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Selection of stakeholders | STORM Clouds Services

Roadmap about migration of public services into the cloud

A step by step roadmap for Public Authorities to help them as they plan, determine effort and budget, select the appropriate services, make the required internal organisational changes and finally execute the migration into cloud.

Selection of stakeholders

Thinking about public online services, means to improve the organisation of public administration and to facilitate the communication between public authorities and citizens. As public services have multiple stakeholders, each one deriving some value (Hartman et al., 2010), their engagement comes as an integral part of the success in any migration strategy.

ADOPTING AN OPEN INNOVATION APPROACH

The Open Innovation Methodology focuses on the idea of gathering external and internal knowledge to accelerate the process of innovation. As over the last year the role of government has shifted from managing and administering to the orchestration of open innovation processes, stakeholders have become key players in deciding, contributing and delivering services (The World Bank, 2015). Such a development has not only removed all the burden from public authorities to a wider group of actors, but has also increased openness, transparency and inclusiveness.

The Open Innovation Methodology can be achieved through the following three dimensions:

  • A user-driven innovation approach
  • The treatment of innovation as an open system, allowing external actors to become key players in all parts of the innovation process
  • The use of a series of iterative innovation cycles.

Stakeholder engagement might create many difficulties: increased complexity, need to achieve consensus among heterogeneous organisations with contradictory objectives, disclose information to third parties etc. However, even for a very technical task, such as migration of a public service to the cloud, stakeholder involvement strengthens the public awareness with regards to the efforts made by the public authorities towards its modernisation. Below, we propose a number of steps that facilitate this process.

First is the definition of objectives and associated indicators. Objectives should be in line with the expected benefits from the usage of cloud based systems. In order to monitor baseline and progress, public authorities should develop a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Second is the identification and classification of stakeholders according to the type of services, with the purpose to involve as many as possible. Stakeholders might be internal to the public organisation itself, such as groups of employees or departments (legal, IT, budget/financial, procurement), but also external, such as community groups, business associations, NGOs, cloud service providers etc.

Element Risk Contingency Plan
Technical staff Feel that their job is at risk and won’t collaborate in the migration process Training sessions to improve skills so they can work with the cloud
Job redefinition
Management Resources required are not provided Apply a long temr reasoning to show that current investment will bring future savings.

Table 1: Methodology for risk mitigation

Gathering the right people together is the most important aspect of creating and implementing a successful cloud migration strategy. However, not all stakeholders can contribute to the same level. Therefore, public authorities should also identify the stakeholders which are expected to influence the service by acting as co-creators, as contributors or as users.

Criteria Stakeholders’ group
Cloudification depends on their decision i.e. Policy makers, politicians
Their everyday work is affected by the cloudification i.e. technical staff, accounting, procurement office personnel
The results of the cloudification may affect their everyday life  
Can influence the potential services by acting as co-creators, users etc.  

Table 2: Criteria for stakeholder segmentation

Third is the development of the engagement strategy. Stakeholder participation should not only refer to the identification and selection of potential services -for migration to the cloud or expansion due to improved IT functionalities such as storage, processing capacity etc.-, but to the whole process of services design and implementation through testing, validation and participation in dissemination. The activation can take place in five different phases: i) development of a communication strategy, ii) information disclosure about the services to be deployed and their benefits, iii) consultation, monitoring the stakeholders’ response, iv) participation in the services’ deployment, improvement and exploitation, and v) negotiation and partnerships aiming at future improvements and the sustainability of the deployed services.

Stakeholders should be informed and engaged, and therefore, public authorities should design and implement a plan for continuous collaboration and engagement. Such stakeholder engagement strategies might include:

  • The use of a series of iterative innovation cycles. In which the services are being evaluated by users in order to lead to improved versions.
  • Definition of the roles and potential responsibilities of the different stakeholders.
  • Educating stakeholders on how cloud adoption can affect existing practices and/or changes the organisation’s ability to meet its obligations. As transition to the cloud will primarily affect the IT departments, it is essential to make them understand the added-value of the cloud and provide solutions on potential risks.
  • Mapping or creating and utilising tools and methods that will enable continuous collaboration with stakeholders. Different stakeholders might need to be contacted with different communication channels such as newsletters, social networks, personal meetings and working groups. Also, different tools might be used for different levels of engagement (information, consultation, training etc.). A mix of digital (i.e. online collaboration platforms and workspaces, social media) and traditional (face to face meetings) engagement tools can make sure to reap the benefits from any stakeholder.

Moving to the cloud public services means higher data storage and processing capacity, which allows –and may result to- the development of new functionalities and/or new and more improved services. Such services will require the collaboration of new stakeholders, i.e. other departments of the same municipality or external groups and organisations. It is important that stakeholder engagement will start before or at the first stages of the migration process in order to get an idea about the potential usability, type of data that will be treated etc.