How to build a successful cloud enablement strategy

A cloud architect works on an enterprise-wide cloud enablement project.

In this piece:

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of cloud terms, jargon, solutions and more, you’re not alone. Let’s explore the popular topic of cloud enablement — what it is and how you can develop a successful cloud enablement strategy for your organization.

What is cloud enablement?

Cloud enablement is the process of identifying and evaluating an organization’s current IT infrastructure to determine which aspects can and should be migrated and deployed in a cloud environment. Cloud enablement, an element of an organization’s cloud strategy,  generally includes cloud adoption, migration and implementation.

Who drives the cloud enablement process?

The cloud enablement process is often led by a cloud architect. However, cloud architect is an emerging role so it’s common that their strategic responsibilities are covered by other positions within the IT organization. Oftentimes organizations will seek cloud enablement services from a cloud service or software provider rather than managing entirely in-house.

After the initial evaluation of the existing IT infrastructure, a cloud architect will develop a cloud adoption plan.

What is cloud-based adoption?

Cloud adoption is a phased approach that strategically shifts an organization’s on-premises IT infrastructure to public, private, hybrid or multicloud environments to support business priorities, such as:

  • Reducing costs
  • Increasing data availability
  • Enhancing scalability
  • Improving disaster recovery
  • Mitigating risk
  • Improving the employee and customer experience

Recent research from IDG, commissioned by Hyland, surveyed IT professionals with cloud responsibilities and found that organizations have varying levels of cloud adoption. However, more than 85% of respondents stated that their organization has intermediate to advanced cloud maturity with multiple cloud projects or initiatives deployed to optimize IT operations and costs and drive new business.

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Benefits of cloud enablement

The primary benefit of cloud enablement is that it helps ensure organizations successfully migrate and operate in the cloud. It allows organizations to:

  • Prioritize cloud adoption
  • Identify and address challenges
  • Sufficiently plan and execute their cloud migration and implementation
  • Better allocate and utilize resources
  • Enhance data availability
  • Improve disaster recovery
  • Reduce risk
  • Enhance employee and customer experiences
  • Grow revenue

In the past five years, there has been a shift in how organizations approach cloud enablement and adoption. The focus has moved from tactics to a much more strategic process that seeks to achieve maximum benefit for the entire organization.

For example, rather than strictly using the cloud for disaster recovery purposes, organizations are now leveraging the cloud enablement process to facilitate better employee and customer experiences, increase retention and contribute to revenue growth, among other significant business implications.

By 2025, 50% of large enterprises will have a business-driven cloud strategy and 85% will have a cloud-first principle.

$Gartner, Cloud Strategy Cookbook$

7 questions to ask when building a successful cloud enablement strategy

While the cloud enablement process is multifaceted, here are a few questions to consider as your start developing your cloud enablement strategy:

1. What are your organization’s goals?

Align your cloud enablement strategy to those goals to take a holistic and strategic approach, rather than a tactical one.

2. What is the current status of your IT infrastructure?

In addition to customer-facing platforms, consider your employee-facing platforms, hardware and software. Know how all legacy systems and technology will be impacted and whether you need any upgrades to be cloud-ready.

3. What are your cloud options?

Review what cloud-based platforms and applications can provide, as well as how they can integrate with one another and existing on-premises solutions, so you can prioritize your efforts based on your organization’s goals.

4. What are your security and compliance needs?

Know how a shift to the cloud might impact your security and compliance requirements and if your cloud vendor has experience supporting those efforts. This can also help determine if you need a public, private, hybrid or multicloud environment.

5. What internal resources do you have?

If you don’t have the internal resources or expertise to execute on your cloud priorities, evaluate a partner to support your cloud enablement.

6. What is your anticipated ROI?

This is another key element — especially in earning a “yes” response to question seven. Many cloud vendor partners, like Hyland, can provide both ROI and actionable data. You might consider how your budget will be impacted as the cloud often shifts capital expenditures to operating expenses, making it easier to plan for.

7. Do you have leadership buy-in?

This is necessary. If you’re struggling to address questions or common objections, view our guide about how to build your business case for the cloud and effectively respond.

How Hyland supports cloud enablement for content services

When you work with Hyland, you gain access to experts who have experience working with hundreds of customers across industries. We understand your content services and business needs and can provide the support you need to get executive buy-in. We know how to pair the technical value with the business value because stakeholders from across the organization are now involved in decisions on moving to the cloud.

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Hyland is listed on the AWS Marketplace. Learn more about the benefits of purchasing there, including the ability to:

  • Streamline procurement
  • Implement controls and automate provisioning
  • Manage software budgets with cost transparency

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Jason Bright is the product marketing specialist for the Hyland Cloud.
Jason Bright

Jason Bright

Jason Bright is the product marketing specialist for the Hyland Cloud.

... read more about: Jason Bright