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The cloud readiness tool

Are you ready for the cloud?

Answer 12 questions to evaluate how ready you are to transform your business. You will be able to view the report at the end, download it after completing our form.

Begin your cloud readiness self-assessment

Successful cloud adoption can help organisations to boost productivity, improve valuations, increase the agility and scalability of IT, while also reducing hardware, software and support costs.

Use our self-assessment tool to find out if your organisation is ready for the cloud, or if further preparations are needed to ensure a smooth migration.

The output is a free report on how cloud adoption (or rejection) could impact your business and what you need to improve your chances of success. Click the categories to discover more.

Click a point label to toggle the corresponding content area

Leadership

How well does your leadership define a vision and inspire others to help realise it?

Business case

Is your business case based on quality data and informed decision making or guesswork and personal bias?

Consensus

How effectively do you address concerns or make trade-offs or in your decision making group?

Accountability

Is individual performance and commitment linked to business outcomes and personal reward?

Urgency

What is driving your cloud agenda? A compelling event, executive agendas or forward planning?

Importance

To what extent is cloud adoption seen as essential to long-term success?

Capability

To what extent does capability and process help or limit you in delivering a successful outcome?

Step 1:  Organisational Culture

What defines your leadership culture and how do you get things done?

Some organisations have a top-down command structure, especially for decisions that need to be made quickly. Others try to achieve a broad consensus across the management team.

There’s no right or wrong, just different leadership styles, but the way your organisation makes decisions does have an impact on your ability to embrace broad-brush technology changes – including cloud adoption.

Move the slider to indicate how your organisation makes decisions (or which one best describes you?)

Top Down

Managed Consensus

Endless Debate

Step 2:  Alignment

Is your approach to IT aligned with the needs of your business and customers?

  • Are your business processes fast and efficient?


  • Do your IT capabilities support rapid customer innovation?


  • Is your IT team engaged, motivated and focused on customer satisfaction?


  • Do your IT capabilities support continual customer service improvements?


  • Does your finance team have an accurate view of IT costs and ROI?


Step 3:  Your Objectives

What are your top five business objectives?

Choose five across the three categories

Financial

Operational

Quality and Risk Management

Step 4:  Your Challenges

What are the top five cloud related concerns your organisation is facing?

Choose five across the three categories

Financial

Operational

Quality and Risk Management

Step 5:  Leadership

How well does your leadership define a vision and inspire others to help realise it?

  • The decision sponsor (i.e. the CEO, CFO, or COO only) is actively engaged in key change initiatives.


  • That sponsor has set up a formal team structure, assigned roles, set milestones and timelines.


  • The initiative has clear leadership and effective internal communications.


  • Decision making is done with the benefit of insights from independent, external advisors.


Step 6:  Business case

Is your business case based on quality data and informed decision making or guesswork and personal bias?

  • The decision team (including input from legal & finance) has written a clear problem statement.


  • The business case references the organisation's Risk Register, (i.e. change is mapped to more effective controls).


  • Past decision outcomes inform future choices. Biases (i.e. Sunk Cost Fallacy) are identified early on.


  • Decisions are collaborative, structured rather than intuitive, and based on credible data and analysis.


Step 7:  Consensus

How effectively do you address concerns or make trade-offs or in your decision making group?

  • Most of the decision team (including legal & finance) are in consensus on why action is required, and what needs to be done.


  • The decision team is working to a defined deadline within a documented project plan.


Step 8:  Accountability

Is individual performance and commitment linked to business outcomes and personal reward?

  • The decision team (including input from legal & finance) has written a clear problem statement.


  • Past decision outcomes inform future choices. Biases (i.e. Sunk Cost Fallacy) are identified early on.


  • Decisions are collaborative, structured rather than intuitive, and based on credible data and analysis.


  • There has been a compelling event that has triggered a sense of urgency to solve a problem.


  • Basic preparation for cloud adoption is in place (e.g. a transformation initiative, training, accreditations, risk assessments, internal communications).


  • The business case references the organisation's Risk Register, (i.e. change is mapped to more effective controls).


Step 9:  Urgency

What is driving your cloud agenda? A compelling event, executive agendas or forward planning?

  • The decision team (including input from legal & finance) has written a clear problem statement.


  • Basic preparation for cloud adoption is in place (e.g. a transformation initiative, training, accreditations, risk assessments, internal communications).


Step 10:  Importance

To what extent is cloud adoption seen as essential to long-term success?

  • People are committed and able to drive success (i.e. Right Character + Right Capabilities + Enough Capacity).


  • The value of change is clearly greater than the status quo.


  • Basic preparation for cloud adoption is in place (e.g. a transformation initiative, training, accreditations, risk assessments, internal communications).


