Benchmark Your Cloud Strategy By Asking These Questions
“Organisations that do not have a high-level cloud strategy driven by their business strategy will significantly increase their risk of failure and wasted investment.”
David Cearley, Vice President and Gartner Fellow
Cloud computing offers many advantages, however gaining the full measure of benefits requires a well-thought-out cloud strategy to guide the planning and execution of this journey. In developing your cloud strategy, have you adequately addressed these questions?
How will you transform and implement your cloud strategy?
In order to determine where and how you should migrate applications and services to cloud services, a decision framework is needed to determine use-case scenarios. Applications and workloads need to be categorised when adopting cloud computing.
For each application or use case, identify risks, and determine mitigation steps to reduce or eliminate those risks. Evaluate risk versus benefit: where benefits are high, and risks low, cloud services should be quickly adopted; where benefits are low, and risks high, de-prioritise these applications and revisit later, so that it will not slow or stall cloud adoption momentum.
How will you integrate and operate across hybrid environments?
A typical organisation’s IT footprint usually spans multiple environments that are a combination of, multiple public cloud environments and even private cloud. Developing best practices, new tools and methods will be required to successfully secure, manage and operate these hybrid environments.
How will the businesses application strategy and architecture be impacted?
There are four main types of application delivery in the cloud, and determining which application is suitable for which delivery method is essential to optimal operation. Some applications can be replaced by SaaS-delivered services. Alternatively, the migration of software to IaaS and/or PaaS services may be required.
Finally, there are cloud-optimised and cloud-native applications that deliver the greatest value. To achieve this will require evolving application development strategies for new skills and technologies and the methodologies to provide governance.
Is there an opportunity to provide cloud service to others?
Delivery of external facing applications and service can be evaluated for consumption by clients through the cloud. Providing cloud services to others can further drive internal improvement and product innovation. Creation of cloud-native applications will facilitate capability improvement within the organisation that can be leveraged against operation and development of other external and internal applications.
Delivering services using cloud-native services within DevOps practices can measurably improve your organisation’s products and services. With the aim to be faster to market, faster to innovate and reduce operational costs.
How should existing approaches to technology change?
To be successful, a big picture approach is necessary. A successfully implemented cloud strategy is synonymous in many cases with a successful DevOps transformation, a disrupting activity. Your cloud strategy needs to engage all sectors of the business. Involving Marketing, Sales, HR, Finance, Delivery, Security, Operations and Management, understanding their goals and objectives, and how your strategy is aligned to them.
Traditional infrastructure approaches will still be important. Expanding your team’s knowledge and capability to guide and deploy new technologies is essential to your organisation to ensure the direction is defined and governance maintained across multiple external and internal services.
A strategic shift to infrastructure brokering is needed when adopting cloud service. Developing the skills and knowledge of when and where to use different public, private and traditional technologies, their costs, their advantages and disadvantages, will further enable your team to become a gateway for business units to obtain and implement new technologies.
Have we modified our governance for the cloud?
Initial forays into the cloud can be marred by cost overruns and inefficiencies, due to operations and governance not modified for the cloud. Traditional IT operations knowledge falls short when providing governance for cloud services and DevOps, especially when applied to costs, efficiency and security. A common scenario is the upskilling of technologists to deploy a solution to the cloud, and upon delivery there is a scramble to optimise for cost and efficiencies.
Costs, efficiency, security, change management, risk and mitigation, and their governance, all need to be re-evaluated and modified to account for the unique characteristics of cloud computing.
The cloud challenges traditional IT to adapt and grow, in order that your organisation can gain the full benefits and advantages the cloud offers. Each organisation is different, each with a different collection of applications bringing unique challenges. An experienced technologist at Object Consulting can assist in evaluating, developing or implementing your cloud strategy.
Are you looking to fast track your cloud strategy? Contact us and have a chat with one of our cloud specialists.