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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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Contributors

  • Dave Schoepel, IT Services – Sr. Enterprise Technology Strategist
  • Trey Robinson, Enterprise Architect – IT Security
  • Darryl Levesque, Solution Architect, Kanatek Technologies
  • Moeen Muzaffar, Director of IT
  • Mike Stevenson, Director of Infrastructure & Operations, Global IT
  • One anonymous contributor

Your Challenge

  • The C-suite, vendors, and competitors are applying pressure on IT to pursue cloud. Others are benefitting from its elasticity, agility, availability, and IT efficiency gains, but is it worth it for your organization?
  • Neglecting cloud as an option may result in missed opportunities to lower costs or improve service to the business.
  • Identifying which infrastructure or services belong in the cloud is challenging and difficult to standardize, creating a significant barrier to formulating an overall strategy.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The cloud is not a place. Though hosted private and public cloud are attractive outsourcing targets, they are not the whole story of either outsourcing or cloud computing.
  • Hybrid is the goal. Most organizations (enterprise and SMB) are pursuing a strategy of on-premises and off site, public and private clouds together in hybrid.
  • Cloud is not fire and forget. A strong cloud strategy, much like the management of individual cloud services, requires ongoing management and needs to account for changes to people, processes, and technology to be successful.

Impact and Result

  • Build broad consensus on goals and expected results of moving select processes to the cloud to form the basis of a strategy that enables the business.
  • Perform an IT assessment to determine the organizational readiness to adopt cloud services.
  • Develop a standardized, systematic approach for evaluating the benefits, challenges, and risks of cloud projects.
  • Define a target state and action plan to present to business stakeholders, execute the strategy, and build guiding principles to advance maturity in leveraging cloud services.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you need to own the cloud through a deliberate strategy and action plan, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Evaluate the business and the cloud

Understand value and readiness of leveraging the cloud for the business.

2. Identify and mitigate key risks

Identify and build action plans to mitigate key risks and roadblocks obstructing the achievement of the target state.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Evaluate the business and the cloud

Call #1 - Discuss goals and drivers. Introduce Cloud Strategy Workbook.
Call #2 - Review IT current assessment. Discuss business activities and IT services. Prioritize services to run through readiness and value assessment of Step 2.1.
Call #3 - Review value and readiness results.

Guided Implementation #2 - Identify and mitigate key risks

Call #1 - Discuss stakeholder concerns regarding cloud. Walk through risk assessment activities and present module 3 of Cloud Strategy Workbook.
Call #2 - Review risks and brainstorm mitigation strategies to address risks identified from 3.1. Consider implications to desired target state.

Guided Implementation #3 - Complete the cloud strategy

Call #1 - Discuss and define target state.
Call #2 - Review cloud strategy and business impact. Outline strategic action plan to move strategy forward across business.
Call #3 - Continue ongoing touchpoints as desired with analyst to discuss cloud strategy impact and effectiveness.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

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