Strategic Cloud Adoption for Answering Current & Future Workloads
With the ever-increasing business competition, it has become vital for organisations to be smart cloud players by adopting innovative IT transformation approaches to build agile and flexible business systems. Most organisations adopt cloud computing in an ad-hoc manner, usually starting with “pilot projects”, however, for cloud adoption to be successful, a solid, well-thought out and clearly devised cloud adoption strategy needs to be developed taking into account the risks and rewards involved.
There is a significant growth in hybrid cloud adoption as public cloud users added private cloud resource pools. According to the State of the Cloud Survey conducted by RightScale in 2016, 77% of respondents are now adopting private cloud up from 63% last year, because of which, use of hybrid cloud environments has grown to 71%.
Importance of Strategic Considerations for Cloud Adoption
In order to embark a journey towards building a digital platform for the enterprise to cater to its current and future workloads, the organisations need to evaluate different cloud deployment attributes to derive the greatest value and benefit of introducing cloud computing into their existing IT environment.
Carrying out a well-planned strategic cloud adoption would help companies to respond rapidly to the changing demands of the customers and also enables them to achieve an efficient and effective migration.
Life Cycle of Enterprise Cloud Adoption Strategy
The process of strategizing for cloud adoption can be divided into the following steps-
- The Preliminary Steps:
Scope the enterprise organization by obtaining and understanding the business strategy, partnership, and business agreements. Existing governance and supporting frameworks need to be collected. The enterprise architecture (EA) principles must be identified to tailor the framework in line with the vision of the organization. At the end of this stage, the tailored framework for cloud adoption must be ready.
- Perform Initial Planning:
Understanding the baseline of the enterprise architecture forms a major step in the cloud adoption process. It is necessary to identify the requirements and motivations in the following areas to migrate to cloud computing in your enterprise:
- New capabilities required by the business to increase its market value
- Opportunities to save capital and avoid operating expense
- Needs for improved scalability
The outputs of this stage include the motivation model, baseline architecture, business model, high-level plan of the project and vendor selection criteria.
- Understanding Existing Capabilities and Cloud Vision:
Identify the alternatives and structure the benefits by calculating the required budget and the expected ROI by creating a benefit value tree. The timeframe to execute cloud adoption needs to be estimated. Potential risks must be identified, for example, the applications and IT architecture must support the changing market needs. Risk management plan should be drafted at the end of this stage.
- Target Architecture and Cloud Enablers:
A concrete targeted architecture must be prepared by identifying the new values offered in the corresponding business model.
- Gap Analysis and Transition Planning:
Perform gap analysis by identifying shortfalls from project management perspective. Identify gap from technology domain. A thorough change management plan needs to be drafted by understanding the determinants to adopt a cloud solution and strategy implementation.
- Implementation Planning:
Identification of plan and start-up efforts needs to be done. Integration requirements must be identified and developed. This stage consists of following steps:
- Understanding roles and responsibilities
- Evaluation of business level policies
- Understanding service and deployment model differences
- Evaluating security and privacy requirements
- Service failure management plan
- Understanding recovery plan
- Creating the exit process
- Implementation Governance:
Confirm the scope and priorities for cloud deployment by identifying the required deployment resources and skills and performing EA compliance reviews and post-implementation reviews.
- Architecture Change Management:
Establishing value realization process, managing risks, developing change requirements to meet performance targets and activating the process to implement change, mark the essential steps of this stage.
It is crucial to have a sourcing plan in order to understand what new or existing workloads will be hosted on what cloud platform (private cloud, public IaaS/PaaS/SaaS, industry cloud, etc.). It is also important to have a clear understanding of the impact and risks involved when considering the transition of existing workloads. Transitions should be planned accordingly, and operations teams should be trained so that they are able to manage the new technology in the most effective way.