining a successful implementation
The strategy and planning phases have put all business requirements in place, achieved internal stakeholder buy-in, and documented the ins-and-outs of a cloud-first adoption. Now is the time to compile all the information from these previous phases into a business case proposal – the final step before the project begins. Small celebrations are encouraged here!
Organizations big and small can achieve significant benefits from a cloud-first strategy. Working with internal and external experts can help ensure adoption meets both the business current needs and longer-term goals. Wherever you are in your cloud journey, CDS can help you implement cloud-based applications and cloud environments.