In my previous blog post, I talked about the need for organizations that are making the transition to public cloud to understand the inherent value of being in the cloud. Moving your private infrastructure into a hybrid cloud is not enough. You need to focus on transforming people, processes and technology in a way that takes advantage of native cloud.

This process can be a winding road, unique to each organization. It can be daunting and a little scary at the beginning, and I caution organizations to understand that going into it. You may see revenues go down and your costs go up. But don’t panic.

The Fish Model: Cost of True Transformation

This image is one that I often use when describing a business’s transformational journey into the cloud. It does a good job of visualizing the financial “fish” that your organization’s leaders will have to swallow along the way. The Fish Model illustrates the revenue and cost lines of a typical business entering a period of digital transformation.

At the outset of the journey, your business enters the mouth of the whale, at which point it isn’t uncommon to see revenues dip and costs rise. How deep of a belly or how tall of a blowhole will be different for every business transformation — but the notion of these lines separating as the process gets underway is something to be prepared for.

The good news is that with maturity and time, as the transformation window begins to close, your business’s end state will once again see these lines intersect (creating the whale’s tail). If the process is done correctly, they will keep moving away from each other as revenues go up and costs drop.

Outsourcing to Cloud Experts: A Better Path to Digital Transformation

Today, a widespread epidemic threatens businesses regardless of their industry, size, resources or where they are on their cloud journey. A recent Gartner survey illustrates how the struggle to find and hire qualified talent to meet the demand for cloud adoption is common to businesses of all types. Even when companies are able to find qualified people, these staffers are frequently poached after only a few months, leaving cloud plans in disarray. And if organizations are just now embracing Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service, they are already behind many of their peers, meaning they don’t have the luxury of making beginner mistakes.

As a result, many organizations are turning to third-party partners that have experienced cloud architects who can offer objective advice. CDW has recognized this need in the market and developed a Cloud Consulting Practice to address our customers’ demands for highly qualified cloud experts. At CDW, we have expertise to help our customers through their entire journey, starting with assessment and strategy development, designing the end-state infrastructure, identifying workloads and use cases, developing and executing a migration engine, and operating and managing the environment. These partnerships dramatically increase the likelihood that cloud initiatives will be successful, accelerating the climb out of the belly of the whale.

We are living in the age of disruption. Business models are being disrupted by digital transformation. Benefits derived from cloud go beyond just moving an application. The stakes are high: There is a significant risk of getting it wrong and a true business imperative to get it right. You have an opportunity to transform your business and create a competitive advantage.

Winners and losers of this transformation are being decided right now.

Want to learn more about how cloud services can improve your IT environment? Download “The Modern IT Infrastructure Insight Report” by CDW.

2 thoughts on “Taking Advantage of Native Features in the Cloud — Part 2

  • Justin De Guzman says:

    I really enjoyed this two-part article. I agree with you that its more than just costs/and on-demand resources; cloud needs to be thought of as a full journey which incorporates the journey that people and processes must go through as well. One question I had was in regards to your FISH MODEL. Why does the revenue line actually go down? In my view, this can very well either go up or simply remain constant while the costs line can fluctuate based on a customer’s cloud investments. I wasn’t sure if there was a particular reason why.

    • Matt Axtell says:

      Thank you for the comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. The Fish Model was originally used to describe the transformation businesses undergo when switching from traditional revenue models to cloud-based as-a-service subscriptions (both the classic Adobe story and the current Cisco transformation immediately come to mind). Here it is easy to see why the revenue line dips because the business is replacing an upfront revenue stream model with a pay-as-you-go service model. I’d agree that other forms of cloud business transformation might not see this dramatic dip (or any dip) to the organization’s overall revenue. Just keep in mind true business transformation is extremely difficult, often very expensive and extremely disruptive to your organization’s people, process and technology. My reference to the Fish Model is to encourage organizations to do their due diligence BEFORE getting too far along into their cloud journey. The business goals need to be clear, the plan needs to be rock-solid, and leadership must be aligned before true transformation can occur. Thanks again for your post.

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