Goals and Economics

Clearly define the business goals that you want to achieve with cloud adoption. Use the concept of cloud economics to understand the cost, benefits, and value of cloud adoption.

Goals: Defining Success Metrics

Business goals are success metrics. When creating your business goals, consider your organization's mission, the objectives for cloud adoption, and the potential obstacles that you need to overcome.

Your organization's mission and vision should be the guiding principle for your cloud adoption initiative. When you align your cloud adoption goals with your organization's overall strategic goals, it helps to drive sponsorship and engagement for the initiative. It's also important to understand current cloud market trends, drivers, and threats for competitiveness.

With the context of your organization's business strategy in place, the next step is to identify the value of moving to the cloud. Evaluate the reasons behind the move, define the goals that you want to accomplish, and identify the key performance indicators for success. The more specific you are, the easier it is for your organization to support the initiative, to evaluate progress, and to adjust its current operating model for success.

The final step to define your business goals is to analyze the challenges, blockers, and risks that you anticipate as part of your cloud adoption initiative. By including the potential difficulties as part of your strategic approach, it can help you identify the right stakeholders to involve and facilitate the solution process.

Use the following tables as a template to document your organization's overall business strategy, the value that your organization can achieve from moving to the cloud, and the potential obstacles that you need to address.

Business strategy
Mission Enter your organization's mission
Vision Enter your organization's vision
Strategic goals Enter your organization's strategic goals
Market trends, drivers, and threats Enter the trends, drivers, and threats for your organization
Value of moving to the cloud

Executive mandate

General transformation



Data center exit

Merger and acquisition

Competitor innovation

Support for a new business

Other examples that apply to your organization


Digital transformation

Estate modernization

Business growth

Entrance to new markets

Time to market


Access to technology

Lower operations and maintenance costs

Greater cost efficiencies

Budget and cost control

Faster release of new products

Data-driven transformation

Other examples that apply to your organization

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Business growth value

Reduction in time to market

Percentage in savings

Number of new products deployed

Other examples that apply to your organization

Potential obstacles for moving to the cloud

Lack of confidence

Technical debt and legacy systems


Compliance and regulatory requirements


Other examples that apply to your organization



Data loss

Data privacy

Data sovereignty

Service availability


Other examples that apply to your organization


Current technical architecture


Other examples that apply to your organization

When you formally document and socialize the opportunities and challenges of moving to the cloud, you establish your cloud transformation as the basis for agility and innovation. Solid business goals, particularly when framed in the context of your organization's overall business strategy, help to focus your organization on future-oriented, value-adding activities.

Cloud Economics: The Value of Cloud Adoption

Cloud economics is a concept that can help your organization evaluate the costs, benefits, and underlying principles of the cloud. When you understand the finances of cloud computing, you can optimize the value of your cloud transformation.

For example, if your organization is migrating from traditional on-premises IT to a cloud environment, you must shift asset ownership and depreciation to an on-demand usage model. Licensing, commercial terms, and contracting terms also change when you move from on-premises IT to the cloud.

If your organization is already operating in the cloud, you must consider the economic impact of switching providers or adopting a multicloud strategy.

For cloud adoption to be successful, your organization should be fully aware of the changes, and plan to modernize processes related to acquisition, depreciation, and expenses. Documenting the financial value of cloud adoption helps your finance department to update processes from a traditional IT procurement model to a cloud consumption model, and helps the rest of your organization to quantify the value of cloud adoption.

Use the examples in the following table to identify and prioritize the key criteria from cloud economics that apply to your organization. These criteria help you to develop your business case for cloud adoption.

Cloud Economics Principle Examples
Business value of cloud adoption

On-premises spending repurposed to cloud capability acquisition

Operational costs shifted to innovation

Remote work

Business resilience

Improved agility

Operational resiliency

Improved security

Enhanced compliance

Financial improvements

Financial flexibility

Total cost of ownership (TCO) gains

Pay As You Go options

On-demand services

Real-time transparency on cost control, usage, and allocation

License reduction

Support of business services

Reduced facilities cost

Technical improvements


High availability

Disaster recovery



Other considerations

Variable IT cost

Cloud optimization


Capital expenses (CAPEX) shifted to operational expenses (OPEX)

Asset depreciation

A good practice during this stage is to define and implement IT showback or chargeback models for the business units that will use cloud computing resources. This can help to transition your IT department from a cost center to a value enabler.