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From sprawl to strategic asset: How to maximise your investment in the cloud

In our recent blog series we discussed why cloud sprawl poses a challenge for all organisations. The ability to quickly spin up services to satisfy business needs allows for greater agility, but also has potential downsides.

Those include licence inefficiencies which costs organisations dearly and the security threats posed by an ever expanding and diverse technology estate. 

But once you have got these high priority issues in check, there’s an opportunity to dig deeper into how well your cloud investments are delivering on their objectives.

To do that, you need to understand if and how your cloud services are being used. From there you can drive adoption and build out a technology roadmap that reflects the reality on the ground not just aspiration.  

The reality is most project fail

There are sobering facts when it comes to digital transformation projects. 70% fail to deliver on their objectives according to BCG. A study by BITKOM e.V. estimates 75% of all IT projects fail. 

And if you’ve put the blood, sweat and tears into finding and implementing a solution, failure can be demoralising and undermine future investments by lowering the appetite for investment or risk.

It could be that ROI was not realised and that’s measured and known. 

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But in some cases, it’s because ROI is nebulous. That could be because there wasn’t adequate benchmarking, there isn’t the data to measure success or that data isn’t being utilised well. This leads projects in a strange limbo of having perceived lack of value, but no one can really say one way or the other. 

As always, data is your friend. 

Understanding what’s working, and what’s not

Now that licence usage more accurately reflects the user footprint, it’s possible to delve deeper into if and how services are being utilised. 

Getting a system live is arguably the easier part of the job. Ongoing engagement, adoption and course correction is vital and is possibly the most significant factor of success. Too often organisations move on to the next project without embedding change they tried to deliver. 

By harnessing the data that these systems offer, you begin to answer questions. Is this working? Are people using the system? How often are they using the system? What volumes of usage are there in terms of records, transactions, customers calls or whatever the metric may be? 

By understanding the situation now, IT teams can work with lines of business to really understand usage and drive adoption.  

Moving from implementation to enablement

It’s important for IT teams to be not seen as just about implementation or support, but enablers and agents of change working to ensure transformation is embedded in the organisation.  

By getting out of firefighting and harnessing data in the systems in which you’ve invested, teams can begin to help answer deeper questions like:

 

  • Is more training needed so users can understand the system?
     
  • Are there areas the system doesn’t deliver on, which are holding up adoption?
     
  • Are there shadow systems and spreadsheets still in place that are still being used? 

 

For these sorts of questions, involving the day-to-day users is vital. People naturally take the path of least resistance, so it’s not about top-down command and control. It’s understanding and solving issues of adoption.

Most users when they see how a system will make their lives easier will embrace it, so it’s vital to understand where adoption is failing and to fix it.

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A roadmap is informed by where you are now

Building a roadmap is hard when you don’t know where you are on the road. That’s why drawing on this data and enabling adoption is vital. 

It helps inform the roadmap in two ways. 

It firstly embeds appropriate adoption as part of the long term strategy, and ensure importance is placed on post-deployment. This helps solidify IT teams as delivering change not just technologies.

And it informs what new technologies are needed. It’ll be easier to see gaps and build a long term roadmap aligned to the organisation’s and users’ needs.

Ultimately this should help IT teams save time too, allowing them to focus on strategic adoption not just a roll outs. Because by improving the success of projects, then combining that with a clear roadmap, teams won’t be drawn into projects that don’t support the long term strategic objectives.

Getting the knowledge you need to build your roadmap

The data in your organisation tells you where you’ve been on your journey, what supplies you have in the car and where you need to go next on your journey. That’s all vital in order to know where you’re going and understanding that the shortest route to a destination is not always the most effective. 

Accessing that data and – vitally – making sense of it is where CloudClevr comes in.  

We work with clients in partnership to help them build their roadmaps. And to harness the data that will help us on that journey, we developed Clevr360, a free tool that helps our customers gain a joined up real-time view of their tech estate. 

We make technology simple – so you can transform and manage your technology estate with confidence. Through creating the roadmap and beyond, Clevr360 remains an important part of digital transformation, providing you with ongoing data and insights to track progress and measure and succeed at ROI every step of the way.  

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