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Cloud computing has enormous potential to both save local authorities money and give them the flexibility they need for the change-driven future that lies ahead of them. The combined benefits of digital first thinking and cloud solutions can truly enable an organisation to reshape its service provision and through this meet budget objectives while protecting critical services.

However, to realise these benefits an organisation needs to fully understand the improvements and pitfalls cloud can bring and also the steps needed to move from a legacy IT infrastructure to one that makes use of cloud technologies in a “right solution for the right service” strategy. This will require an organisation to understand its unique current situation and from this formulate a strategy for migration.

A rigorous approach to the formulation of your strategy is critical, it will minimize risk when it comes to execution and, in our experience should focus on these four areas:

1. Your current situation

You need to build a clear picture of your IT infrastructure in its entirety. You need to map out your IT estate looking at the solutions you currently have in place within corporate IT as well as those that can be buried in different service areas within the business. Then identify any programmes planned or underway which might be impacted by a move to the cloud. You also need to be clear about the contracts you have in place with suppliers who support your IT and the IT skills you have in house.

2. Where your organisation is heading

A second planning task is to understand the organisation’s overall business priorities, the short and long term needs of specific services and teams and how the current IT strategy currently supports all of this. Without this overall vision any programme around will more than likely fail.

3. Prioritisation

Armed with the knowledge about where you are today and where you are heading, you can assess where cloud can deliver biggest benefits to the business. These can then be prioritized against their desirability and deliverability which will typically be dictated by weighing up propensity for IT change, business benefits and business urgency.

4. Creating a migration plan

Investing time in the first three steps will allow you to create a cloud migration programme which articulates what you are going to do and when, broken down into phases.

This of course, is just a top level view of what needs to be done and the best way to understand the detail of what is involved is to talk to peers and suppliers like us who have done it before.

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