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Cloud Strategy: Sense and Respond

By Roger Camrass & Suhel Bidani  |  Posted 03-22-2011 Print
The challenge confronting IT suppliers and corporate IT customers alike is how to make a smooth transition into the new 'virtual' environment and prove tangible benefits.

We recommend an adaptive approach based on a sense-and-respond philosophy that originated with Stephen Parry in his book Sense and Respond. It includes the creation of business analyst teams who stimulate and capture demand as it arises.  We define this approach as a 'cloud incubator' that can sense and respond to interest both at the demand (business customer) and supply (cloud vendor) extremes.

We also see a proactive but carefully measured cloud strategy that includes:

  • virtualizing servers and data centers in anticipation of computing and storage "on demand" through new vendor arrangements; and
  • testing public cloud services in non-core IT areas, such as general office and support processes.

This cloud strategy requires a tactical approach in which you apply three distinct layers that test and refine a broad range of new cloud tactics in a rapidly developing environment and establish a stable future operating pattern. These layers are:

  1. Business Engagement -- providing skills, methods and tools to enable business customers to assess, quantify and prioritize cloud-based service opportunities.
  2. Solutions Architecting -- offering multi-disciplinary teams who can transpose business requirements into cloud services by testing and validating new operating models.
  3. Industrialization -- scaling up the new Cloud-based operating models into full-fledged service platforms.

Smart CIOs will meet this historic challenge head on, building now.  Those who will succeed are those who effectively apply the sense-and-respond approach and construct the right ecosystem for their cloud transformation.

* Between October and December last year (2010) we surveyed more than 50 CIOs and IT Directors, almost 90% of them from global organizations about their IT expenses on cloud-related services.  Only 20 percent reported that they allocated more than 10 percent of their budget to cloud.  Almost half have designated less than 2 percent.

** In our 2010 survey of IT executives, most CIOs said they expect cloud penetration to rise to 40 to 50 percent within the next five years.  The challenge confronting IT suppliers and corporate IT customers alike is how to make a smooth transition into the new 'virtual' environment and prove tangible benefits. 

About the Authors

Roger Camrass is Senior Practice Partner for Business Transformation at Wipro Consulting Services, Europe, and the author of "Atomic: Reforming the Business Landscape Into the New Structures of Tomorrow."  Suhel Bidan, is Senior Manager, Wipro Consulting's Business Transformation Practice, Europe.  


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