Publication - Advice and guidance

Cloud Preparation Plan

Published: 30 Jun 2020

A cloud adoption preparation guide for public sector organisations.

Assess your readiness

The ambitious use of public cloud services will require your teams to learn new skills and operate in new ways. It is important to assess your readiness upfront, as it will have a dramatic effect on the success of your cloud adoption programme.

At the heart of your cloud adoption effort are the people and processes you have in place to enable the change to take place. Delivering services using cloud technologies changes the responsibilities of your teams and the roles of team members.

Work through this section to consider the most important factors and define how you propose the meet these challenges.

Factors in assessing your readiness

Your readiness to begin cloud adoption is based on a number of factors:

  • our objectives, motivations and desired outcomes: the alignment of your motivations for cloud adoption and desired outcomes with your current ability to deliver them
  • your digital estate rationalisation: the alignment of current capabilities with the target state of your services
  • your current Operating Model: how you deliver and operate services now (internal IT teams, managed services, etc.)
  • your Target Operating Model: how you would like to operate in future (reduce or increase internal responsibility for the delivery of services)
  • your skills profile and capacity: your skills profile and capacity generally
  • your ability to manage change: your capacity to effectively manage change within the organisation.

Once you have consider these factors, work through the materials below to help you record and communicate your approach to cloud adoption:

Step 1 - Assess your roles and skills maturity

Consider the current roles and skills within your organisation to determine whether you have the capabilities to deliver your cloud strategy. The roles and skills required will depend on your:

  • motivations for cloud adoption and desired outcomes
  • Target Operating Model (TOM)
  • capacity.

In addition to the scope of your skills, it's also important to consider the skills maturity and experience of your teams. It takes time, training and hands-on experience for individuals and business teams to build confidence and expertise in new technologies. The most effective way to determine your skills maturity to:

  • work cross-functionally and directly engage with your teams. They should be helping to define your cloud strategy - including the initial rationalisation of your digital estate - and therefore can provide feedback on their level of confidence
  • speak to team leaders and heads of departments to determine the perceived strenghts and weaknesses of relevant business functions.

Important to also understand the progressive impacts on internal staff:

  • cloud empowers people to focus on more strategic or business beneficial activities
  • be open about new roles and responsibilities.

Step 2 - Identify skills and capabilities gaps

When assessing your preparedness to use cloud services you should determine whether you have sufficient skills within your organisation to meet the ambitions of your cloud strategy.

The skills you will need are dependent on your motivations for cloud adoption and will likely change over time as you move through your adoption roadmap. For example, if you journey is heavily focused on migrating services – perhaps due to a datacentre closure – you are likely to need cloud engineers with a focus on infrastructure. After completing your initial migration, your focus may shift to optimising your workloads for cloud, shifting your skill requirement to developers with experience of cloud transformation.

Use the initial rationalisation of your digital estate, coupled with your TOM and your skills maturity assessment to identify gaps in your capabilities. Record the output of this process.

Step 4 - Define your approach to skills development

When you have an idea of your approach to deliverying your cloud strategy, you should have a clear idea of what capabilities you need to develop in your internal teams. Embarking on your cloud journey can be a anxious time for your employees and the business if they do no thave a clear idea of:

  • the part they will play
  • how their role will change
  • how, where and when they will receive the necessary training and hands-on epxerience to develop the skills needed to meet their new responsibilities.

Define your approach to upskilling your internal staff within the context of your TOM.

But remember, training alone is never enough to drive excellent outcomes. It is critical you give your staff constant opportunities to gain first hand experience with cloud services in a safe way. It both builds their skills and confidence, but also motivates them through PoC and proactive prototyping (early experimentation) with the acceptance that it may not work first time.]

Step 5 - Partnering to increase expertise and capacity

Finally, it is unlikely your organisation will be able to fulfil all of the roles needed to deliver your cloud strategy. Most organisations partner to fulfil some needs, such as security. Another requirement that drives the need to partner is capacity. Partnering provides the opportunity to supplement internal roles with experienced external resources

Before beginning your cloud journey it is vitally important that you have assessed the skills and capacity of your internal team(s) and developed a plan to supplement these by partnering (if necessary). When defining your approach to partnering, it is also important to:

  • understand and record your route(s) to market
  • understand the market capacity for specific skills.

It is important to do this upfront as the availability of skills can act as a hard roadblock on your adoption programme, particularly for roles that can affect their critical path of your cloud adoption programme.


Contact

Email: Cloud1st@gov.scot

Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Post:

Cloud First
Digital Transformation Division
Area 1H South
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