Today, Cloud computing is an essential element of most companies’ IT strategy. Cloud offers significant opportunities and benefits in the areas of rich out-of-the-box features, elastic response, “pay-as-you-need” cost models, and service anywhere. However, Cloud computing also exposes businesses to new areas of risk, greater architectural complexity and potentially higher costs. Cloud is no panacea. By definition, in choosing a Cloud solution businesses enter into a service relationship with an external provider and in doing so, create a critical dependency.
We offer a service to develop a Cloud strategy for businesses that advises where and how to successfully employ Cloud solutions. This Cloud strategy can be part of a broader IT strategy, or standalone. As we describe below, our Cloud strategy divides into three complementary sub-strategies. Our approach first involves understanding our client’s strategic business goals, their IT strategic direction, and their current application and services architecture. From this starting point, we apply a methodology to assess suitability for Cloud services, considering both service model (SaaS, PaaS or IaaS) and deployment model (public, private, hybrid, colo).
Having defined a Cloud Service Strategy, we then develop an Organization Strategy that recommends organizational changes to the business as a whole, and to the IT Services group in particular, to build capability to procure and operate Cloud services. Finally, we consider changes that may be required to the enterprise architecture, particularly in the areas of security, authentication, service integration and external API management. This results in an Architecture Strategy.
As well as a Cloud Strategy, we can provide a supporting Cloud Adoption Framework for clients. This is a practical guide for procuring, implementing, operating and managing Cloud solutions. It includes step-by-step activities, checklists, guides and other resources.