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Business Considerations

The best cloud transitions aren't just about technology — they're about people and processes, too. Reinventing your IT is an opportunity to reinvent your culture, too, and to make your ways of working as modern as the systems you use. Here are some things to keep in mind as you move from on-premises to cloud solutions. They can help clarify your path forward, build buy-in for what you want, and keep teams motivated in times of uncertainty.

  • Take chances. By its very nature (and by the regulations which guide it), government has a more risk-averse culture than the private sector. But change isn't possible unless you're willing to try something new. Whether it's bringing a proposal to your manager, building a business case for investment, or asking for skills training, the first step towards IT modernization is rethinking what's possible.
  • Make the right case. If you're trying to build support for cloud migration, remember that the things that convince you might not be the things that convince others. Before you bring cloud to someone, ask yourself: Who am I talking to? What are the things they worry about in their job? How might cloud technology ease some of those worries?
  • Build a culture. DevOps and Agile methodologies are designed to work hand in hand with modern technologies. An organization typically must experience an Agile Transformation before progressing to a true DevOps model. The practices within an Agile practice necessary to implement DevOps Include automated testing, iterative development and cross functional teams.
  • Make improvements visible. If something's better because of your cloud migration, don't keep it a secret. Tell the story of your success, and think about how that improvement could be leveraged across the organization. Could other teams benefit from how you're working? Could another department use a SaaS product you've stumbled upon? One agency Chief Technology Officer (CTO) reinvested his cost savings into dual monitors for the whole agency — a sign of success that's impossible to ignore.

Application Rationalization

Transitioning to the cloud presents a perfect opportunity to optimize your environment. Consider your approach to cloud transition as an opportunity to evaluate and optimize your current IT systems rather than transferring entire systems wholesale. The CIO Council-produced Application Rationalization Playbook provides a framework for performing such analysis and planning.

  • Application Rationalization Playbook

    The purpose of application rationalization is to mature agencies’ IT portfolio management capabilities, empower leaders to make informed decisions and improve the delivery of key mission and business services.

    This playbook provides Federal IT practitioners with a practical guide to application rationalization and IT portfolio management. As part of Cloud Smart, agencies should review their IT portfolios to determine modernization plans for existing tools.

  • Application Rationalization Materials

    CIO Council Cloud and Infrastructure Community of Practice