Author: Eunice Njuguna
Thursday, February 9, 2023

How to Develop a Cloud Strategy | A step-by-step Guide

When developing a cloud strategy, it's important to outline the best services and tools for a cloud solution. Your cloud strategy should include leveraging the company's IT capabilities with business needs that yield the most benefit from cloud computing. The design of a cloud strategy should include optimizing applicable cloud services.

The development of a cloud strategy considers three essential processes: identification, evaluation, and implementation. In identification, an enterprise seeks to understand the current IT state and desired outcome. At this level, a company assesses current IT capabilities, and its openness to change during a cloud migration. Next is the evaluation of processes. At this level, there's the identification of gaps. During an evaluation, a company drafts goals based on capabilities. A cloud adoption strategy is then drawn based on objectives. Finally, a business develops a roadmap that, when implemented, delivers the desired cloud transformation.

Developing a cloud strategy is an excellent way to maximise cloud computing services. It ensures successful cloud adoption through its focus on high-return initiatives. A cloud strategy supports goals that align with specific business needs. It helps in the scalability of current and future objectives. A cloud strategy offers flexibility.

How to Develop a Cloud Strategy | A step-by-step Guide

How to Develop a Cloud Strategy | A step-by-step Guide

To survive online competition, businesses must adopt technologies that promise maximum returns. They must do more than understand cloud computing but seek advanced, agile, and flexible services. While creating objectives, they should develop a cloud strategy that aligns with organizational goals. 

The benefit of a cloud strategy is that it acts as a clear guide during cloud adoption. It displays the costs, capabilities, and risks of cloud infrastructure when dealing with changes in the market. A cloud strategy allows scalability with fewer losses and limitations.

Normally, when developing a cloud strategy, there are three states to consider.

Current State

The cloud strategy begins with identifying the current state. This involves the current IT capabilities, readiness for architectural changes, size of enterprise, global and regional distribution, emerging or established business, and challenges. Understanding the current state determines the readiness for cloud migration.  

Desired State

Based on the set goals and objectives, this is the stage where a company draws what an ideal cloud deployment should look like. At this level, a company considers short and long-term IT requirements and how they can align them with the current state of information. More focus is placed on identifying core competencies and creating a clear image of outcomes.

Roadmap State

A roadmap assists in realising the gap between the current and desired state. It forms the basis for workload migration and cloud adoption. Developing a roadmap illustrates the competitive advantage a company possesses. And if well executed, it helps align current operations and future goals. 

The Simple 5-Step Cloud Strategy Development Process

How to Develop a Cloud Strategy | A step-by-step Guide

“The cloud services companies of all sizes…The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.” –Marc Benioff. 

Though developing a cloud computing strategy can be challenging, here's a step-by-step process to help you achieve the most.

1. Determine a Company's Needs 

Selecting appropriate cloud services requires an understanding of the core company needs. To determine needs, there are a few questions a strategy should answer.

  • Where will I use the technology?
  • To what extent will the cloud service be applicable?
  • What are the company's KPIs and key metrics?
  • What are the business objectives and goals?
  • What are the customer expectations?

After answering these questions, organisations can determine whether they need a public, private, or hybrid cloud. The DevOps teams can then map the cloud strategy based on the results in three key areas.

  • Strategy and innovation - A cloud solution that offers the most value and has room for innovation.
  • Cloud Migration -  A cloud strategy that delivers successful migration and better support during transformation.
  • Security and governance - A technology with better security and governance frameworks in high-risk profiles. 

2. Have a Look at Available Services

How to Develop a Cloud Strategy | A step-by-step Guide

Most organizations already have existing cloud services at their disposal. Therefore, their current goal is to include additional resources or change existing tools. And by assessing current tools, the organization can determine the extent of adjustment that's necessary.  

A side-by-side illustration gives a clear view of the cost of new developments. It also demonstrates the possible level of scalability available after the change. In addition, it offers a variety of options compatible with existing infrastructure.  

Furthermore, assessing available services determines whether single or several providers are needed for the rented cloud services. 

3. Create a Roadmap for Business Value

A roadmap demonstrates the exact steps to take during cloud implementation. It involves choosing a single provider or a multi-cloud architecture to support cloud services. It also looks at the infrastructure that supports an organization's network, security, and applications. 

In the roadmap, there should also be clear directives for the hybrid system where some applications are run on-premises and others in the cloud. A roadmap is essential in identifying tier-one applications and defining expectations of future migrations.

4. Consider Disaster Recovery to Mitigate Risks

Most businesses have the challenge of determining where responsibility end or begins with shared cloud transformation.  While it may seem like moving to the cloud guarantees better security, it's evident that online activities expose companies to numerous vulnerabilities. The exposure to cyberattacks, malicious disruptions, and natural disaster disrupts workflow.

So, during a cloud strategy development, it's essential to consider on-premises disaster recovery infrastructure. Building a private recovery architecture demonstrates a company's IT resilience. It showcases a business's tolerance and capabilities to deal with threats and derives maximum benefits from cloud services. 

5. Grow On-premise Skills to Bridge Talent Gap

How to Develop a Cloud Strategy | A step-by-step Guide

A benefit of moving to the cloud is that it reduces the need for sourcing, managing, and maintaining IT infrastructure. But that being said, it's good to remember that on-premises IT personnel are needed to monitor operations. 

Collaborations are necessary to ensure cloud services are configured correctly. A lack of in-house professionals limits innovation since there may be a delay in realizing applications that do not work well for a company. 

As technology keeps evolving, hiring and building talent internally is also important. It's necessary to develop talent enablement programs with the aim of cultivating skills within the IT department. To boost the talent programs, create communities and recruit members whose roles will be full-fledged in the cloud.  

But as you recruit new talent, remember not to disrupt your cloud project. It's important to maintain a team of professionals handling sensitive tasks. It's vital that all teams work together to ensure cloud best practices are achieved. 


A cloud strategy ensures that a company's cloud solution aligns with its goals. It also indicates how various cloud services impact workflow to place businesses ahead of the competition. A strategy provides clear roadmaps for future cloud adoption. It saves costs and keeps information safe.

But creating a cloud strategy comes with challenges. First is dealing with compliance regulations from multi-cloud architecture. There are also issues with when to outsource skills, such as email migration services. In addition, most companies struggle to balance on-premise IT services and rented solutions. To resolve challenges, remember to develop clear strategies and consider the cost. 

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