Are You Ready for a Cloud Strategy? Then Stop Looking For Vendors!The importance of focusing on business value first and technology second will push IT teams to shed all the generic disparate vendors for strategic partners who can drive innovation and prove a critical part of the customer value chain.
Cloud is the new bully on the block taking your lunch money
It seems like “Cloud” is the fancy buzzword closing in on CIOs, forcing architects back to the drawing board in an effort to rethink their strategy in how they leverage and consume software, platform and services. The role of IT is changing, evolving away from the view of being just a cost center to one that is flexible, scalable and innovative. As many organizations reevaluate cost models and staffing mixes in order to scale up their people, process and technology, the major goal is to ensure IT transforms and becomes innovative. The success of the new IT team will come from their ability to focus on business value first and technology second.
Don’t call it a vendor!As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner and leading Agile Tools Expert, one of the first stigmas we strive to break is the one where customers view us as a vendor trying to work with them on a fixed project. It’s our job to educate the customer on how we can contribute to their capabilities and provide lasting value as a partner beyond just a few projects. Where the customer sees the most value is when we are able to contribute to their strategic objectives and work together in a quarterly cadence to help augment their team and carry out their OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). We see that the days of evaluating a vendor on time and materials or fixed bid are coming to a close. Organizations have refined their partners and have integrated only a select few strategic partners into their value chain. This unification as one team is to solve critical business initiatives and ultimately prove to the business that IT can become an innovation team driving value versus just a cost center. As product, platform and infrastructure reach breakneck speeds, the relationship with customers and the value chain becomes ever more important. Having an ability to contribute and influence the IT roadmap are a critical part of breaking the IT cost center bias.
Technology business challenges
As the dynamic between customer and vendors evolves, the challenge now becomes a shared responsibility between IT and their strategic vendor. Success will be defined from objectives that leverage cloud as a way to reduce costs, manage headcount and keep the business in tune with the value delivered from IT. We polled our customer base and asked their primary challenges associated with moving to the cloud. Their top challenges reported were:
- Reducing costs – infrastructure gets expensive as you scale up.
- Solving staffing shortages – as your business grows, how will you manage the people required to maintain a growing system.
- Business value as a part of cloud strategy – the business desires a strategy that is rooted around growth and innovation over technology.
The value of strategic partnership
As a strategic partner, the proof really is in the pudding. We are not just a vendor negotiating a project for a margin. Our blend of competencies, skills and effort are required to help us collaborate and integrate with our customers. With business value as a new focus, we commonly see our footprint contributing across the following areas:
- Implementation of governance models
- Shared growth and innovation initiatives
- Performance and quality metrics
While most organizations have the capabilities to deliver on their own, we are starting to see this trend change based on their desire to go faster in a new and flexible way. Organizations are now switching gears and can partner in order to focus on moving their technical leadership forward in a way that helps get them to cloud with a strategy that is focused on a much bigger and holistic solution versus just thinking about technology.