Position Paper

A Cloud Journey to Deliver Business Outcomes

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will do."

“We need to move to cloud” is a constant refrain. Less often does one hear the question why? The truth is that before you can answer the how, the where, or indeed the if, of cloud, you need to be clear about where you want to go and where cloud can take you.

A Cloud Journey to Deliver Business Outcomes

Surveys of industry executives (for example, by BCGMcKinseyAccenture and KPMG) show that the majority of cloud journeys and digital transformations fall short when it comes to the delivery of business outcomes. A principal cause of this failure is lack of clarity around business outcomes; either outcomes are not clearly defined in business terms to start with, or such clarity as exists for the CEO and CIO is watered down as the ‘imperative’ to adopt cloud is cascaded through layers of the organization. As a consequence, too many cloud journeys end up as ‘IT for IT’s sake’. The only variation on the adage about ‘a hammer in want of a nail’ is that in this case there happens to be more than one hammer (IaaS, PaaS, cloud-native and so on). People just want to know which hammer to use. To extend the metaphor, you should first be asking where to hang the pictures, or perhaps even whether to move the walls.

Leading Edge Forum is producing a series of papers on Leveraging the Hyperscalers. The first paper explored how enterprises can build business capabilities in a new way by assembling components from the cloud. The aim of this paper, the second in the series,  is to explain how business leaders – CEOs, COOs, CFOs and business unit heads – can ensure that their journey to cloud is focused right from the start on the delivery of business outcomes. In addition, this second paper provides a structured approach to ensure you never lose sight of these business outcomes when designing and executing your cloud programme.


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