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In my role as Cloud Expert in our Team, I see a change in the perception of companies in Mill Products & Mining Industries with regard to ‘Cloud Solutions’ in the last couple of months.

 

We are having lots of meetings with companies – and when I look at the agenda of those meetings a year ago, there was very little interest in cloud topics. When I look at the agendas of the meetings in the last two months, a substantial amount of time was reserved for discussions and presentations around cloud solutions. And also we received in the meantime a lot of feedback on cloud projects, thatI would like to share with you in an anonymized way.

 

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Why did companies decide to go into a cloud deployment? 

 

It was usually not a decision based on price or CAPEX vs. OPEX. One common factor was rather the need to innovate based on needs from the line of business vs. the limited capacity for new projcts available in IT. Customers explained us, that for them one of the big advantages in the cloud deployment model is, that the involvement of IT in the project is smaller than in the on-premise world. And so the project doesn’t need to be scheduled based on the
availability of IT resources but can be more tailored to the needs of line of business.

 

The second reason that we heard quite often – companies liked the look & feel of the solutions very much. They liked the modern user interface that is lowering the barrier to get familiar with new applications.

 

And a third reason – not having to take care of updates and patches – was mentioned many times.

 

What had the successful projects in common?

 

Those were very basic principles of project management many times – but they can’t be mentioned often enough.

  • A good communication between the line of business and IT is crucial: Even though IT has fewer stakes in especially public cloud projects, there is a strong need to align this project with the overall IT strategy.
  • Process re-design to adapt to the new solution: Especially public cloud applications are having a more or less rigid ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. And this
    ‘one-size’ may be more or less close to the current size used. Therefore we experience, that a solid investigation is extremely helpful to avoid
    disappointments and gaps in the final implementation.
  • And also something rather obvious but still neglected sometimes (especially in projects,where IT was not involved) – what are the interfaces that need to be maintained? Even though in public cloud solutions, companies usually start with processes that have few interfaces – you will usually not be able to ignore this topic completely.

 

 

 

So – what is my conclusion from the feedback we received? Well, I guess, there is good news and bad news in it.

 

The bad news is: Cloud projects aren’t that much easier than on-premise projects.

 

The good news is: Well-known principles for successful IT-projects also apply to cloud projects.

 

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