Cloud Safari – investigate the surroundings

Investigate the surroundings

“Live with your head in the clouds, as long as you keep your feet steadily planted on solid ground!” This is the shortest possible version of the initial investigative phase of your Cloud Safari. If you feel that things are all clear then stop reading now. I had a feeling you would continue. Thank you for your attention. Let’s tackle the longer version then.

Independent of your organizations size, there are two main inputs you need to be able to succeed in your strategy endeavor:

  1. Your current IT Capabilities – Excellent article that is very relevant today can be found on TechRepublic
  2. Your IT Costs (per annum) – Excellent book on this topic is “A practical guide to Reducing IT Costs”

By having that input you are equipped with raw material that helps you understand the potential problems that Cloud Computing can solve for you. Assuming you have that information you need to understand the business model, benefits and risks behind each of the Cloud delivery models. On the highest level you can find financial, technological, operational and environmental benefits. From a risk perspective you can face internal/external security risks, data protection failures, cloud outages, vendor lock-in, data loss, vendor failure and contract failure. A brief illustration of the process is outlined below.

Business review

Perhaps the case for Cloud Computing emanates from one separate business function or division? As long as it is one separate project it will be manageable and you can draw a lot of conclusions from the process. The problems arise when dozens of initiatives pops up from all over. This can lead to unwanted consequences. Formulating a cloud strategy and doing a concerted effort is the preferred way of going forward.

The key tips to get you started:

  • Review the key drivers, objectives and the positive/negative impact criteria that those business functions/divisions have decided upon.
  • Map them to your overall business and you IT Capabilities.
  • Engage those volunteers that are in the frontline as change leaders.
  • Identify employees from all parts of your business to be change evaluators.

Now you have a high-level map, a risk matrix and a team of eager souls betting on a change. Congrats! You have successfully completed the first stage.

Next article will present some musings on the roles within the team and a schizophrenic change leader that you will depend upon.

By Predrag Mitrovic

Predrag is also the Chief Inspiration Officer and Owner of MyNethouse.se.

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