Moving to Multi-Cloud: How to Get Stakeholders Aligned
This blog is part of the Moving to Multi-Cloud series, which gives practical advice on how to move your multi-cloud strategy forward.
It All Starts with the Stakeholders
Top performing CIOs enlist full executive and line-of-business support for their IT transformation initiatives. However, building consensus across stakeholders, including IT leaders and executives, can be challenging. You need to get upfront agreement around your organization’s strategic goals, guiding principles, issues and near-term priorities. It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page; however, that’s easier said than done. Here’s some advice on how to gain the alignment you need to accelerate your transformation.
Bring Everyone to the Table
Identify key IT and executive stakeholders for your transformation. This may include executives from operations, applications, and infrastructure teams. Depending on the issues and IT strategy concerns, team leads from IT finance, security, business relationship management, and enterprise architecture groups may need to be involved.
Plan, guide and manage a group meeting consisting of all key stakeholders. Topics to consider including are IT trends and strategy, multi-cloud operating model, application portfolio, financial transparency, and infrastructure service delivery platforms and technologies.
Agree on the Need for Transformation
Moving to multi-cloud is an ambitious undertaking, and you need to really understand why the transformation is needed. What business outcomes are you looking for? What are the issues and pain points that are keeping you from realizing those outcomes today? What metrics do you have, and what metrics will you need to determine the success of the change? Think about things like agility, business drivers, usage and capacity, equipment lifecycles, contractual obligations, workforce trends and demands, and alignment with organizational goals and priorities. What are the gaps between where you are now and where you need to be? What does success look like? All of this should be discussed, agreed to, and documented.
Develop a Strategic Vision and High-Level Future State
Clarify the strategic vision. For example, you may want to make IT investments more predictable, shift resources away from maintenance and towards innovation, establish cloud service delivery and consumption models, progressively reduce technical debt, reduce IT footprints, or employ more best-of-breed SaaS services. Identify your guiding principles. This may include placement of applications in private and public clouds, including migration efforts to the target environment. It may include simplifying operations to provide more efficient scaling up/down. It may also involve rethinking CapEx vs. OpEx and variable spending models.
Define the high-level future state to realize this vision, following the guiding principles. Document how the future state is different from the current state with regard to infrastructure, consumption model, operating model, and applications.
Identify Near-Term Priorities
Identify near-term priorities that can be planned, sustained and measured when placed at a later stage into a roadmap. Near-term priorities should be shown in terms of governance, operating model, applications and infrastructure concerns.
Define the Value and Benefits
Defining the benefits of the transformation program can provide proof of positive impact, validating its value. Consider the impact to operating costs, operating process cycle time, availability, time to provision, resource optimization, businesses’ service costs, % of the catalog which is self-service, customer satisfaction, and compliance. Stakeholders will understand the benefits but also appreciate the need for sustained engagement to achieve them. Establishing a transformation dashboard will sustain the enthusiasm as well as determine where the plan needs to be adjusted.
Get an Outside Perspective
Getting stakeholder alignment to define a common vision, determine priorities, resolve conflicts and make decisions can be challenging. Consider running a facilitated workshop designed to achieve consensus and get you moving to multi-cloud faster.
Transforming to a business and services focused multi-cloud environment requires the coordination of IT’s governance, infrastructure, service management, security, applications and business partners. The benefits are best achieved through a shared vision and support. Establishing that vision needs all stakeholders to be at the table to agree upon the goals, guidelines, timeline, priorities and the metrics of determining success. This can be accelerated though a facilitated workshop in which a guided dialogue produces the results and answers needed to move forward.