Step 11:  Capability

To what extent does capability and process help or limit you in delivering a successful outcome?

  • The right technical roles and skills are defined and available (in-house +/or Partners)?


  • Technical people have the capacity and resources available to run proof of concepts and assess new technology tools.


Results

A change readiness self-assessment

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Back to results

IT is being optimised on a "cost-out" basis. AWS cloud delivers "agility-in", with "cost-out" as a consequence.

When IT teams are focused more on cost reduction more than continuous improvement, business stakeholders can experience sluggish response times and technology that underperforms.

It is recommended to focus on building consensus view of what "good looks like" from IT investments, who they serve and the trade-offs needed to deliver agility with cost efficiency. In this way IT teams can have more strategic involvement and evidence a causal link between good performance and good technology choices.

There is a lack of common understanding between IT and the business. It is likely that IT is involved in technology decisions but that siloed thinking prevents decision teams from forming across functions.

It is likely that shadow IT is significant (i.e. >40% of IT spend). There is likely to be no quantification of risk in business planning. This creates ambiguity which results in a low risk appetite and a mixed track record on IT project delivery success.

We recommend highlighting risks, decision dependencies and probability in a deep-dive business case.

There is a high level of alignment.

There is clarity on what IT does and who it serves. Metrics in IT are mapped to business performance e.g. cash-flow, customer experience and governance. There is a clear vision on how cloud simplifies, automates and enables teams to innovate at speed and scale.

The leadership team is technology savvy and KPIs in IT area aligned to those of the business.

IT has validated its investments with a scorecard of results and has the support of the executive leadership.

Back to results

Transformational change requires support from the top. Perhaps leaders are not sufficiently involved, are not kept informed to be able to assist their teams or seethe status quo as sustainable over time. Perhaps this reflects prudence: not executing change initiatives too slowly or too fast, or decision inertia due to risk aversion. There is a low risk appetite, siloed working and the need for a risk assessment of decision options. Leadership may struggle to engage with employees and get their insights and buy-in. We recommend starting with a simple decision statement that defines the benefits of change in the context of the KPIs of the leadership team. Once this is discussed and revised by multiple stakeholders, agree a RACI model to govern the change process.

Major changes may not be possible unless the head of the organization is supporting alignment of IT with the overall execution of strategy.

The leadership team are aware of the value of cloud and how it improves business outcomes in cashflow, customer experience and governance. The business case is not convincing so IT is not getting the support needed. Perhaps in IT deadlines are missed, firefighting is normal, decision paralysis reigns and complexity is respected above practicality. The leadership needs the assurance of a solid business case that addresses decision dependencies and uncertainty (e.g. use of Monte Carlo analysis) and a RACI model to ensure accountability governs execution.

The leadership team understands the impact of cloud adoption and how it can improve the value of the business. It is understood that software is playing an ever greater role in business process so the ability to design, build, run and retire quality software is There is a good understanding of how IT fits within the business as a service rather than IT as a structure.

Leaders see a causal link between good performance and good technology choices. They likely connect well with their teams, people feel safe in expressing opinions and decision making is inclusive, Perhaps there is a RACI model to ensure clarity and accountability.

We recommended that IT validates leadership support with regular reporting on continuous improvement and business case updates with a scorecard to evidence impact over time.

Back to results

The business case lacks maturity. Perhaps the process is in its early stages, perhaps it is in analysis paralysis and never gets completed. There may be poor data quality, a lack of expertise in planning and/or a need to better express the impact of IT decisions in financial terms.

There are issues around getting valid data, using models and defining problems before seeking solutions. A poor performance level in business case readiness could dampen decisiveness and raise uncertainties that divide consensus. It can also lead people to engage in risk aversion behaviours (e.g. an obsession with process and documentation, with all cc-ed on everything). This indicates a fundamental barrier to team consensus and leadership support. There may be confidence bias so review past project success rates, identify success factors and quantify the high, low and base case probability of events that determine the real outcome. Decision support with Monte Carlo analysis acknowledges uncertainty and can drive an inclusive discussion on the business case. The business case needs to answer the impact on the IT P&L and the overall riskiness of the investment.

There may be problems in getting accurate, available data and presenting a compelling business case. Perhaps decision makers are paralyzed by downside risk. A clear sign that business planning lacks rigor is the dominance of one stakeholder's and too much focus on a single success criterion, such as cost reduction, without on trade-offs. Another sign is reliance on subjective weighted scoring tools over data. External, independent support could be helpful. Involve multiple stakeholders by quantifying the trade-offs in each decision option (e.g. swing-weighting models). Stop expressing the business case as a single outcome. This implies zero risk. Instead, define the key factors that determine possible outcomes and quantify the high, base case and low-end probability of their occurrence (e.g. using Monte Carlo analysis). The business can then discuss what an ideal outcome would be and who needs to ensure what to deliver the best possible result.

