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Top 10 Mistakes Companies Make Getting Started with Azure: #10—Failing to Define a Company Adoption Strategy

Author by Nathan Lasnoski

In this new blog series, I will take you through a test drive of the Microsoft Azure environment and discuss routes that have put companies in the ditch during navigation and implementation—and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
Whether you are brand new to Azure or your journey is already underway, these ideas will help keep you moving forward. The top 10 mistakes I’ll outline in this series are drawn from experience working with hundreds of clients.
We are in an interesting stage in cloud adoption. The cloud used to be an abstract idea—one you could put off for the future. That’s no longer the case. Because the rubber has met the road, it’s time to get beyond abstraction into the nitty-gritty of business strategy.
So, before jumping in the Azure driver’s seat, conduct an assessment and make a business case to start investing in the cloud. This is actually more of a danger now than it was a few years ago. What I am seeing more of now is that business leaders completely skip over this stage, because they believe migration to the cloud is, at this point, simply intuitive. It isn’t—and so people jump into something they aren’t prepared for.
You need a company adoption strategy. To keep yourself out of the ditch, be prescriptive about how you approach the cloud. Define a cloud program to organize your approach. Position the cloud as an operational platform that your governance applies to—but where governance is combined with speed.
To develop an adoption strategy, draw an internal assessment of your organization’s assets and applications and bring all streams together. Craft this roadmap to address and think about how your company might consume the cloud. This blueprint stage sets the groundwork and organizes your approach.
Next, normalize the way in which your organization executes on centralized code release deployment, particularly in terms of how it prescriptively governs the cloud. Look at the cloud as just another opportunity to use DevOps, and build that in.

Here’s another key success factor to ensure you don’t hit a pothole: conduct a cost analysis workstream as part of your adoption strategy. Doing so will prevent your CIO suddenly three months later receiving a bill to pay for something they aren’t prepared for. The cost analysis rationalization should show the effectiveness and intentional nature of your approach. Ensure that all your cloud efforts—whether big or small—can pay off on a 2:1 basis. 
Would you start a long-distance road trip without gas and a map or directions? In the Azure landscape, your adoption strategy is just as vital.
If you have questions about how to get started with planning for your organization, we welcome you to contact us.

Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer

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