Cloud implementation

How to avoid 5 common mistakes

Johnny On,
Ralph D. Wright
| 8/9/2022
Cloud implementation: How to avoid 5 common mistakes

Effective cloud implementation requires a well-planned cloud strategy. Learn how to avoid five common pitfalls.

Financial crime monitoring and prevention systems are an important component of establishing a secure cloud environment. Banks and financial services organizations take different paths on their cloud implementation journeys, and many experience headwinds along the way. As these organizations accelerate their use of cloud, the C-suite and executives need to identify and demonstrate the value of cloud computing and infrastructure to the business through cloud use cases specific to their companies’ needs.

This two-part insight series addresses two cloud topics. This first insight discusses five common mistakes that banks and financial services organizations can avoid ahead of and during cloud implementation. The second insight will provide some examples of cloud use cases that banks and other financial services organizations have benefited from as a result of cloud adoption.

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Why careful planning matters

Because organizations can take various paths to cloud implementation, a solid strategy is necessary to avoid wasting time, resources, and money. Following are five common mistakes organizations make when setting cloud strategy and embarking on cloud implementation – and what they can do to avoid them.

1. Moving forward without a cloud strategy

Many organizations initiate their cloud implementation journeys without a well-defined and documented cloud strategy, which can affect the realization of business benefits. Additionally, an IT-centric view on strategy development can hamper organizational success because stakeholder buy-in across business lines is essential to maximizing value.

Establishing a well-defined cloud strategy and aligning goals with stakeholders across the business can help support a successful implementation and increase business value. One specific step organizations can take is to form a cloud center of excellence (CCOE). The CCOE should be set up in parallel with development and finalization of a cloud strategy. Though many organizations delay formation of such a center (or skip it altogether), the CCOE can be a crucial factor in managing and governing a successful cloud implementation.

2. Mistaking the cloud implementation plan for cloud strategy

Many organizations treat their cloud implementation plan as their cloud strategy. But there are important differences between the two. A cloud strategy defines why organizations are moving to and using the cloud. A cloud implementation plan addresses how, which comes later – after formulation of the cloud strategy.

Without a clear cloud strategy, organizations might experience the following pain points while executing their cloud implementation plan:

  • No landing zone. Many organizations migrate to the cloud without a proper plan for building the landing zone, which provides the infrastructure necessary to stabilize organizational workloads. The lack of a landing zone can increase the costs of security and compliance.
  • Gaps in assessment. One of the critical phases of a cloud migration effort is the application assessment, which helps to determine the migration approach for each application. Many organizations expedite the application assessment, which results in gaps in the specifications and downstream dependencies – and, ultimately, implementation scope creep.

3. Failing to align business goals to technical migration

In many cases, organizations migrate their applications to the cloud with a primary focus on technical analysis rather than an analysis that combines business value and technical feasibility. Only a combined analysis can yield the necessary migration plan that addresses the business value and the supporting technology prioritization required.

In addition, many organizations have not defined where workloads should be placed. These decisions should be based on the principles established within the application assessment to align with the proper application classifications and business values. Some organizations lack both an analysis of business value and a well-executed application assessment.

4. Applying on-premises governance to cloud resources

Another pitfall many organizations encounter is applying their current on-premises governance and management approach to cloud resources rather than adjusting them for the nuances of a cloud environment during the migration effort. As a result, more time and effort have to be expended to adjust these critical controls later.

As an example, security is one of the top challenges for cloud adoption. Even when organizations have an awareness of cloud services, they often lack the knowledge and skills to secure them. Misconfiguration of cloud services is one of the largest challenges in establishing a secure cloud environment.

5. Not anticipating hidden costs

Accounting for the cost of moving to the cloud often is based solely on the migration and workload execution costs. However, in this case, organizations incur additional costs in order to transform their organizations, retrain existing teams, change organizational structure, update operating procedures, and educate cross-functional teams such as finance, compliance, procurement, legal, and human resources.

In addition, many organizations have gaps in their cloud financial management or lack this discipline entirely. These gaps can lead to significantly increased expenses and misaligned budgets. The lack of strong accounting and finance management for cloud expenses can inhibit a true view of how an organization consumes cloud services across business lines.

Securing the win

The value of intentional and proactive planning can’t be overstated when it comes to developing an effective cloud strategy and moving forward with cloud implementation. With careful attention and precision, these initiatives can bring both business and technology benefits to organizations.