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Time for a public cloud strategy

Public cloud strategy, a topic on many discussions and many point of views. Every organization needs one.

Pete Nieminen / May 19, 2021

A while ago I was reading an active discussion regarding the meaning of and need for a public cloud strategy. The author stated that the sole purpose for such a strategy is to buy cheap, so a strategy is not needed and it’s just another bit of hype from business consultants and research companies. I predict that this kind of attitude will not provide any business advantages even in the short run.

Every organization needs a public cloud strategy

Why? To understand you’ll need my explanation of what a public cloud strategy actually is: a decision-making framework and a guideline on how to use the public cloud to expand your current enterprise architecture (EA) in the optimal way to support your business and create real business scalability in the process.

The strategy itself can be short and simple or long and comprehensive. I have seen cloud landing zone documents more than 200 pages long. They should not be part of the strategy but instead viewed as operational technical guidance.

Last year work hours increased while productivity decreased; this year working hours are increasing even faster, but so is productivity. Is this a good thing? The short answer is no; people will reach their limit eventually. Cloud, automation, and self-service thinking are required to create the same productivity results with a less demanding workload.

A non-existent or ineffective strategy leads to insufficient use of resources. The public cloud creates a particular challenge because most traditional management systems (ITIL, SAFe, Cobit, and even ISO 27001) do not really apply anymore. SIAM (service integration and management) does not quite seem to do the job anymore, and even the IT terminology is a matter of argument.

So what does a public cloud strategy contain? First of all, it should be directly linked to the business strategy and tactical business plan. It can and probably should be part of the enterprise strategy, but should not be seen as inferior to it, or restricted by it. Rather, it should be an extension of the enterprise strategy that helps to transform tired old processes into new and agile ones.

The public cloud is always 24/7, always agile, and always evolving. It is not about people working 24/7, but rather automation working on a near-infinite scale.

You should first ask yourself this important (and often neglected) question: Why are you making the strategy in the first place?

Here is a list of basics that I recommend including:

  • Relation to and order of compliance with your current EA
  • Journey, roadmap, and milestones
  • Expectations in terms of business and financial gains
  • Cost optimization (CloudFinOps), continuous development
  • Process management and ways of working (Mode 2, DevOps, MVP, cloud as-a-code)
  • Multi-cloud strategy, landing zones, tools, data management, automation
  • Cybersecurity management, zero-trust, DR, IAM, and security by design
  • Partner management (hyperscalers, Cloud SIAM, solution licensing, vendor lock-ins)
  • Comprehensive competence management and communications plan
  • Other cloud-related technologies (integrations, tooling, application management)

Without a proper public cloud strategy you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money; you won’t be able to address the future needs of an agile enterprise, cope with economic changes, or keep pace with better-prepared competitors. A good analogy is the COVID pandemic, where businesses who had prepared and were agile suffered only minor disruptions while those who had not prepared were in turmoil and on the verge of bankruptcy.

With a proper public cloud strategy in place both your business and information management will be agile, scalable, competitive, and future proof.

Read more: SAP on Public Cloud


Pete Nieminen
Head of SAP on Public Cloud

Pete Nieminen works as a Lead Advisor and Head of SAP on Public Cloud at Tietoevry, combining Cloud, Cybersecurity, and SAP together as one future-proof ecosystem for enterprise businesses. He has more than 20 years of experience in digital business development, technology solutions, and operating as a trusted advisor and CIO. During his career, he has been selected 11 times as TOP 100 ICT-influencer and he has published more than 100 magazine articles. Pete describes him as a businessperson with a deep passion for technology.

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