Six Steps to Cloud Management “For the People”
Cloud bills and ROI are hot topics these days. As more and more companies look to adopt the Cloud, or to maximze their own cloud use, they’re looking at things like cost, efficiency and time-to-market as indicators of their cloud ROI. But there are other aspects of cloud management that can easily go unaccounted for … they’re called “people.”
Computerworld published an article today entitled “Cloud ROI: Of the People, By the People, For the People.” In it, they suggested that the real value of cloud technology is in “unlocking the brainpower of your workforce and customer base.” In other words, we need to be looking at our cloud implementations in terms of how well they enable the users of those services, both employees and customers, to add value to your business.
While it’s certainly important to know if you’re spending more or less on a given cloud service than you would on its more traditional counterpart, it’s much more valuable to your business to know if those cloud services are allowing employees and customers to add their input and feedback into your value stream more efficiently. That’s how products get made better, and how customers are made happier.
The article suggests six tips that you can use to maximize the socialization of your cloud and improve your real cloud ROI:
- Gamify adoption. Convincing users of the value of the application is no easy task. Game mechanics are increasingly leveraged to bring everyone onboard. Among other things, this can bring people into the fold who have no interest in participating by making good use of a motivator that isn’t normally associated with a great work ethic — instant gratification.
- Prime the feedback loop. Cloud solutions are only as good as your ability to iterate them to your organization’s needs, so you’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse of what your people need, like, don’t like, and what they want next. Give them an easy way to provide feedback, and make their input a systematic part of your governance board’s decisionmaking process.
- No graduation day for training. Cloud functionality has the ability to be iterated indefinitely — its flexibility drives its value. The day you conclude training on a particular application, therefore, is the day that your workforce begins to fall behind.
- Don’t think of the Cloud as simple. Cloud solutions may alleviate the headaches of hosting, but the infinite flexibility of these platforms actually adds a new layer of complexity. If you’re thinking of cloud solutions as on-premise apps that you don’t have to host, you’re short-changing your organization.
- Use naughty words. The profanity in question is actually not of the four-letter ilk, but rather “outsourcing,” which has become a dirty word as of late because of it’s association with “offshoring,” a controversial political issue. It’s too bad, because offshoring is just one kind of outsourcing. Companies are now outsourcing less for cost savings than to gain the ability to access the right talent resources at the right time. In other words, they’re bringing in contractors, managed services, consulting firms and other outside resources to create a workforce that is as elastic as the cloud solutions they service. Ironically “offshoring,” the real dirty word, may actually diminish the ability to control and customize resources.
- Form a cloud governance board. While your system may stagnate with too little innovation, conversely it may break down under the stress of too much. A ‘cloud governance board’ — a fancy name for a task force comprised of executive and departmental stakeholders (preferably with very large craniums) overseeing use of cloud technology — can establish system stability and ensure all changes occur at appropriate intervals and address top priority business issues.
Now, none of these are simple tasks, and they’re certainly not simple fixes. But they do present a great roadmap for creating a culture of real business value when it comes to calculating your cloud bill and ROI.
Socialization aside, you still need to know how much you’re spending on the Cloud. Sign up for a Cloudability account today and get real-time cloud bill monitoring.