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Three Ways To Build Business Case For Cloud Computing

by Nitin Mishra, - SVP & Chief Product Officer, Netmagic August-2018

French novelist Victor Hugo once famously said, “There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world – an idea whose time has come.”

Nothing exemplifies this fact better than cloud computing. Today, cloud computing is perched high on the list of technologies dominating the enterprise landscape. Gartner suggests that IT spending is steadily shifting from traditional IT setups to cloud services. It states that the aggregate amount of such cloud shift by the end of 2016 is estimated to reach 111 USD billion, and up to 216 USD billion in 2020. Undoubtedly, it will make cloud computing as the most disrupting force of IT spending to reckon with, since the early days of the digital age.

Mindful of the fact, CIOs are going full steam ahead with their cloud computing efforts. But an idea is only as good as its implementation. And, before every implementation comes in the need to secure the buy-in of decision makers. So, how IT teams can secure buy-in of their business to move onto the cloud?

For starters, they need to build a watertight business case for cloud adoption within their enterprise.  And that’s easier said than done.

Here are three critical areas to focus on, to help get the right ingredients that will create a strong business case for cloud adoption, especially their movement to a public cloud environment.

1. Focus On The Business Problem You Want The Cloud To Solve:

To build a strong business case for cloud, CIOs need to identify the problem statement that the cloud platform can address.  Define upfront the cost of what's not working in your IT shop. Identify the cost associated with the underlying inefficiencies and lost productivity to the business. In short, define what's not optimally working, determine how it can be fixed, and demonstrate how cloud computing can fix it.

Agility, cost saving, scalability, elasticity, app federation or bursting are the much-touted benefits of cloud platform and they certainly help make a convincing business case to switch to the cloud. Here, IT decision makers have to articulate which benefits they are specifically vying for, and how they see cloud platform helping realize such benefits in their organizations.

For instance, IT teams should ask the following questions:

a. Do you want the elasticity to expand or contract your IT service provision precisely in line with business requirements?

b. Do you want to move from the CapEx to the OpEx model?

c. Do you want to expand business outreach?

d. Do you want on-demand cloud resources to infuse agility into your business? 

e. Do you want to combine cloud with your DR plan to improve your IT operational resilience?

Focus on the actual business requirements, while answering these questions. If you can read the pulse of your business and identify where cloud fits, then you can piece together the jigsaw puzzle effortlessly.

2. Accurately Determine How The Cloud Can Be Tied To The Overall Business Plan:

Outline the business strategy and envisage how the cloud will help you fructify the business vision. If ‘going digital’ is the motto of your organization, then figure out how the cloud can be baked into your business processes to build ready-to-deploy environment, reduce infrastructure complexities, manage growth, shrink time to market, improve responsiveness and build new channels of customer engagement.

Cloud paves the way to digital enterprise. Organizations that want to advance into the digital realm can ignore it at their own peril. “Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing, and both internal and external applications will be built on this new style," says David Cearley, vice president & Gartner Fellow. So, cloud strategy must be welded into the organization’s business objectives.

3. Explain Clearly How Cloud Can Free Up Resources For Other Value-Added Tasks:

 It is said that innovation isn’t only about creating value, it’s also about capturing one. Undoubtedly, cloud frees up resources focussing on non-core operational activities. It makes natural sense for IT decision makers to off load maintenance and management of underlying IT systems and focus more on guiding their organizations to the digital era.

It is imperative for IT decision makers to determine and document non-core areas that can safely be off loaded to cloud environments, to begin with, and pave the way to eventually move mission-critical to the cloud.

Simply put, cloud helps you steer away from what doesn’t differentiate you. It unshackles you from things that don't add value. It, in fact, helps the IT troops to develop an "outside-in" view of their business and transform themselves into digital crusaders.