The New Cloud Adoption Playbook Methodology

The technology products that you purchase are worthless…unless you adopt them.

Last month, I wrote about this concept, framed by the assertion that users must actually adopt a product in order to realize its true value. This month, I want to look at the other side of this problem, specifically from a cloud computing perspective. How can professional services firms help government customers achieve adoption of cloud products and services?

The inspiration for this blog came from a recent article that I read from the Technology Services Industry Associated (TSIA) by Bo DiMuccio, PhD, entitled The State of Professional Services: 2014 (login required). In general, traditional professional services companies are experienced at delivering product-attached, deployment-oriented services. The kind that greatly helps with realizing product value such as installation, configuration, training, health checks, and support. The problem, as I see it, is that this puts the product on a pedestal without focusing on whether or not the pedestal is in the right location. For us propeller-head engineers, this is like building the best widget in the world only to realize through unit and system testing that it does not actually do what is necessary to achieve the business value … a “forest for the trees problem.”

If we step back from the modus operandi of the professional services industry and ask what should we be doing – my answer is that we should put greater emphasis on the desired outcome of the business unit acquiring the technology. With today’s paradigm shift towards commodity technology and utility-based consumption, outcome-based results become illusive. Why? Because this shift drives consumers towards transactional and on-demand engagements, and the vendors supplying the technology towards competencies where they can best profit – a movement in opposite directions.

Last month, I stated that I would talk about specific services to consider within the Whole Product Concept. Here at DLT, we are focused on capabilities that will specifically establish us as a company that is uniquely capable of transitioning a technology purchase (or “rental” in today’s new era) into a desired business outcome.

Cloud Adoption According to DLT

Our focus is centered on three main pillars. The first is to develop an adoption playbook for our portfolio that will instruct customers on how to best adopt the products purchased within their agency or organization.  The second is to develop responsive, packaged offerings that take advantage of Consumption Economics . And finally, the return to emphasizing an engineering staff that has deep business domain expertise.

I’d like to expand a little bit on the first pillar mentioned above. According to a TSIA report, “only 44% of professional services organizations have a formal methodology in place to increase product adoption.” Drawing from this research and applying it toward an objective capability, my team and I are developing three specific services as part of our adoption playbook for the cloud era.  These services are:

  • Consumption Monitoring – An annuity service designed to update customers on current adoption or utilization levels such as actual consumption against planned consumption. This service reports on end-user adoption levels, feature or capability adoption, and volumes.
  • Consumption Optimization – An annuity service designed to interact with end users or with the technology itself to optimize customers’ business outcomes through application of optimization techniques and tools.
  • Adoption Planning – A project-based service designed to plan the optimal adoption of a new technology deployment. The plan directs the adoption activities of both the supplier and the customer.

This is but a brief introduction to a key element within our overall strategy.  Next month, I will take you deeper into our adoption playbook.'
Don Simpson