This article is part 4 of a series on cloud computing.
Cost-effective cloud adoption
One of the most important considerations when adopting new cloud technology is cost. By taking steps to ensure that your organization is implementing the cloud in a way that provides a high ratio of benefits to costs, the organization can help make IT a revenue enabler that adds value to the organization.
Make a cost/benefit analysis – Whether your organization is implementing the cloud for the first time or evaluating current deployments, a good first step is making a cost/benefit analysis of the technology. How much will upfront and monthly costs be for the cloud deployment? How much will the company save in productivity, increased sales, or reduced downtime? What are the costs of alternative solutions? The answers should inform any cloud-implementation decision.
Repurpose existing investments – One of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of the cloud is to repurpose existing investments as entry points. By using an enterprise technology framework to identify what can be reused and what needs to be rebuilt, organizations can greatly decrease the financial costs of a cloud deployment. Investments made for server consolidation, ITSM, virtualization, API adoption and development, high availability improvements, and scripting automations are examples of improvements that can be applied to private-cloud deployments. They also can be a part of a hybrid deployment or integrated into a public deployment.
Negotiate agreeable terms – When working with public-cloud vendors or MSPs, it is extremely important to negotiate terms that meet the needs of the organization. Make sure that your organization has considered what maintenance is included, what the uptime guarantees are, how much support is available, and the vendor’s reliability record. They will all influence the ongoing cost of the deployment.
Evolving your cloud implementation
To ensure that your organization stays competitive and takes full advantage of the growing power of cloud, it is important to constantly evolve your cloud implementation. Below are some key questions and steps to help your organization make its use of cloud more effective.
- Identify the business challenges our organization is facing.
- How is IT affecting these challenges?
- How effective are my cloud implementations (if any)?
- How are our business stakeholders interfacing with cloud vendors without us?
- What are the existing investments that can be repurposed as entry points to the cloud?
- How will our internal cloud capability grow alongside our virtualized environments?
- How will we start building relationships with external cloud providers?
- As we begin to adopt more cloud solutions, how will it change our network architecture and data center requirements?
- What cloud deployment models can be used to fill gaps, improve efficiency, and build the business?
- Are the internal cloud and external environment more efficient and cost-effective?
- How will we maintain talent?
- How will we manage current providers and continue to build relationships with new ones?
- Do we have systems in place to help us keep pace with changing technology?
- How will the cloud impact how we interface with our suppliers and our customers and deliver our services?
- What are the opportunities for reduced costs?
- What are the opportunities for improved efficiency?
- What new means of charging and paying for services does the cloud allow?
- How can the cloud help our organization drive profits?
- How will the cloud affect IT’s ongoing budget?
- How will the cloud affect IT’s capital and operational expenditures?
New operating models
- How do we manage security in the public and private cloud?
- What are the greatest threats to a cloud deployment?
- How do we ensure performance?
- Do existing SLAs ensure uptime?
- What staff do we need to maintain? What skills do they need?
- How does the cloud affect enterprise architecture?
- How does the cloud affect governance?
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