Businesses and organisations are embracing cloud technology to help drive innovation for the delivery of operational efficiencies and to drive better customer relationships. Cloud-based software solutions help to increase productivity through a single integrated data site.
Moving to the cloud will deliver many advantages, but to get the full benefits a well-considered cloud strategy is necessary to guide planning and execution.
Cloud software solutions cover a broad range of business services and organisation may adopt a variety of cloud inventory solutions for such areas as inventory control, customer relationship management, warehouse management, financial and accounting activities.
Cloud software will end many traditional IT challenges, such as capacity and hardware issues but may introduce new ones, like cost and performance optimisation. This means that you need key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your migration to the cloud.
Key performance indicators
Key performance indicators provide businesses with useful guides to measure the strength and progress of the business. While some KPIs will be specific to the individual organisation, others will include those you’ve always used to track performance.
Employees can often feel challenged when new technology and work practices are implemented. By demonstrating the value of the cloud to stakeholders will help counter the resistance and manage change. KPIs will help managers to measure the adoption rates of internal teams to cloud technology and identify if there is a need for further training.
Return on investment (ROI) calculations are used extensively throughout the adoption process of many cloud services. A lot of organisations use ROI as a process metric to help prioritise their portfolio of cloud projects and for measuring the impact of a cloud initiative after it has been implemented.
To measure the financial benefits of cloud software migration, businesses should start by calculating the total cost of running their existing on-premise data centres such as hardware costs and lifespan. Consider all associated expenses including electricity, security, maintenance, IT staff and storage space.
By comparing financial KPIs with cloud operating costs, including staff training, you can more accurately determine the return on cloud investment. If lower operational expenses are a primary adoption goal, KPI targets should identify cost-saving opportunities and determine if costs are in line with forecasts. To be effective, these should be regularly monitored and reviewed to optimise cloud costs.
Good cloud governance is necessary to manage costs, efficiency, change management, risk mitigation and security. All aspects need to be re-evaluated and adjusted in line with the unique characteristics of cloud software. Governance means you should have full visibility of your cloud inventory, where the money is being spent and how well cloud inventory is being utilised.
Business value KPIs consider the wider benefits of cloud migration in your organisation such as better application performance and agility that provides long-term business value.
Cloud inventory tools
Third-party tools are available to make benchmarking KPIs easier, tracking application performance, monitoring cloud for adherence to compliance frameworks and suggesting best practices for security maintenance and cost control. In addition, they provide insights to support business decisions.
The automated processes of cloud computing reduce manual workloads, manages dynamic infrastructure and provides immediate responses to configuration adjustments. KPIs for third-party partners and tools should determine if these services are helping to save you money, add value, generate revenue or improve operating efficiencies.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.