Art of BI: How to Prepare Yourself for the Journey to the Cloud

Thinking about harnessing the value of cloud computing for your organization? You’re definitely in good company. According to a study by IT research firm IDG, 69 percent of companies worldwide already use the cloud in some shape or form, while another 18 percent plan to do so in the near future.

Deciding that you need to be in the cloud is only the first step; the real challenge is figuring out how to get there. Despite the advantages of moving to the cloud – which are numerous and well-documented – it’s not a task to take lightly. The guidelines below form a quick outline of what you need to know to get started.

Preparing for the Cloud: People, Processes, and Technologies

“Know thyself” is the first rule of cloud migrations. The following questions are a good point of departure for productive conversations about moving to the cloud, oriented around the three most important aspects of business transformation: people, processes and technologies.

People

Organizations are composed of people, and the way that your employees use and adapt to the cloud will be critical to the project’s ultimate success.

  • Who will use this new cloud technology – only certain teams or departments or the entire organization?
  • What training will your employees need to be able to use the new systems? Will certain teams or departments need more training than others?
  • How long will it take for full adoption of the new systems?

Processes

The question isn’t whether cloud technologies will affect your business processes, but how and to what degree. For example, sharing and collaboration become much easier in the cloud.

  • Which processes will be affected by the new systems?
  • Will they require minor changes or a complete overhaul?
  • Will you need to build any new processes in order to move to the cloud?

Technologies

Cloud technologies should complement your existing IT infrastructure. To understand the effects of such a move, you should perform a thorough technology assessment before the project kicks off.

  • What are your existing tools, applications, and hardware?
  • How are your current solutions used – how often, for what purposes, and by which users? How do you expect this to change when moving to the cloud?
  • Do you have any limitations, technical or otherwise, to take into account?

Cloud Strategy: From Questions to Answers

Once you’ve done a comprehensive evaluation of your current situation, you can start to formulate your plan for moving to the cloud. A cloud strategy document should contain the following key elements:

  • Business goals surrounding the migration
  • In-depth cost estimates of the migration and the new cloud environment
  • Time frames for migrating your data and applications
  • Criteria for evaluating the migration’s success or failure

You should also define your expectations and projected changes for the following business areas:

  • Product and process management
  • Training and education
  • User roles and skills
  • Migrating existing on-premises systems
  • Security and risk management

Final Thoughts

Cloud migrations can seem intimidating and complex at first, but they’re well worth the effort and investment that you put into them. If you need advice and guidance along the way, consider partnering with an experienced cloud migration provider that understands your needs and objectives. To learn more about how you can best prepare your organization for the cloud, check out Datavail’s white paper, Packing the Essentials for Your Journey to Cloud Analytics.

Christian Screen
Christian is an innovator in analytics and data warehousing design, best practices, and delivery. With more than fifteenyears of decision support and data warehousing with key experiences at Office Depot HQ, Sierra-Cedar, and Capgemini, he oversees the Oracle Analytics Practice which includes the technical development and delivery of Oracle BI collaboration software, data warehouse solutions, Oracle BI/EPM projects, and packaged analytics solutions at Datavail.

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