5 post-transformation best practices for Cloud success
This is our fourth and final article from Jeff Kays about moving to the Cloud. So far we’ve covered the importance of being prepared for a Cloud transformation, the keys to a successful roadmap and the pitfalls to avoid along the way. Now we conclude with some best practices you should implement once your Cloud transformation had reached the end state.
New habits don’t develop overnight. In fact, while pop culture has perpetuated the belief that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, more recent scientific research has pushed that average to 66 days. This is important because getting your post-Cloud transformation organization ready and willing to embrace the end state takes both time and effort.
“Being done with the implementation is just the beginning…” Jeff Kays, Conduent Principal – Management Consulting
New grooves in the road can be hard to develop, especially when it’s so easy to slip into existing ones. We want to be healthy, but often a bag of snacks and the couch are easier than water and a workout. Think of your Cloud transformation in the same way. Through a combination of time, discipline, commitment and support, the new grooves can be created.
Here are five things you should be doing to help those new grooves get cut, help new habits stick, help generate momentum and create motivation in your move to the Cloud.
1. Measure and promote value beyond cost savings
A successful move to the Cloud should be treated as a unique opportunity to show your stakeholders the many benefits — beyond cost savings — of the transformation. Measuring financials is a given in any project, but in a Cloud transformation non-financials can be very powerful proof points of success. These measurements are usually more personal in nature and enable you to create additional employee engagement, long-term momentum and opportunities to celebrate your successes.
As you develop your overall plan to report metrics, be careful to balance what you are measuring with how much you are measuring. If you try to measure too many things, the good things get crowded out, which may undermine their incentive effect. If you measure too few things, you may miss out on opportunities to motivate people to create and deepen those new grooves. Successfully navigate between the two by adopting a metric perspective that tracks the most vital measurements. Identify those essential strategic, financial and operational outcomes of the Cloud transformation required to call the project a success.
2. Make your Cloud partner a real partner
Implementing Cloud means you now have an important new stakeholder in your company: the Cloud partner. There will be future opportunities, capabilities, risks and other issues that will require close collaboration. If you treat them simply as a vendor, you’ll miss out on a wealth of perspectives and the opportunity to influence them. In the post-transformation world, you want them to think of themselves as an extension of your organization. If you nurture the relationship with your Cloud partner during the implementation stage, it will put you in a position to create a culture of collaboration for the long term. Don’t forget to include and involve your Cloud partner as you celebrate milestones and share in the successes (and failures) together.
3. Help your people get there
Back to human nature. Without the appropriate training and support, your retained organization will try to do their old job the old way. Be cognizant of this as you map new cross-functional organizations and create new responsibilities. Thoughtful design and resources to support the transformation are necessary to help your teams succeed in their new roles. By providing the tools and support necessary to change behaviors and learn new ways of working, you will help your people develop a commitment to the end state.
Remember to consider the end user experience as you plan your new structure and responsibilities, as the operation must appear seamless from their perspective. And since your new organization may look very different than its previous state, your Cloud partner needs to be equipped with cultural training and consistent communication feeds on the direction and performance of the company they serve: you!
4. Stay in shape after implementation
Some of your stakeholders will be excited by the cost reductions realized by the transformation, but a sizeable part of your company will let their geek flag fly about all the new technology. After all, technology is really what’s driving the new world after a Cloud move. Being done with the implementation is just the beginning of an exciting world of future functions and features, analytics and opportunities to meet stakeholders’ needs in creative ways.
Having the infrastructure in place to take advantage of new releases, absorb new capabilities and address issues in an expedited manner is critical. To stay on top of the technology, create a routine of ongoing checks on the scalability, performance, and resiliency (disaster recovery); one-off check-ins just won’t do the job.
5. Embrace innovation
It’s one thing to be prepared for new technology operationally; it’s wholly different to be prepared organizationally or culturally. It is critical to have a plan to stay current with Cloud partner releases and understand the value associated with each release relative to your organization. Leveraging your strong Cloud partner relationship, build the pipeline necessary to attract ideas, cultivate them and act on them. As a check and balance measure, you can use Root Cause Analysis and Recovery to address gaps in capability and manage them to complete closure.
If you’ve followed along since our first post, you’ve seen the necessity of being prepared for a Cloud transformation, learned how important your business case and roadmap are to Cloud transformation success and read about some of the largest pitfalls you might encounter in your move to the Cloud. With this post, we conclude our four-part series on moving to the Cloud. We hope you’ve gained some necessary and meaningful insight into the journey to the Cloud.