Develop a Cloud Consumption Strategy

Optimize your cloud deployment to stay ahead of the demand curve.

Last Revised: November 20, 2012



Your Challenge

  • Organizations are moving to the Cloud in order to lower costs (or at least capex and administrative overhead) and increase scalability.
  • Because costs are more evenly distributed over the TCO and incremental capacity increases are easy for large numbers of non-administrative IT users to deploy, organizations are experiencing (or at least enabling) ‘cloud sprawl,’ along with uncertainty in the operating budget as consumption patterns vary from month to month.
  • It is easy for IT users (e.g. developers) to add a new instance rather than to optimize the use of existing resources, and there is no imminent need (as far as the user is concerned) to “turn the tap off” after capacity is no longer needed.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Without cloud consumption governance, users (both in business units and within IT) will risk sub-optimal use of cloud services.
  • Traditional planning and management styles will not work in a cloud environment. Organization must use the appropriate mix of capacity planning, capacity management, and cost allocation practices to optimize the value accrued from cloud services.
  • Capacity planning will simplify the planning process, maintain consistency, and ensure the right resources are being deployed for the appropriate use cases.
  • Capacity management enables organizations to continuously improve on configurations to take advantage of various costs and benefits of private and public clouds.
  • Cost allocation is enabled by the measurability of cloud services, and will increase cost visibility, and accountability within your company.
  • To get the most value, the architecture of the people, policies, and procedures must be as lean and agile as the IT services your company is deploying.

Impact and Result

  • Understand the value and risks of cloud versus traditional deployments.
  • Design a cloud consumption strategy around your current internal infrastructure and outsourced services that reflects the needs of employees and ensures that costs align with business value.
  • Plan for capacity proactively, but leave room to manage reactively
  • Consider third party cloud analytics solutions to help plan, manage, and account for cloud usage and cost.

Contributors

  • Vocalink
  • Eagle County, Colorado
  • United Nations World Food Programme
  • Ceva Logistics
  • U.S. General Service Administration
  • Cloudability
  • Cloudyn
  • Uptime Cloud
  • PlanForCloud (Rightscale)
  • Newvem
  • Blue Mountain Labs

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Best Practices Toolkit

  1. Realize the importance of a cloud consumption strategy

    Understand the value and risks of cloud vs. traditional deployments.

  2. Understand how to plan, manage, and account for cloud services

    Build an effective cloud consumption optimization strategy.

  3. Match the appropriate strategic resolutions to your enterprise's requirements

    Create a mix of policies and procedures that optimize cloud consumption.

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