The hype around Cloud is growing and with it the desire to look for best practices to adopt it. So far the adoption has been much easier and especially meaningful within the startup and small business fraternity.
However, 2013 seems likely the year when Enterprises will look to adopt the cloud. With it will come huge expectations. Managing the cloud adaptation and the expectations around it will be a crucial factor which CIOs will have to tackle.
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While contemplating on their Cloud Computing strategies and plans, they will have to balance it with business goals & objectives.
The focus of the plan will be to capitalize the best of cloud computing while walking tight-roped on managing vendors, internal resources and technology.
The problem quadruples with the absence of any specific process framework or methodology to work on a cloud adoption strategy. This is in reality a huge challenge for CIOs and everyone is trying to adopt their own and fine tune it specific to their organizational or industry goals.
Based on our experience of working with enterprise customers in their cloud adoption & migration strategies, here is a brief methodology which we recommend to our enterprise customers:
1. Getting things off the ground – the Pre-work: This forms the fundamental step of the entire framework and creates the
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foundation. Typical high level steps around this would be:
a. Set up the cloud task force
b. Identify and align IT processes with cloud focus
c. Create a timeline based chart on cloud adoption
d. Establish the principles of cloud adoption & get business buy-in
2. Alignment with business objectives & functions: Having created the first step, the next step forms the crucial stride to categorize & prioritize the IT processes/workloads according to cloud readiness. Some of the steps that should be followed to arrive at a logic alignment with cloud readiness are:
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a. Conduct a business information assessment
b. Conduct cost model assessment (BlazeClan has built an integrated tool to conduct this practically).
c. Considering changes affecting organization processes on cloud adoption
d. Collecting requirements and checklists for each business application/IT process/workload
e. Evaluate cloud readiness (whether private or public) – This has to be determined based on multiple parameters like Compliance, business criticality, long term objective etc.
f. List out priorities & steps of cloud migration
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3. Choose the right vendor and the right service provider: One of the major steps in cloud adoption, the criticality lies in making
not just the right but the long time choice.
a. Make the choice of the service provider not based on just pricing but your business needs
b. The choice should be based on both functional and technology support provided by the service provider.
c. Look out for existing case studies in similar industries or functions where IT functions have seen some results.
d. Pick the right vendor to implement and support you for the adoption, preferably one referred by the service provider or one who has implemented the service for customers.
4. Keep Monitoring, Keep Optimizing: Post adoption, there is a need for continuous monitoring to ensure the results that you set out to achieve in the first place.
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a. Monitor the ROIs as well as the performance achieved over short periods. Most cloud services would have certain tools which would let you do medium to high level performance monitoring.
b. There is no stop to optimizing, the choice can be yours. Ensure that your team or your vendor does it for you with newer methods and best practices.
c. Contribute back by giving feedback to the vendor and even the service provider about your observations and your needs. They will appreciate it.
Cloud adoption is surely one of the difficult stages for any enterprise to undertake but certainly not at par with rocket science. With the right support and the right partner , it should be an exercise taken in the right direction.
Check out our Phase wise approach to Cloud Migration in this infographic.
For a better understanding of an Enterprise road map to Cloud Computing read this blog.
To know more about our enterprise Offerings visit us.