Preparing to reap the benefits of cloud

Eric Haissaguerre
Orange Business Services
It's obvious now, cloud adoption is a reality and its benefits are quite luring. You have probably heard them all in zillion presentations, industry forums and articles by now: cost savings, agility, scalability, the ability to move capex to opex. Yet, there's a pertinent question that is hardly raised at all in most discussions: "How prepared are you to reap all the benefits of the cloud?"
 
This is an important question and one that I frequently put to customer organizations in Asia Pacific. All too often, many organizations with large IT departments do not examine their operations deeply enough before they embark on their cloud transformation. They do not plan for the new business environment dynamics that cloud will bring into the organization.
 
While cloud solutions can bring more value and agility to an organization. If the organization has not prepared itself for the change, then calculations of anticipated return on investments (ROI), lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and other benefits can go awry.
When considering cloud, CIOs must consider answering these questions:
  • What are your organization's existing infrastructure and its support model?
  • How do you match the existing infrastructure with the organization's business demands?
  • Is your infrastructure a DIY model or do you have components of managed services?
  • What is the best way for your specific infrastructure to transform?
  • Should you take a slow and gradual approach or introduce a sudden 'big-bang style' change?
  • What governance and security policies does your organization follow?
  • What are the inter-dependencies among business applications and the expected changes?
The answers will give you and the cloud provider critical understanding of your cloud needs. Even if there is a compelling business event like the need for infrastructure consolidation, refresh for end-of-life systems or the challenges of delivering 24/7 support, the correct cloud model to adopt will depend on the answers to this self-assessment. They will guide the organization in selecting the most appropriate cloud model -- public, private or hybrid -- as well as which components of the cloud best suit it and when they should be implemented.

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