Cloud adoption is transforming business in more ways than one:
- Businesses are more agile and scalable
- Investments in technology are OPEX rather than CAPEX
- Managers are focused on innovation and not on management of technology
- Ideas, products and services have smaller delivery cycles
- Revenues are being generated faster
- Business reach is expanded
But, achieving all this and delivering innovation is not simple. You need to know what applications you need to move the Cloud and what services you want to create in the Cloud. You need to take stock of what you have and what you need to acquire. You need to know the right questions that need to be asked at the right time and know that you are receiving the right answers to your questions. Obviously, it is a very hard and long road that needs to be traversed.
So, begin with a decision model. Decide what applications you want to move to the Cloud. This will have to start with rationalization of applications in your portfolio. You need to evaluate all the applications and services with reference to their suitability for migration to the Cloud. The migration should not in any way compromise the speed of delivery or increase risk or cost. Risks and costs can be mitigated by modeling capacity requirements and focusing on elastic scaling with burst capacity. Virtualization should be given a serious consideration. Application behavior will have to be tested, and again tested, and again tested till you are satisfied that everything works according to the requirements. Expertise can be leveraged for ensuring that the Cloud services are well integrated to your business requirements.
Remember, the Cloud is attractive because it offers self service options. You may like to consider building, deploying, and using infrastructure services that lean towards self service. To this end, all processes being moved to the Cloud will have to be automated. Self service provisioning will work well if there are pre-configured workflows, content and service definitions in place. Base line configuration offerings will have to be captured and included in the catalog of automated services.
Security can never be sacrificed at the altar of innovation. Both security and innovation can be orchestrated if “content aware” identity and access controls are put in place.
Quality is a function of monitoring. Effective Cloud service delivery monitoring requires converged management. Managers should have the facility to collect and analyze performance information from disparate sources. They should have escalation protocols in place so that issues are escalated appropriately at the appropriate time to the appropriate person in the hierarchy. Tools for proactive detection of issues are a business imperative that cannot be ignored or sidelined.