Off to the cloud? don’t fly blind here are some tips

When considering moving a business’ IT platform to cloud technology here are a few tips a business can do with to enable it exploit cloud technology.
• It is important that the organisation evaluates it’s business’s requirement and map it out with the expected outcome, once the business has being able to determine its goal for cloud computing then it can devise a strategy for how best to go about it.
• It is important for the business to determine what forms of cloud application best suits its operations as such the need for due diligence and research.
• The organisation should ensure that contracts papers with cloud technology platform provider is well read and understood and only trusted vendors with proven record are contracted.
• Seek out the best when hiring, recruit individuals with prior technical experience. Cloud computing will undoubtedly become a necessary workforce skill in the future, so ensure that your team has the aptitude needed to meet the needs of your customers going forward. Technical evaluations and in-depth interviews are both great ways to ensure potential candidates have the right skills.
• Offer in-house training while consultants can provide a great starting point for skill building and training, technology is constantly evolving. Therefore, offer on-going training opportunities to empower your staff by keeping their skills current.



Cloud Computing impacting on IT personnel roles and skills.

As technologies continue to define the rule around business and work place IT personnel must respond by acquiring the required skills for managing such technologies. One of such technology is cloud computing as it changes the role of the IT personnel and allocates more responsibilities; as such the need for IT personnel to upgrade and meet this new challenge as more business make more cloud technology focused investment.

Webinar on cloud Computing

As today’s business continue to strive for better and cost effective ways of doing business by employing IT cloud technology is fast becoming the right option. But in employing this platform it is of importance that the business has a good knowledge of what kind of cloud service provider it’s business process requires and also the staff requirement the business needs to put in place this way they don’t fly blindly into the sky. These are some of the points this webinar raises, it also emphasizes the need for the business to have in place a proper transition plan of its IT infrastructure from physical on site infrastructure type to cloud based type of IT infrastructure system. The webinar also underlines the message of retooling and as such the need for the business to ensure its IT investments are cloud focused as most of existing IT tools might not be able to use the APIs and interfaces offered by cloud technology.

Is IT actually adding value to the business?

As IT budget continue to rise the question of if the value it brings to the business commensurate with such cost has continuous popped up. While some business have being able to annex the potentials of IT to gain competitive advantage some others have struggled to do so, one clear reason being the role IT plays in such organisation. There have being evidence of businesses which have made it culture of making IT an important component of strategy planning this way the organisation is well placed to either take advantage of opportunities that arise with IT trend or respond to threats that come with it.

Why business must align business strategy with IS/IT strategy

A good business and IS/IT alignment practice offers ways to consistently get optimum business value from IT resources as proper alignment leads to improved business performance. Business/IT strategy alignment helps both the business domain and IT domain move in same direction as their objectives are unified. IT possess the capability to enable business growth, innovation and efficiency in an organisation but only if the strategy of application of any such technology is in harmony with the organisation’s business strategy and this strategic alignment helps achieve. A culture of business/IT alignment would help IT play a proactive role in formulating long term strategies that can help the business carve a niche by providing better services and products.



Business/IT strategic alignment perspectives

(Henderson & Venkatraman, 1989) identified four perspectives that can help address issues arising from the simultaneous assessment of cross-domain relationship during strategic fit and functional integration in the SAM model, they are:

Strategy execution perspective: In this dimension of business/IT strategic alignment perspective the business strategy is the main domain and considered the business driver for the organisation while other elements such as the organisational infrastructure, business process and IS/IT infrastructure and processes are planned in line with or constantly fine-tuned to keep up with current business realities as business strategy changes (Coleman & Papp, 2006). Strategic execution perspective is a top-down approach method of strategic alignment model which has the roles of top management and the IS/IT managers are well defined, here top management is saddled with the responsibility of formulating the contents and process of the business strategy to be adopted while the job of the IT manager is to design and implement IT infrastructure and process that can support any chosen business strategy.

Technology transformation perspective: In this perspective business strategy is still considered as the driver but the implementation of any chosen business strategy is dependent on IT strategy and IT infrastructure and processes to provide a platform to succeed, this perspective attempts to establish a strategic fit for IT where IT strategy is exploited to enable business strategy as such showing the value of IT. This perspective requires the technology vision and influence for organisational change to support any adopted business strategy to come from executive management as such a proper knowledge of the understanding of the interrelationships between the business strategy, IT strategy and IS/IT and processes is required.

Competitive potential perspective: In this perspective IT is considered as the change catalyst, here IT capabilities is exploited to formulate the organisation’s business strategy scope and competencies. This perspective requires IT managers to assess the impact of emerging technologies on the business in terms of opportunities and threats and see how such opportunities can influence or enable new business strategy and in turn create competitive advantage for the business. The executive management plays the role of business visionary and is expected to consider how best to exploit emerging technology to influence major organisational change while clearly stating the competencies, functionalities as governance pattern of such IT technology in the market place.

Service level perspective: This alignment perspective is concerned with the interrelationships between IT strategy which is the anchor domain and IS/IT infrastructure and processes which is the pivot domain. This perspective is focused on building and sustaining reputable technology product and services. This perspective is common in IT service organisations and relies on exploring the strategic fit between IT strategy and IT infrastructure and processes to stimulate customer demand for valued IT services. The role of the business domain is to control how to maintain customer demand as such the need for business managers to make available the needed resources required to support the strategy adopted and IT manager in this case play the executive role to make the IT service successful.