I participated in the CxO roundtable webinar focused on Cloud Platforms. The executive group was sharing their experiences around the selection, implementation, and maintenance of various cloud platforms for their enterprises. While nearly all the group had assets already deployed in the cloud, everyone is still learning and watching the evolution of these platforms closely. I had extensive experience in this area as a strategy advisor with Microsoft during the pre and post launch of Microsoft Azure. Working with companies of all sizes to understand key implications and internal development required to move into these paradigms. While I felt the challenges were still common and basic in nature, there was a clear consensus that cloud was solidly in everyone’s strategy.
Challenges range from:
- Keeping up with the vendor roadmaps
- Developing internal talent and recruitment
- Cultural shift to supporting cloud at the enterprise level
- Moving teams from legacy methods to agile and dev ops based approaches
- New funding models for business units to support cloud
- Understanding how dynamic cloud pricing can jump as you scale rapidly ( especially with data storage)
- Architectural best practices
- Moving from piloting to large scale, mission critical application
In general, these are all foundational challenges most organization have been facing for some time. This raises the issue that the value proposition of bringing cloud computing into the enterprise is still primarily focused on cost reduction and in many cases it doesn’t always reduce near-term cost. What isn’t being talked about is the use of cloud for more strategic applications of the business. I have worked on numerous projects where cloud platforms have been the critical enabler for large scale M&A integration, Internation Strategic Alliances, and tactical joint ventures between organizations. As businesses move past the “how to” stage of cloud it allows the business leaders to start to leverage cloud platforms in strategic initiatives.