Cloud Transformation Canvas

Explore the complex world of cloud transformation and catch a glimpse of WWT's visual approach, the cloud canvas.

Cloud and proud

All organizations want to evolve. Most are turning to cloud to progress their digital transformation initiatives.

"Cloud" is one of the most overused terms in the technology industry today. It's not a product or a location. It's a different way of delivering IT services — a shift in the operating model of IT. Whether accomplished using public, private or multiple clouds, it's critical for organizations to deliver applications in new ways that allow for the expansion and strengthening of their digital strategy.

Why is cloud challenging?

The broad conversation of digital transformation often mirrors discussions around cloud, DevOps and automation. They involve a lot of mess and noise that most organizations are struggling to figure out. In fact, digital transformation and cloud strategy are directly tied together.

While organizations may be convinced of the advantages of the cloud, they're often unsure how to best deploy an effective solution — one that accelerates and secures current business processes, yet is flexible enough to support an evolving strategy and the inevitable changes that accompany the competitive technology landscape.

A vast number of vendors in the market promise simplicity and speed with a cloud transformation. Each has a different approach to the cloud landscape based on vendor-specific interests and strengths. This can create a lot of confusion around how to approach cloud transformation and, ultimately, the IT transformation necessary to drive your digital vision.

The multicloud approach

We now live in a multicloud world, where the cloud permeates everything we do. In 2017, the IDC predicted more than 85% of organizations would adopt a multicloud strategy by 2018. Now, the use of public cloud is practically a given; a hybrid cloud strategy is seen as critical; and working with multiple clouds from multiple providers has become the new normal.

We see this statistic reflected every day in our customers. Many have a cloud-first strategy but realize there is a long road of application modernization required. For the foreseeable future, a multicloud strategy is essential. Multicloud involves numerous focus areas such as cloud management, automation and orchestration, cloud connectivity, cloud security and of course, using cloud to enable DevOps — all of which require intensive and specified technology, processes and cultural innovation.

Accordingly, WWT is heavily focused on how our customers are using private clouds, public clouds and dozens of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. It's through automating service delivery and IT operations and creating alignment across the development and operations teams that our customers truly achieve "the promise of cloud transformation.”

Liminal thinking

One of the most overlooked aspects of “moving to the cloud” is organizational culture. Liminal thinking, coined by The School of the Possible founder, Dave Gray, is defined as “the art of creating change by understanding, shaping and reframing beliefs.”

Liminal thinking is about removing yourself from your traditional thinking and putting yourself in another person’s shoes. What do they care about?

If you ask an organization about cloud strategy goals, the answer usually varies greatly depending on who you engage. A discussion with the networking team will be much different from one storage or security teams. The same discussion will be even more disparate with developers on the application team. There's no one single strategy when it comes to a business’s approach to cloud.

In a cloud conversation, it’s important to solve alignment issues not only between separate technical teams, but also between organizational groups. While this idea might be a bit overused, “doing DevOps” is actually at the heart of implementing a cloud strategy.

We need development and operations to work together in new ways. DevOps is a culture of outcomes supported by collaboration, communication and automation. It's critical to collectively focus on and execute on the right outcome.

So many of our customers tell us they want to move to public cloud to solve infrastructure issues and reduce costs. In reality, neither will happen without the right alignment around the objectives and initiatives. WWT’s approach to cloud brings teams together within an organization, moving quickly into an initial sprint to accelerate the customer’s strategy — we don't try and force one approach over another based on a particular technology.

WWT’s Cloud Transformation Canvas

Dave Gray describes visual thinking as “a way to organize your thoughts and improve your ability to think and communicate. It’s a great way to convey complex or potentially confusing information.”

What topic is more complex or confusing than cloud?

WWT helps our customers and partners prioritize key objectives in their digital strategies by visualizing their cloud approach through our Cloud Transformation Canvas.

The questions we raise in our Cloud Transformation Canvas are examples based on conversations we have with customers every day. Use the Canvas to take notes, to organize output as a slide or, ideally, to lead a whiteboard discussion through ideation.

Cloud Transformation Canvas

As a first sprint towards accelerating cloud strategy, an organization can identify current challenges on the left and the desired outcomes on the right. Essentially, the canvas allows our customers to start to contextually view all challenges, as well as infrastructure goals, together in the context of “the cloud.”

We can help organize and capture a customer’s cloud objectives or when needed, guide strategy. The center of our canvas is what we use to align your initiatives and show how we can help accelerate your strategy.

The integration capabilities of our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) are second to none. It helps customers bridge the gap between technology groups in a way that creates a path to more efficient IT delivery and that accelerates idea to outcome in a multicloud world.

Enable your cloud strategy

After outlining specific objectives in ideation using the Cloud Canvas, the goal is to quickly arrive at concrete action items. Clear initiatives position you to progress toward an IT posture that delivers user-centric, IT service delivery in a truly cross-cloud manner.

WWT can enable your strategy across any part of the cloud spectrum, including:

  • Cloud management platforms for cloud service lifecycle management.
  • Automation and orchestration maturity modeling, ideation and planning.
  • Network modernization and segmentation for multiple clouds.
  • Multicloud security and automatic incident response.
  • Automated data management and backup to the cloud.
  • New collaboration solutions for improved workforce experiences.
  • Modernizing applications to be cloud native.
  • Deep data analytics and AI to gain new business insights.

We offer hands-on workshops that start with a blank whiteboard and end up with a high-level architecture and actionable plan. WWT has an extensive showcase of cloud application and infrastructure use cases to create customized, enterprise-grade infrastructure integration and software development.

As a vendor-neutral technology integrator, WWT helps organize the confusion and chart a path to the cloud that’s right for each organization. The capabilities in our ATC allow us to deliver Integration-as-a-Service around the infrastructure components required for your transformation.

To learn more about our cloud capabilities and transformation canvas, contact us. Alternatively, contact your WWT account manager to schedule an ideation session or workshop.

Author’s note: Dave Gray, mentioned in regard to liminal and visual thinking, is a fantastic visual thinker who assisted us in creating the Cloud Canvas. I strongly encourage you to pick up one of his many books on the subject.