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3 Steps to Developing Your Cloud Computing Strategy

06 February 2020

5 minute read

3 Steps to Developing Your Cloud Computing Strategy

Customers, business leaders, and developers all agree—they want your organisation to shift your purchase-to-pay (P2P) operations to the cloud and, if you’re already there, optimise your cloud strategy and how you use it. For cloud success, it's critical to develop a strategy that balances the priorities of all the right stakeholders and the business. Forrester’s research in “Take the Wheel: Build Your Cloud Computing Strategic Plan Now” discusses how to develop a cloud strategy that makes sense for your organisation.

 

Once you’ve realised that your organisation needs to shift to the cloud, it’s time to start planning how to implement the change best. After all, cloud computing isn’t entirely about cost savings. You also have to take into account data security, standardisation of that data, analytics, scaling, modernising legacy applications, and more. 

Why is the cloud core to the future of P2P?

The answer is simple. In order to grow, flex and scale businesses need the cloud.

The main challenge with an on-premise P2P system lies in its lack of flexibility which essentially prevents you from future-proofing your business. The cloud, on the other hand, is extremely flexible, it gives you the foundation you need to scale up or scale back depending on your business strategy. Another issue with on-premise solutions is the lack of visibility it provides. We live in a time when visibility into your transactions and transparency across your supply chain is of utmost importance. P2P on the cloud streamlines procurement and AP processes for speedy orders and payments, it aggregates the real-time financial data behind those transactions to enable the visibility and control you need to reduce risk and produce savings – seamlessly. 

Cloud based solutions like Basware’s are always-on –collecting real-time spend data to build a usable data set. Using this data, cloud customers can gain 100% spend visibility thanks our unique capability to capture 100% of invoices regardless of type, promote 100% supplier onboarding, and develop 100% user adoption of e-procurement. 

With so much to be gained from the cloud, it’s important to have a cohesive plan for developing your cloud strategy is a surefire way to fast track your cloud transformation. You can create a process that allows for scaling and considerations of all the right stakeholders – from business leaders to developers – in a unified solution. Here’s 5 steps from Forrester’s research in “Take the Wheel: Build Your Cloud Computing Strategic Plan Now” that we agree can get you successfully to cloud processing.

#1 Map Your P2P Needs

In this first step, both developers and business leaders must work together to build the foundations of your cloud strategy. Effectively evaluating your P2P business needs empowers you to use the cloud in the most effective way to increase revenue. 

If opinions and needs are left siloed, there’s no way that your business’ cloud strategy can live up to everyone’s expectations. And if requirements aren’t stated outright at the beginning of your planning process, they may pop up later. In that case, you’ll need to purchase potentially costly add-ons. What your procurement users need might look different than what your AP team needs. So, it’s important to have a conversation early on in the process so that all relevant needs and requests are met.

Taking the time to evaluate your P2P needs will save time, money, and headaches down the road and ensure you start with a cloud computing plan that includes everyone. 

Some common questions to ask in this process are:

  1. What are your current cloud capabilities?

  2. What stakeholders do you need to talk with?

  3. What are your goals over the next six months? Over the next five years?

  4. What items can you strategically prioritise to make the shift easier?

But these questions can be hard to answer and the conversation can be equally difficult to mitigate. To help your organisation define your unique version of cloud success and clearly realise how to move from your current on-premise solution to a best in class cloud-based P2P, we offer customers what we call “Success Labs.” Using a collaborative approach, it’s a great way to ensure opinions aren’t siloed or accidentally overlooked. The Basware Success Lab provides an environment where all stakeholders work alongside our industry experts to review your existing processes, advise on next steps, and build a roadmap.

#2 Consider the Gaps and Solutions

Once you have listed all the needs and requirements from related departments it’s time to connect the dots and fill the gaps.

Cloud services are ultimately a customer-based model. Every feature, from insights to self-service and continuous delivery facilitates more sales, better fulfillment, and better products. This complexity means that you should be ready for P2P solutions that include more than one cloud strategy. As the Forrester report describes, “Just as you won’t engage customers via a single marketing channel, you won’t have a single cloud strategy.”

You need to consider not only what your gaps are, but what solutions coexist together. There now exists a wide array of databases, analytics, messaging, and integration services that can replace, support, or host enterprise workloads. This new cloud P2P ecosystem can be customised to meet your unique business needs while keeping your system fast and connected.

This trend of a microservices architecture defines the future of P2P. It will enable customers to manage both vendors and spend through a core spend management platform like ours, but also enable them to capitalise on unique specialist services best fit for their organisation.

#3 Stay Engaged

SaaS is valuable because of its speedy deployment and easy maintenance. This is one of the reasons SaaS cloud solutions are replacing on-premise solutions and why Basware is both designed for SaaS delivery and runs on a modern cloud platform.  Using a continuous delivery method, the software is updated regularly with little to no interruption on the front-end. This means the customer doesn’t need to get involved with any updates and therefore, results occur seamlessly.

Forrester’s research also suggests regularly consulting with your service providers to optimise and forecast growth while analysing your cloud strategy with relevant stakeholders. Depending on the level of depth and analysis you’re looking for when analysing your cloud strategy, we offer two consulting options to help you make the most of your cloud apps, strategy, and infrastructure. Both the Maturity Lab and the 360o Evaluation provide an open discussion and evaluation of your cloud and P2P maturity. After our team thoroughly analyses your cloud strategy, we will put together a plan to improve, change, and optimise your P2P practices to yield the highest results and greatest growth.

Keep reading

No company’s cloud journey is the same, and your cloud computing strategy will be just as unique. Learn about HOYTS’ decision to transform to the cloud and how Basware helped them get there in the free case study.

And to read more about cloud strategy, download Forrester’s research report “Take the Wheel: Build Your Cloud Computing Strategic Plan Now.”