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Talking to IT teams and business leaders, it is clear that the benefits of cloud in supporting new business models for the delivery of council services are now well-understood.

There is also a growing consensus that the different business model for IT operations which is enabled by cloud IT, could add substantial value to the organisation as they shape and reshape services in the future.

So why isn’t every council moving to the cloud?

In our experience this is down to a gap between an organisation’s willingness and its readiness to adopt. Clearly, it is critical for any council which wants to reap the benefits of cloud to bridge this gap. IT teams can help the organisation help itself get cloud ready by focusing on these six areas:

Cultural readiness – The first job to do is to assess the level of knowledge around cloud in your organisation. If there are gaps in awareness about it can benefit the organisation, they will need filling – particularly among business leaders. Equally those who understand that cloud is not about technology but helping people work differently will be useful advocates for cloud adoption. Before you talk to people, be clear about how you will articulate your vision for cloud, based on business benefits, not “IT speak”.

Business needs – The next area to focus on is a roadmap for moving to the cloud. For this to be realistic you will need to balance areas of biggest business need against the complexity of moving to the cloud, ease of implementation and other risks. Articulating the priorities for your organisation and how they benefit the organisation and individual service areas is the starting point for your cloud adoption strategy.

Budgetary readiness – A cloud operating model is different from a traditional IT one. This has implications for the way budgets are set and investments are made. You will need to work with your finance team to clarify how this rental-based model of IT works, establish how future and past operating models can be compared on a like-for-like basis as well what you can do to accurately forecast future costs and savings.

People and time – Cloud migration is a major change project which needs its own resource to succeed. Identify what resources and skills you need to deliver a project and whether you can manage this with existing in-house resources.

Risk management – A move to cloud needs to be aligned with your organisation’s approach to risk management. You must clarify what measures you will need to see from potential suppliers and their supply chains to mitigate and manage risk. This will be an important part of the specification you take to market when you look for suppliers.

Technical readiness – You can’t move to the cloud until you understand fully the shape of your current IT estate and the applications which support the organisation. Mapping these will allow you to understand areas which are compatible and incompatible with a cloud operating model ahead of time.

Approaching cloud adoption in this way will prime the organisation for cloud adoption, accelerate the process and ensure you are focusing on business outcomes rather than the simple adoption of a new technology solution.

*This blog originally appeared in Cloud Tech*

Eduserv have created a step-by-step guide on how your organisation should assess their readiness for cloud, you can download the guide here.

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