There is accurate, enough available information on cost, risk and value which has been analysed and then presented as a compelling business case. The objective of the business case is to quantify impact scenarios, assess risk, structure decision making and help all parties to agree on what action is needed and why. Analysis for the sake of analysis is avoided and all work on the business case targets specific questions within a timeline.

Stakeholders will be identified and involved, bias is questioned and the execution plan references how it also mitigates risk and improves the controls in the Risk Register. Ideally, there will be a standard approach to business case analysis and financial modelling that eliminates poor options before identifying better ones.

Back to results

There is little or no consensus on the problems to be solved, business objectives, decision options and their consequences. Perhaps a lack of incentive or morale inhibits change or the impact of change is still being assessed. There may be concerns on employment security, politics, bureaucracy and complexity. This may create a working environment that lacks dynamism and presents limited opportunities for innovation or reward. Common symptoms of organizations that struggle with consensus include high staff turnover and emails CC-ed to involve everyone in everything.

J P Kotter, (HBR 05-07/95), notes that for a major change initiative to be successful, at least 75% of stakeholders need to be convinced that the status quo is unsustainable. Bring in a neutral third party to build a community of interest and mitigate perceptions of personal risk in technology enabled change.

There are conflicting opinions on cloud, benefits, risks and impact There is delay in decision making. It may be early in your decision-making process. Perhaps financial modelling is poor, the data scarce or the expertise inadequate. This could even indicate hostility towards change. We recommend getting a neutral third party to facilitate consensus and provide decision support.

J P Kotter, (HBR 05-07/95), notes that for a major change initiative to be successful, at least 75% of an organization's management needs to be convinced that the status quo is unsustainable. Bring in a neutral third party to help build a community of interest, around a cloud adoption initiative. Build a heat map of what how division sees change, its benefits and risks.

There is a high degree of consensus around the benefits of migrating IT delivery to cloud.

J P Kotter, (HBR 05-07/95), notes that for a major change initiative to be successful, at least 75% of stakeholders need to be convinced that the status quo is unsustainable. Managers work in a systematic way and communicate effectively on why something is needed, even if it is not welcomed.

Consensus gives a more even distribution of power in a decision team and drives ownership and accountability. It can come through cooperation, negotiation, incentives or compliance.

It increases the likelihood of success since those involved in IT Platform decisions seem clear on the problems that need to be solved and how to bridge the gap between a current state and a future state.

Back to results

Where there is low accountability, people struggle with either too few or too many KPIs. There could be a committee-based culture and long, drawn-out sign off and approval processes. Risks may well be identified and monitored, but whether they are actually managed is questionable. Focus on the business case and establish why a change initiative is more beneficial to stakeholders than the status quo.

Create a hierarchy of objectives and map that to functions and people who are key to achieving the objectives. Conduct an AWS "well-Architected" review. Assess cost allocation in IT and whether the current process and controls needs to change to embed a culture of accountability.

This is not a culture of accountability. There is unlikely to a clear link between risks and rewards. There could be a tendency for people to think more about what they do, rather than why they do it.

Focus more on the business case and why a successful outcome is important. Conduct an AWS "well-Architected" review. A RACI model would help assign ownership of tasks, reporting and results. Executive sponsorship and tracking of measurable results is key to success. IT, IT Finance and IT Risk need automation and tooling so that accountability is data driven.

High accountability indicates that success in change initiatives directly impacts the rewards and recognition of those involved.

There are likely to be clear timelines and KPIs, a RACI model, support of governance teams and reference to the Risk Register. There is likely to be a "fail fast, learn, repeat" attitude to innovation and a sense of unity of purpose. Cloud Financial Management is likely to have been addressed with a budget for tooling. An AWS "Well-Architected" review would evidence good governance. Tagging of cloud assets is embedded in process. A business case for tooling will be anchored in resolving the cost of waste which illustrates the value of automation and cost control tools.

Back to results

A common cause of failure in change initiatives is the absence of urgency. Urgency implies that there has either been a compelling event or the decision team has created a sense of crisis by using analysis and risk scenarios to highlight the potential cost of inaction. Negative events and deadlines (e.g. a Data Center closure or refresh cycle) might be a good impetus for change. Get an independent opinion on the cost and risk impact of the current state.

What if the business fails to design, test, deliver and maintain software as well as suppliers, customers and competitors? Urgency is a motivator of change.

A common cause of failure in change initiatives is the absence of a sense of urgency. Urgency implies that there has either been a compelling event or the decision team has created a crisis by using analysis and risk scenarios to highlight problems with the status quo.

An average score may indicate that although an event has driven urgent attention to improving IT Platform capabilities, the readiness to execute may not be sufficient at this time.

