10 Common Cloud Strategy Mistakes to Avoid, According to Gartner — Campus Technology


10 Common Cloud Strategy Mistakes to Avoid, According to Gartner

The definition of a cloud strategy is fairly straight-forward: Gartner calls it “a concise viewpoint on the role of cloud computing in the organization.” Still, within that simple statement there is a lot of room for error, says the research and advisory firm, asserting that “business and IT leaders continue to make 10 common mistakes when crafting their cloud strategy.”

“A good cloud strategy should be a short and consumable document, consisting of 10 to 20 pages or slides,” pointed out Marco Meinardi, vice president analyst at Gartner, in a statement. “In addition, the business strategy should drive the cloud strategy and provide guidance to those who will implement it. It must coexist with other strategic efforts, not try to redo them.”

Gartner recently outlined 10 mistakes to avoid when building a cloud strategy:

1) Assuming it’s an IT (only) strategy. “Cloud computing isn’t only about technology. Those outside IT have skills and knowledge critical to cloud strategy success,” Gartner said.

2) Not having an exit strategy. Even if your organization does not expect to bring anything back from the cloud, it’s important to formulate an exit strategy. “It’s like having an insurance policy in your drawer, that you hopefully will never need to use,” said Meinardi.

3) Combining or confusing a cloud strategy with a cloud implementation plan. A cloud strategy, said Gartner, “is the decision phase in which business and IT leaders decide the role that cloud computing will play in the organization,” and must come first. A cloud implementation then puts the cloud strategy into practice.

4) Believing it’s too late to devise a cloud strategy. According to Gartner, “It is never too late to begin a cloud strategy.” In fact, proceeding without a strategy “will ultimately cause resistance from individuals who are not aligned on the strategy’s key drivers and principles,” said Meinardi. “As a result, this resistance will slow down cloud adoption and potentially jeopardize the entire cloud project.”

5) Equating a cloud strategy with “We’re moving everything to the cloud.” “This approach deters many business and IT leaders from devising a strategy because they think it means they’ll be forced to start using cloud computing for everything,” said Meinardi, who advised keeping an open mind and seeking broad viewpoints in the definition of a cloud strategy.

6) Saying “Our cloud strategy is our data center strategy.” A cloud strategy and data center strategy should remain separate but in alignment, Gartner said.

7) Believing that an executive mandate is a strategy. Gartner recommended “treating executive mandates as sponsorship to devise a cloud strategy and not as a cloud strategy in and of itself.”

8) Believing that being a <fill in vendor> shop means that is the cloud strategy. “Business and IT leaders should devise a broad strategy by accommodating multiple types of scenarios, cloud services, vendors and non-cloud environments,” Gartner advised.

9) Outsourcing development of your cloud strategy. A cloud strategy “is far too important to outsource,” said Gartner.

10) Saying “Our strategy is cloud first” is the entire cloud strategy. “If business and IT leaders adopt a cloud-first principle, their strategy should work out the exceptions to the default choice that will make applications and elsewhere other than in the cloud,” said Meinardi.

More information is available to Gartner clients in “Infographic: Cloud Strategy Cookbook” on the Gartner site.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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