We've been speaking to lots of universities and know that many of you are currently considering a move to the cloud but are unsure of the best approach.
Some of the questions we've been helping answer are...
- Will we lose control?
- Will we save money?
- Which Cloud services and delivery mode are our priority?
- How do we retrain our staff for the responsibilities Cloud brings?
- How do we formulate a business case?
Put simply, the benefits and savings cloud can bring are not straightforward, but they are worthwhile. You must view the savings you can gain over a longer time frame than many IT departments are used to considering. The technical elements are only part of the solution; bringing people with you on the journey, inside and outside of IT will make the process less painful. Fully adopting cloud fundamentally changes your IT operating model, so you need to think about the skills needed and a transition plan, shifting focus away from traditional hardware keeping the lights on.
We advise thinking about cloud early in your hardware refresh cycle, laying the groundwork to set you up for future success. To see the benefits of cloud, you may need to step back a little before you step forward, concentrating on the core strategy that underpins any move. Cloud will be an increasingly important part of IT services; a planned approach will avoid the pitfalls of an ad hoc approach, such as:
- Increased potential for unacceptable risk (security and compliance) to critical data.
- Fragmentation of business data, processes, and identity management due to lack of integration.
- Missed opportunities to lower costs and improve service to the business.
- Ad hoc due diligence that frustrates the speed and agility benefits of cloud.
- IT staff being shut out of key IT decisions and their role questioned.
Each institution is different, but we have found that there are some common elements of a successful strategy:
- Establish a broad consensus on goals and approach for moving to cloud, helping reduce friction and prioritise the most valuable processes to tackle first in a staged migration.
- Put people at the heart of the strategy, ensuring that skills gaps are addressed, and user experience is in the forefront of everyone’s minds.
- Spend the time to understand your starting point and address long running technical debt before you move.
- Establish robust governance and policies to keep you safe as you transition.
If you’d like to know more about transitioning to the cloud successfully, we’ve got you covered. We can work with you to design a new target operating model to ensure you have the skills to make your move as beneficial and cost effective as possible.
Our cloud architects expertly map out your technical strategy, incorporating SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Our business consultants, who themselves have worked in universities, work with the wider institution to look at business processes and business system choices. All the while our cyber, data and software teams support the work by ensuring everything you do makes the most of an integrated approach, with secure and effective access to your data and processes.