Achieving business integration is the last stage of the maturity model, and although it takes the most work to get to, it’s important for ensuring long-term success and collaboration across your organization Business integration is when the cloud and your business are no longer separate but are working together in perfect harmony. It might sound idealistic, but it’s possible!
Best practices for cloud business integration
At this phase in your cloud maturity journey, your business should already have complete visibility into all of your cloud environments, as well as be continuously monitoring and updating optimization efforts and automated governance policies. The next step is to integrate your cloud and business processes. One way to do so is through KPIs that can be easily tracked and aligned with the company. These KPIs should be cross-functional, which ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal.
Business integration may seem more abstract than the other phases of cloud maturity, so there are some ways to make business integration a reality.
Integrate with business systems
Integrating metrics from the CCoE into different business systems, and vice versa, is an important step in communication and educating users both inside and outside of IT on cloud management processes. This could include integrating cloud management solutions into communication tools like Slack, JIRA, and Confluence. Another example would be to integrate a cloud management platform into a budgeting and accounting software, which could allow for finance teams to have chargebacks and accruals to flow automatically. Security teams could integrate cloud security and compliance alerts and reports into a governance risk and compliance (GRC) solution to better track their security posture.
Contribute to business initiatives
Understanding the strategic business initiatives and learning the best ways to contribute to them is a crucial strategy for organizations at this phase. In doing so, this helps raise awareness about the CCoE and the work they are doing throughout the organization, which in turn can lead to improvements in adoption.
Align to business metrics
Cloud management metrics can be used to provide business context to IT and engineering teams and allow business users to more easily understand the impact of the CCoE. These metrics could be about cloud costs and how they contribute to COGS, or as cost per customer support. Knowing what metrics can be used as drivers for tracking strategic initiatives. This metric should stay constant even as businesses scale.
Business integration isn't just about numbers and systems. It’s also about the people across different organizations and functions working together to achieve a common set of goals. The more embedded your CCoE is into the business, the more effective it will be. The more a CCoE feels like the hub of a community, rather than a governing body, the more effective it will be.
Learn more about successfully integrating your cloud and business strategies with examples, KPIs, and the other best practices for each stage of the maturity model in our ebook “Benchmark Your Cloud Maturity: A Framework for Best Practices”.