The Journey that Never Ends (in a Good Way)

Continuously improve your cloud to drive consumption and employee satisfaction.

I’ve talked in previous posts about how we guide customers to success in multicloud using a proven framework and methodology Dell Technologies follows that we’ve honed over many years. We’ve covered the strategize, implement and adopt phases of the framework, and you might be wondering—what’s next?  After all, we’ve developed a strategy, implemented the cloud according to our business requirements and helped drive adoption of the platform with our cloud consumers. Surely, we’re at the finish line, right?

The truth is the finish line doesn’t exist, at least not in the traditional sense. The final phase of the framework, the scale phase, is an iterative phase that seeks continuous improvement through data-driven insights, a continually evolving digital user experience, experience measurement and systems and services optimization for peak performance. In truth, organizations should continually revisit all phases of a cloud adoption framework as new applications, services and capabilities are introduced into its cloud environment.

Measure Continually, Cut Frequently

We’ve all heard the adage “measure twice, cut once” when it comes to constructing or building something. In the scale phase, we’re modifying that a bit to read more like “measure continually, cut frequently.” You’re never “done” with your cloud, and it requires continual improvement. You just need the data and actionable intelligence to know what to “cut” and how much.

Data needs become the driving force for optimizing cloud operations and usage. Organizations should leverage data gathered from the cloud environment, such as resource utilization, performance metrics and consumption patterns, to gain valuable insights into how the cloud is performing. These insights empower IT teams to make informed decisions, proactively address any bottlenecks or performance issues and identify areas for improvement. Making data-driven decisions ultimately leads to positive iteration in your cloud environment.

You also need to understand exactly what’s working and what’s not for your cloud consumers, and there is only so much insight you can gather from utilization metrics and response times. The reality is you may have “silent sufferers” in your organization, or those who are dissatisfied with their cloud experience but suffer in silence over the limitations they encounter. In most cases, the silent sufferer simply stops using the cloud and goes elsewhere for the cloud services they need (or worse, spreads negative feelings amongst their peer consumers). Performing regular surveys of key cloud consumers and stakeholders will give you that real “boots on the ground” intelligence about how the cloud is working and what needs to be improved, which can also influence the future cloud roadmap. Employee experience is a key contributor to driving adoption and scale of your cloud!

A Familiar Experience

Prioritizing the user experience and providing a cloud environment that is familiar and easy to use is another important element to driving scale. Today people are accustomed to intuitive and user-friendly interfaces, often provided by popular cloud services like Apple, Google, Dropbox and Spotify, among others, and they expect the same from their enterprise cloud services. Therefore, organizations must aim to offer a similarly streamlined experience that looks good while providing quick and easy access to the workloads, systems and services cloud consumers need to do their jobs.

Cloud services should provide transparency in terms of cost, availability and performance by tier level, enabling cloud consumers to choose the best cloud to use based on their individual requirements. A clean, efficient service catalog for your cloud can encourage people to use it while minimizing the learning curve for new users, encouraging faster onboarding and broader adoption across the organization.

Hands On/Hands Off

For some customers, managing the ongoing operations of their cloud environments can be a burden that limits innovation and reduces the overall experience. Dell supports our customers in this phase by offering a comprehensive set of Managed Services, enabling them to hand off the day-to-day operations of their cloud environments to an experienced team at Dell. Our customers report doing so allows them to focus on innovating for the business rather than spending time on operational tasks that require high levels of team member involvement.

Revisit The Roadmap

Back in the strategize phase we discussed how Dell helps our customers create a roadmap to success and define what good looks like in order to align with an organization’s business objectives. In the scale phase, this now becomes the barometer for evaluating cloud success and aligning it with the broader business strategy.

Regular measurement and reporting of success criteria enable business stakeholders and leaders to assess the impact of cloud adoption. Key success criteria may include cost savings, improvements in system performance, enhanced scalability and increased user productivity. These measurements help build confidence in the value of cloud adoption and justify ongoing investments in multicloud services. The cloud journey never stops but continues to evolve and iterate to meet the ever-changing needs of the business.

The scale phase of the framework is a critical juncture where we help customers refine and expand their cloud environments for maximum efficiency and user satisfaction. Cloud adoption is not a one-time creation process but rather a continuous journey that requires ongoing commitment, iteration and improvement to keep providing the services and capabilities organizations need to compete. Dell Technologies Services uses our multicloud adoption framework to help customers at all phases of their cloud journey and help them continue to evolve, grow and take advantage of their cloud investments.

No matter where you are on your cloud journey, we’re here to help. How we help you find success in cloud today? Reach out to our Professional Services team today.

About the Author: Matt Liebowitz

Matt Liebowitz is the Global Multicloud lead for the Dell Technologies Consulting Services Portfolio. He focuses on thought leadership and service development for multicloud, automation and data center related Consulting services. Matt has been named a VMware vExpert every year since 2010 and is a frequent blogger and author on a wide range of cloud related topics. Matt has been a co-author on three virtualization-focused books, including Virtualizing Microsoft Business-critical Applications on VMware vSphere and VMware vSphere Performance. He is also a frequent speaker at the VMware Explore and Dell Technologies World conferences.