Cloud Strategy

02 July, 2021

Each promising path into the cloud begins with a strategy

Cloud computing is more than a technology. It forms a basis for innovations such as the Internet of Things, as well as for service-based business models, digital platforms, and ecosystems. The cloud opens up completely new possibilities for companies to provide and use applications quickly.

You need a comprehensive approach in order to be able to fully tap into the cloud's potential because the path into the cloud leads to numerous changes in nearly all areas of an organisation, regardless of whether the local infrastructure should be migrated into the cloud or new cloud-based services should be designed.

We assist you in developing a suitable strategy which defines the key cornerstones for your cloud approach and maps out a secure pathway.

What a cloud strategy accomplishes

Overcoming cultural changes

Implementing cloud technology requires more than just dealing with new technologies. It also results in organisational transformations, the modification of operations and processes, and changes in responsibilities. If you only take the technical perspective into account, you risk encountering resistance and stumbling blocks which could have a negative impact on the cloud implementation. A cloud strategy which is carefully designed to reflect the unique situation of your company helps you consider a broader view relating to all the relevant dimensions of the cloud implementation, as well as to anchor understanding and acceptance for the necessary changes to the corporate culture and to manage cultural changes with confidence and purpose.

Coordinating the cloud implementation with your business and IT strategy

In order to ensure a smooth and successful path into the cloud, the cloud strategy must be aligned to both your business strategy and your IT strategy. Without this coordination, companies run the risk of having different areas pursue different objectives. In the simplest scenario, synergies are lost and the full potential of the cloud cannot be achieved. The worst case scenario could entail hardened positions blocking opposing objectives. Therefore, it is imperative to review predefined business and IT strategies when developing a cloud strategy. Ideally, a common vision emerges which integrates all the strategic cloud, business, and IT aspects.

Integrating management

Cloud computing is a topic for the boardroom because of its massive impact on the core business. Many cloud projects suffer from the fact that management is not included enough in the cloud implementation, which causes a lack of support at the executive level. A cloud strategy addresses this factor by exploring in advance who will initiate the project, the decision-makers who will be involved, the managers who should be authorised and the nature of their authorisation, and which members of the management board will support the project as sponsors.

Providing access to personnel and data

As a rule, cloud implementation affects many different stakeholders and areas of a company. A cloud strategy assesses who is involved and how, while providing certainty regarding the key individuals to be included. Furthermore, the cloud strategy describes what corporate data will be required and how access to it will be ensured within the framework of the cloud project. For example, existing product development datasets could be relevant when developing a new cloud-based service. On the contrary, when transferring data and applications to the cloud, it is important to use the opportunities inherent to migration to eliminate data silos and for example make the company's entire database available for data analytics projects by means of customised data governance.

Exciting stakeholders for cloud architecture

The commitment of the affected stakeholders is essential for nearly every project. A logical cloud strategy contributes significantly to motivating stakeholders to transition from outdated architecture to a modern cloud infrastructure – regardless of the desired operating model, whether it be infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS). Transitioning to the cloud requires a departure from old habits. The more clearly the advantages of the new infrastructure are communicated – including in comparison to its risks and challenges – the sooner stakeholders arrive at an optimistic mindset, which benefits the path into the cloud.

Our Services for Cloud Strategies

With the broadest cloud portfolio on the market, PwC supports you at each stage along your individual pathway into the cloud. We use the following services to help you develop a suitable and effective cloud strategy.

Business/Innovation Enablement

What does cloud computing mean for your business? We support you in finding new ways to add value in the cloud and realise new business models. To do so, we use our proven methods to analyse how your company can benefit from cloud-based trends such as big data analytics, IoT, robotics, and machine learning, and how you can use these innovations to your advantage.

Cloud Vision

We collaborate with you to develop a clear vision of the future use of the cloud within your IT and your company. This vision serves as guardrail for cloud implementation, providing clarity regarding the target status, including for multi-year transformation processes. The cloud vision is closely coordinated with and integrated into the IT and business vision.

Readiness Assessment

How ready is your organisation to implement the cloud? We assess your individual cloud readiness, identify vulnerabilities, and compile recommendations for improvement. This provides you with an overview of which of your operating segments contribute to successful adoption of the cloud and where further measures are needed to boost the readiness of your organisation.

Target Operating Model

We take all business-specific and IT-related requirements into account to define a suitable target operating model for you. A standardised assessment of the current IT operating model is the starting point. We build on this assessment to develop specific recommendations for a realistic plan with auditable steps towards implementing the target operating model. The cloud vision specifies the expected and essential capabilities which should be facilitated by the target model.

Design Guidelines

We ensure the consistent realisation of the predefined cloud vision by defining guardrails for the cloud architecture/design/migration/operation. For this purpose, we analyse your situation and prepare reports on the necessary guidelines in all the relevant areas. Afterwards, our experts develop recommendations regarding how the required guidelines can be implemented and which existing specifications have become obsolete.

Roadmap

We work with you to develop a roadmap under consideration of the dependencies on the target operating model. This model includes steps for short-term and long-term initiatives and raises awareness for dependencies and constraints which need to be considered along the path from the cloud vision to specific implementation planning.

Business Case

A key pillar of the cloud strategy is the analysis of your business case. We perform a comprehensive evaluation which weighs the financial aspects and the value for your business against the risks. This includes analyses of the target operating model, thorough risk analyses, decision models, and a cost-benefit dashboard, among other assessments.

Guidelines, Processes, and Organisation

You need to optimise the associated processes in order to be able to fully tap into the cloud's potential. Furthermore, establishing sustainable cloud governance is crucial. We support you here, e.g. by compiling or updating the respective corporate guidelines and thus ensuring compliance and creating a reliable framework for your cloud use to be as efficient as possible.

Further services in the area of the Cloud Transformation Journey

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Hauke Schaettiger

Hauke Schaettiger

Partner, PwC Germany

Sebastian Paas

Sebastian Paas

Partner, PwC Germany

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