Garter: seven elements to a enterprise cloud strategy
“A cloud strategy is critical for every organization and should be a concise point of view on cloud and its role in the organization. Moving to cloud without a cloud strategy results in ad hoc adoption patterns, resulting in higher costs, disjointed management, security vulnerabilities and overall dissatisfaction with cloud outcomes,” commented Raj Bala, senior research director at Gartner.
1. Ensure the cloud strategy follows the business strategy
A business strategy can vary significantly from business to business, Gartner identifies that it is crucial for enterprise architects and I&O leaders to ensure that their cloud strategy aligns with and actively supports the business strategy, “regardless of whether their organisation provides consumer services, business services or other products,” commented Bala.
2. Assess the five types of cloud risk
When establishing a cloud strategy, Gartner emphasised the importance of enterprise architects and I&O leaders to assess five cloud-related risks: agility risk; availability risk; security risk; supplier risk; and compliance risk.
“Risk management must be an integral part of any cloud strategy process. Formulating specific cloud exit strategies before committing to any cloud project or vendor risk management is a key step in reaching balanced cloud deployment decisions,” added Bala.
3. Question cost reduction
Gartner highlights that one of the most frequently asked questions is: ‘Is the cloud really cheaper?’ To answer this Gartner explains that this requires a ‘nuanced approach’. Total cost depends on multiple variables including the type of cloud service, the characteristics of workloads, and the specific circumstances of the organisation.
“As most organisations have gained experience with real cloud implementations, the benefits are more in innovation and speed, rather than cost,” said Bala.
4. Plan potential routes
“For many organizations, a cloud strategy should plan for various possible routes to the cloud,” explains Gartner, this should include:
- Rehosting to move an application with minimal effort
- Refactoring to take advantage of services such as cloud-managed databases, instead of migrating existing databases to the cloud and managing internally
- Rebuilding to recreate a strategic application with a cloud native architecture
5. The shared responsibility model
With cloud computing introducing the concept of a shared responsibility model, where the responsibilities of the provider are defined by the features and capabilities of the cloud service that is being offered.
Bala highlighted that “cloud customers need to clearly understand what they may reasonably expect from their provider and what is their own responsibility. Also, as skills and experience are essential to responsible use of cloud services, organisations should facilitate training, education and eventually certification of their staff using the cloud services.”
6. Differentiate the approach
In Gartner’s experience the company has identified three distinct areas of cloud adoption: adoption of software as a service (SaaS); adoption of cloud infrastructure platforms (CIPS); and the migration of current and legacy applications.
When forming a cloud strategy “enterprise architects and I&O leaders should take a holistic view that addresses the tradeoffs they must make between operational control and management. The approach should be evaluated for each application deployed to the cloud,” commented Gartner.
7. Embrace the change
Whichever cloud strategy enterprise architects and I&O leaders decide on, the strategy will involve a change for the internal IT organisation. “Typically, this leads to appointing a cloud architect, establishing a cloud center of excellence and setting up a cloud service broker group that liaises between business stakeholders and cloud service providers,” concluded Bala.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.