Going global: Implementing the cloud without borders

Any move to the cloud requires a transformational way of thinking. With a global enterprise, this shift requires unique preparations and considerations.

Not only do standard challenges (i.e. alignment, business process, and change management) become increasingly complex as you add geographies and cultural differences to a project, but compliance and data quality concerns further complicate matters and require a detailed and methodical approach.

Over the past 12 years, Bluewolf has worked across every major timezone and global currency to deliver on the promise of the cloud.

We know that when it comes to a global cloud deployment, there should not be a “one size fits all” approach.

Laying the right foundation:

Before getting started, companies should reflect on the makeup of their organisation, and establish specific goals around success.

Lack of setting an effective vision and aligning leadership are major reasons why global cloud implementations fail to produce impactful results.

In addition to setting a clear vision for success, there are several specific questions an organisation should consider upfront, including:  

  • How is the organisation structured? Does a company operate in a centralised or decentralised fashion?
  • How common or diverse are the companies products, processes, and customers globally?
  • What are the global needs around data and collaboration? Do regional needs support or differ from corporate’s needs?

The answer to these questions has a profound impact on the ideal structure of a company’s cloud deployment.

Should companies deploy a single global org or multi-org structure? How do compliance needs affect a master data management structure? What information will different regions and teams access, and how can company-wide collaboration be effectively achieved?

Establishing a clear understanding upfront of how the enterprise operates globally helps define the best method to execute. Here are five things to consider:          

Common building blocks for success: When tackling a global rollout, Bluewolf works with our clients to recommend an approach that fits their culture and requirements, often advising them to adopt an iterative process by which more and more valuable systems or functions are migrated and deployed over time.

By working to establish the critical building blocks, a phased approach, and correct timetable upfront will dramatically shorten the time to value for clients.

Communicate, communicate, communicate: Build a strong business case in order to get buy-in at the highest levels. This upfront support will help mute any broader cultural resistance in the long run.

Define change management: It is critical to win the support of end-users. Plan at the outset and determine the best training methods based on cultural preferences, languages, and regional needs.
Create a cloud governance strategy: Companies need to ensure that there are not breaches to rules or laws under which they operate. But beyond this, companies need an effective framework for making decisions and a process for executing against those decisions quickly.

Put the right team in place: Moving to the cloud is not a one and done project, but a completely new way of working. Successful transformations include a commitment to budgeting for ongoing costs around innovation, resourcing, and training.

The decision to implement cloud technology across the globe means the entire enterprise must be prepared. More information on these critical pieces can be found in our Global Cloud Transformation white paper.

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