Creating urgency by setting a deadline e.g. a data centre exit date.

High urgency indicates some event or situation necessitates action. It could also indicate a high awareness of the need to prepare for change initiatives proactively.

There is likely to be good coordination between teams and the involvement of governance functions such as IT Risk and Internal Audit. If urgency and accountability are both strong, there is likely to be a unity of purpose that delivers results.

Back to results

Multiple priorities contribute to success. There is not enough focus on cloud adoption and technology enabled change. Not enough stakeholders see cloud as a competitive differentiator.

This could indicate a case of too many managers and not enough leaders where there is more monitoring of risks than action to manage risks. Focus on the business case, not as a single value budgetary exercise, but as a range of possible outcomes whose probability drives prioritisation discussions. Review how cloud adoption mitigates risk and improves controls in the Risk Register. Engage an independent evaluation of key risks, quantifying the probability that cloud can improve the risk posture within the business case.

Multiple priorities contribute to success. There is not enough focus on cloud adoption and technology enabled change. Not enough stakeholders see cloud as a competitive differentiator.

This could indicate a case of too many managers and not enough leaders where there is more monitoring of risks than action to manage risks. Focus on the business case, not as a single value budgetary exercise, but as a range of possible outcomes whose probability drives prioritisation discussions. Review how cloud adoption mitigates risk and improves controls in the Risk Register. Engage an independent evaluation of key risks and the impact of cloud adoption.

The level of importance attached to optimizing IT capabilities is high, regardless of external drivers or events. This indicates good organizational strengths in planning and prioritizing, rather than reacting to situations.

As with all change, a high level of importance indicates that the leadership is enabling the right people, with the right skill sets, with the capacity to dedicate time to detail and quality in execution.

To ensure that the benefits of cloud adoption are considered highly important, keep focus on business planning and linking people, process and technology changes required by the move to AWS cloud with mitigation of risk and improvements in the robustness of controls on the Risk Register.

Back to results

There is a low level of confidence in the organization's ability to execute a change initiative in IT delivery. There may be a fundamental problem in the organization's ability to execute change successfully. An inability to react to changing situations will probably be reflected in poor identification of risks and controls that slip over time.

The value of change needs to be accepted as greater than that of the status quo. Evidence of weak execution capabilities could include a track record of failed or cancelled projects, a tendency to spend more time and money to build in-house than paying third parties to ensure delivery and a high turnover in experienced, professional staff. Define the current state in terms of ability to execute, risk and migration scope. More effort needs to go into framing problems, eliminating options and quantifying risk (e.g. use of Monte Carlo analysis), before key change decisions are made.

An average level of capability may indicate that mass cloud adoption is in its early stages and IT teams need to be better resourced, whether through hiring and training or the use of implementation partners.

It could be that there are not enough Cloud Architects to manage cloud at scale, insufficient support from the in-house legal team, a lack of budget for hiring, training and engaging third party support. Define the current state in terms of ability to execute, risk and migration scope. More effort needs to go into framing problems, eliminating options and quantifying risk (e.g. use of Monte Carlo analysis), before key change decisions are made.

Confidence in the organization's ability to execute change is high. There is probably a track record or successful completion of projects on time and budget with applied earning from any failures. There is confidence that the right people, with the right character have enough time to make the right decisions and execute. There is a clear set of requirements and third parties aligned to the gaps in in-house delivery capabilities. There has probably been a discovery exercise where the current state infrastructure, applications and ability to execute change has been quantified This ability to execute indicates that the organization invests in the customer’s experience as its key differentiator.

Back to results

A variety of opinions is encouraged, but does not set a cut-off point so decisions drag and analysis paralysis ensures, all opinions get heard and the ability to execute change is limited. Whoever talks longest and loudest generally gets their way. Things get actioned when they get urgent. A structured decision process, driven by C-level is needed to help teams reach agreement.

Your organization operates with a culture where a conflict of ideas leads to consensus and commitment to change, in support of the leadership. People can disagree, but still commit to supporting initiatives based on consensus. Value is found in people as source of information and wisdom. There is a unity of purpose on initiatives. Building consensus is usually most difficult in the early part of the decision process.

The decision-making culture is often top down. Common practice is to not invest leadership time in building consensus and support behind initiatives before acting.

Decisions are made and driven from the top and execution is closely monitored. There is a high degree of confidence in the experience and judgement of the leadership team. Decisiveness is high, but team morale might be low in top-down decision cultures. This could result in a lack of genuine support for the leadership team and limited innovation.

By giving more people a timeline and framework within which they can express opinions, the risk of decision paralysis and groupthink could be minimised whilst adding to shared accountability.

Back to results

Results

A change readiness self-assessment

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