Sunday, November 23, 2014

CIO’s “Cloud Philosophy”: The Preparation and Pitfalls of Cloudification

Cloudification is a journey to reinvent IT via modernization, classification, integration, and optimization.


More and more organizations are pushing their cloud envelope and migrate more IT applications, platform, or even infrastructure to the cloud, what are the logic steps you should follow, and what’re the pitfalls you need to avoid?

Preparation is the key. you need to know what you require from a Cloud provider before you embark upon choosing a partner. Its not just features but also, SLA, Contract Terms, Price point, Geographies, all should be considered, especially if you are looking at Cloud as the strategy for all or most of your application set.

Clarify GRC requirement. Validating your company’s GRC platform is met while maintaining productivity and securing corporate data meets the needs within your budget. When you can answer or meet all GRC requirements, then this cloud planning would be an excellent first start. It shall include a SLA discussion. You simply cannot hold cloud deployments to the same set of processes and due-diligence as legacy IT. 

Evaluate cloud service provider via agile principles, not waterfall model. Find something that works as close as possible to your process now, but determine if the cloud provider is going to align with your business processes. You will evolve, they will evolve, technology will evolve... Not all cloud service providers have a very extensive ecosystem of apps, services, and partners due to APIs having been published and well understood. Trying to evaluate and manage cloud providers to the waterfall model increases overall risk. This is why many agile and innovative organizations moving to fail-fast principles - which the cloud helps adopt.

 Portability is a key question. How easy will it be to move your data away from the service provider? Whether planning IaaS, PaaS or SaaS via a public, private or partner cloud, the contracts of the legacy applications an organization wishes to deploy or integrate need to be consulted. Emphasize the importance of understanding the workload targeted for Cloud, its characteristics, governance and compliance may dictate the type of cloud to target or negate cloud use altogether. 

There is no one size cloud solution to fit all. Organizations just have to understand each flavor of cloud and adopt it accordingly.
(1) Private Cloud 
• Computing requirements are very high 
• IT agility and the ability to move workloads around 
• GRC & security restrictions that dictate dedicated hardware resources 

(2) Hybrid Cloud 
• Computing requirements are small, medium or large 
• IT agility and the ability to move workloads around 
• There are different levels of GRC requirement for apps/platform/infrastructure cloudification.
(3) Public Cloud 
• Computing requirements are small, medium or large 
• IT agility and the ability to move workloads around 
• IT utility workloads can be elevated to the cloud for cost efficiency.

Moving up to the cloud is neither for cost saving only nor about catching the IT fashion, it is a journey to reinvent IT via modernization, classification, integration, and optimization, it is an opportunity to improve IT agility and increase IT maturity, make well preparation, and avoid potential pitfalls, it is not only the technology, more crucially about management methodology and philosophy. 

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