A new year is always a chance to look back and look ahead. What worked in the year that just ended? What are the opportunities for the year ahead? These are worthwhile questions to ask personally and professionally. In fact, as we settle into 2022, it’s worth posing those questions in the context of your public service cloud journey. 2021 was another fast-paced year with continued acceleration in cloud migration and digital transformation in public service. Where has your organization made significant inroads? Where might you fine tune (or overhaul) your approach for even greater results this year?

At Accenture, we have gained diverse perspectives from supporting both commercial and government cloud journeys across the globe. In doing our own year-end reflections, we identified some key lessons that we’ve dubbed the “Cloud 9.” I encourage you to consider how these could help inform your progress along the Cloud Continuum.

1: Seize the opportunity to become data centric

Organizations that avoid being data centric struggle to have the insights they need to make decisions. Employees are left with burdensome workloads as they try to gather and make sense of scattered data. Such organizations also find it challenging to digitize and personalize experiences for their employees and the citizens they serve. Cloud unlocks significant opportunities to transform how you capture and use data. Make the most of this chance to improve how you make decisions — and deliver experiences.

2: Make cloud part of the C-suite agenda

A business case and vision can change. If the cloud journey is absent from your C-suite agenda, IT runs the risk of architecting something out of sync with your current goals. When you make cloud a priority throughout your organization, IT stays aligned and delivers cloud capabilities that meet the mark.

3: Avoid prioritizing cost savings over customer experience

Yes, cloud has the potential to reduce costs. That is only one advantage. In fact, focusing on cutting costs rather than enhancing your service delivery model is likely to result in only marginal OpEx savings. A better approach: identify how you can use the latest digital technologies, running on cloud, to improve the way you meet your mission.

4: Avoid making security an afterthought

When applications and workloads are lifted and shifted into cloud environments, it often creates headaches related to compliance standards. Even new applications and workloads developed in a cloud environment can encounter regulatory and policy roadblocks. To reach the needed scale — while addressing compliance requirements — focus on security from the beginning.

5: Recognize that tech alone does not deliver speed and scale

The other critical enabler: people. The IT skills needed to manage cloud are different from the skills needed to oversee on-premise environments. Invest in both talent and technology to help ensure you can meet — and sustain — the scale and speed you’re aiming to achieve with cloud.

6: Seize the chance to transform to a digital organization

To keep up with citizen demand, public service organizations need to be fast adopters of digital technology. Cloud provides the foundation for doing so. But becoming a digital organization is just as essential to adopting innovative technologies.

7: Avoid moving everything at once

Many organizations have discovered that migrating everything at once makes it difficult to accommodate changes and address unforeseen challenges. When an oversight affects ALL functions, fixing it takes way more time and money than if you had made (and then corrected) the mistake for a single function.

8: Integrate vendor experience and insight

Cloud, solution and consulting providers need to collaborate with your organization as part a single, integrated team. If this is absent, your organization could face a skills gap, as internal people miss opportunities to learn from vendors’ specialized skills. Look for a partner that offers flexible terms, as this agility can be instrumental to success in the cloud continuum.

9: Create a cloud strategy

Every organization chooses a primary cloud partner. Make this decision without a clear strategy and you could end up betting on the wrong partner. That could include one with expensive or limited services that are unable to support your organization’s goals. That, in turn, can drive additional investment and effort to move applications and workloads to another cloud environment.

In Accenture’s Cloud Continuum study, 83% of public service agency leaders agreed or strongly agreed that cloud is essential to fuel innovation and new business models. As you work to advance your government cloud journey, which of our Cloud 9 lessons resonate? What lessons would you add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let’s connect via LinkedIn.

 

This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors.

Valerie Armbrust

Managing Director – Consulting, Public Service