Own the Cloud: Strategy and Action Plan

Cloud computing is not the future, it is the current reality. Be it on-premises or off, public or private, IT must have a strategy and plan for brokering cloud services.

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Unmanaged and ad hoc approaches to cloud opportunities cause:

  • Increased potential for unacceptable risk (security and compliance) to critical enterprise data.
  • Fragmentation of business data, processes, and identity management due to lack of integration.
  • Missed opportunities to lower costs and improve service to the business.
  • Ad hoc due diligence that frustrates the speed and agility benefits of cloud.
  • IT to be shut out of key IT decisions and its role and validity to be questioned.

An enterprise cloud computing strategy results in:

  • Broad consensus on goals and expected results of moving select processes to the cloud.
  • Standardized, systematic approach for evaluating the benefits, challenges, and risks of cloud projects.
  • Clear requirements for the negotiation and monitoring of partnerships with cloud service providers.
  • Understanding and consensus on the enabling and managing role IT will play in future cloud initiatives.
  • Goals and a roadmap for transforming internal IT from asset managers to service brokers.

Module 1: Evaluate Business and Cloud Current State

The Purpose

  • Discuss general understanding of “cloud” and build a common understanding that the team agrees on.
  • Determine cloud appropriateness for organization (IT organization structure, status of current infrastructure).
  • Walk through the methodology of identifying opportunity and selecting services for the cloud.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Built a common understanding of cloud to be used throughout organizational strategy.
  • Outlined goals of different stakeholders to find commonalities.
  • Identified strengths and challenges through current assessment.
  • Identified value for the organization of public, private, hybrid, and community deployment models and IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS service delivery models.
  • Prioritized cloud services based on business demand.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Define cloud.
  • List of goals, unmet needs, key stakeholders, and cloud drivers
1.2 Outline corporate goals, current unmet needs, key stakeholders, and strategy drivers.
1.3 Assess IT current state.
  • IT cloud readiness assessment
1.4 Review cloud deployment models and service types.
  • Candidate services for Module 2 selected
1.5 Align, prioritize, and select cloud initiatives for review.

Module 2: Evaluate Opportunities and Readiness

The Purpose

  • Assess the value opportunities for moving services to the cloud.
  • Evaluate readiness of each service.
  • Establish Go/Caution/Stop for selected services.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identified core benefits of cloud implementation of individual services.
  • Identified appropriateness of cloud migration of individual services.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Assess the value opportunities for moving selected services to the cloud.
  • Service-specific readiness/value assessment.
2.2 Evaluate readiness of selected cloud initiatives.
  • Establish Go/Caution/Stop for selected services.

Module 3: Mitigate Key Risks of Target Cloud Computing

The Purpose

  • Understand the risks associated with the cloud.
  • Identify mitigation strategies for risk areas.
  • Develop action plans for mitigation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Discussed corporate security concerns about cloud migration.
  • Evaluated current recovery capabilities.
  • Reviewed integration processes and plans.
  • Discussed staffing and skill requirements for the shift to the cloud.
  • Identified impacted infrastructure and data components.
  • Developed action plans for mitigation of cloud risks.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Understand risks associated with cloud and contrasting perspectives.
  • Risk registry
3.2 Demonstrate methodology for addressing cloud risk across 5 key areas: Security & compliance, availability & reliability, data integration, staff resourcing, internal infrastructure.
3.3 Build mitigation strategies to address risks.
  • Action plans for risk mitigation

Module 4: Build a Strategic Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Apply learnings and define positioning statements on service provisioning (public and private, cloud and outsourcing, internal and external).
  • Review and define organization’s method of adopting cloud and changes in governing cloud consumption.
  • Identify success metrics based on goals, drivers, and desired value.
  • Complete a TCO and/or cost/benefit analysis for each cloud service initiative.
  • Develop an implementation timeline.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Clearly defined and structured understanding of a common target end state: defined position on cloud use, cloud adoption, and policy changes.
  • Identified success metrics.
  • Created a roadmap of next step items.
  • Drafted a cloud initiative roadmap.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Refine a strategic target state.
  • Clearly defined and documented target state vision
4.2 Review business impact (cost model, benefits, resourcing).
  • Complete TCO and Cost/Benefit Analysis (Providing costing/quotes are available)
4.3 Build an action plan.
  • Build action plan timeline
  • Build first draft of strategy and action plan document

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