Cloud enablement: the path to readiness

Extensive experience in the industry has taught us that when trends turn to standards, it is important to develop a strategic approach and framework to evaluate whether adoption is right for an organization. This includes determining what the appropriate associated timing of the adoption should be for an organization as well.

Cloud technology has been a standard in many industries outside of healthcare for the past thirty years. It continues to expand and evolve in the way it’s applied and is clearly here to stay. Cloud technologies have matured from simple architecture supporting small and medium business applications to complex enterprise architectures supporting true enterprise-wide applications at every layer (e.g., database, compute, and UI).

As the healthcare industry matures to accept cloud-based technology, it’s critical that health systems establish a strong plan that will help determine where and how cloud technology will be applied within an organization’s environment. Establishing a meaningful cloud strategy is much more complex than entering into a relationship or partnership with a major cloud provider (e.g., Azure, AWS, Google, Oracle).

A cloud strategy must define the benefits of leveraging cloud-based services and outline the incremental steps of how the cloud will be utilized across a complex architecture. Evaluate the financial options available and address issues such as cost transparency, visibility, budgeting, and predictability.

Our Cloud Aware FrameworkSM will guide an organization through readiness assessment and roadmap development to enable your team to plan for the adoption of cloud technology.

Our readiness assessment and roadmap approach encompasses six critical steps developed based on principles and best practices for maximizing value.

Begin with a current state technology assessment to examine your applications and data to determine if they can be moved into the cloud with minimal impact on your organization’s operational continuity. This includes looking closely at the existing infrastructure and architecture. The output of the assessment will provide a solid understanding of current business needs, drivers, and areas of opportunity for cloud technology enablement.

Outlining a team’s current IT capabilities is critical for a thorough readiness assessment because IT capabilities are a large influential factor to facilitate a successful cloud plan. Identifying current IT capabilities will highlight the flexibility and agility of an IT team and identify unique opportunities for adoption of cloud technology. A financial model must include all capital, operating, variable and fixed costs along with identified savings from projects such as infrastructure decommissioning work. The financial model will include assumptions to drive the overall cost model numbers to estimate from the launch of a new cloud strategy to cloud maturity for the organization.

Risk, compliance, and security impacts must be well outlined and understood by a team during the assessment process as well. Detect and evaluate risks based on the likelihood and impact linked to your organization’s cloud-based evaluation. A collaborative effort between the risk, compliance and security staff will be needed to achieve a thorough list.

The information gathered throughout steps one through five in the readiness assessment are inputs needed to thoughtfully design a roadmap to meet your organization’s current and future cloud technology needs. A cloud strategy roadmap is a visualized plan and communication tool that describes how your organization will move into the cloud. Establishing a cloud roadmap will ensure your organization maximizes the value of moving some or all of your architecture components into the cloud. Communicating the cloud roadmap across the enterprise protects the investment as the organization chooses to expand and mature their cloud capabilities by building on the foundation that’s been chosen.

Value of a cloud forward strategic roadmap

An ideal cloud roadmap strategy will encompass your team’s objectives, planning, readiness for execution, governance, and optimization. Healthcare organizations are complex environments with complicated architecture. Cloud migrations are also complex and will involve many different teams across the enterprise. Invest in a cloud readiness assessment and roadmap that follows a structured process to ensure that all relevant teams are onboard and the roadmap is aligned to your organization’s available resources and unique operational considerations.

Leverage the cloud roadmap to establish a value proposition for the business and IT before any migration work to the cloud begins. Include use cases for cloud adoption, aligning cloud strategy with IT goals, and defining action steps to achieve your goals. Following a cloud roadmap to manage your organization’s cloud migration as a structured, well-defined process will help the organization significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cloud workload management.