Article

Cloud transformation: Preparation

Almost every company now uses some form of cloud technology. But many companies still have difficulties in achieving the results they are looking for in terms of agility, flexibility and therefore a faster pace of business.

The statistics show that nearly all companies use at least one form of the cloud: over 90% of those surveyed use at least one public or private cloud and over 60% use a combination of public and private clouds.

For IT, the cloud is definitely a different type of operating model: functions have to be fully automated, both new infrastructure and new application code are introduced into live production environments without any restrictions involving release windows.

Alongside that, the high level of automation is intended to minimize errors, human failures and inefficiencies as far as possible – assuming that the cloud has been correctly implemented and configured.

The challenge is that today’s cloud landscapes are becoming increasingly complex. This makes it ever more difficult to find and configure

  • the right mix of
  • public, private
  • and hybrid

cloud environments.

Since users can request and use virtual machines quickly, the cloud is an automated platform for virtualization for many people. Others are more interested in using the functions of public cloud providers.

Which cloud is right for you?

The way in which companies do business is undergoing a fundamental change because of the cloud. These changes affect employees, processes and technologies. Technology and processes can usually be configured and controlled – the human factor usually involves the greatest impact and is thus by far the most difficult to deal with!

Questions such as:

  1. Time-to-Market: How can the entire value chain be improved and software provisioning automated at the same time?
  2. Innovation: Can new technologies and ideas be developed and can employees experiment?
  3. Cultural change:  Are the processes and employees ready for a change to the status quo?

must be solved with a consensus of all the units, teams and people involved.

An important factor here is the integration of functions such as security and compliance from the outset, along with consultation with the works council at an early stage. Any defensive posturing and complex technical adaptations down the line can be avoided in this way.

Terms such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) will follow you throughout your discussions. IaaS is a form of cloud computing that makes virtual computer resources available over the internet. Along with Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), IaaS is one of the three main categories of cloud computing services.

Clarification of these questions usually helps point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a cloud!

Act2Perform© has proven itself many times over in resolving these questions and ResultONE can offer valuable support in running workshops and discussions and in the readjustment and consensus process!

Cost-effectiveness of your cloud solution

A cloud business case based on the above decisions will bring further valuable insights.

The following two perspectives can be helpful and revealing in this context:

  1. A thorough analysis of the overall operating costs and savings on direct costs. The overall operating costs reveal the impact of replacing local services with cloud services. In determining your current costs, you should not only compare the servers, of course, but also consider the costs of the entire package.

  2. Determination of the cost-effectiveness of a cloud. This includes agility and other indirect costs. However, it can be something of a challenge to find answers to the questions below
  3. What is the advantage of a cloud with a highly flexible and agile infrastructure?
  4. What are the financial effects of shortening provisioning times?

Quantification of the intangible benefits of a cloud to a company is usually trickier:

  • How do you measure the effects on productivity (e.g. in person days)?
  • What is the overall benefit of faster application development?
  • How do you measure the effects of faster software lifecycles?
  • What do human failures and downtimes cost your company?

Cloud transformation: Areas to consider (extract)

Using a cloud fundamentally changes a company. An integrated approach to its introduction and the conversion process is therefore essential – the purely technical side of the conversion can usually be completed relatively quickly. As many areas of a company are involved and should carry out the transformation at the same pace, introduction of the cloud represents a big challenge for everyone involved.

  • In the field of strategy, for example, a multi-cloud strategy and the associated governance must be clarified, risks assessed and targets and KPIs defined.
  • For the employees involved, adaptations to role definitions are necessary because of material changes. The new method of working must be learned, support for people with the necessary skills in a continuous learning process is just as important as appropriate forms of employee retention.
  • The cloud structures require different types of innovations, design and development of appropriate container strategies and handling of multi-cloud platforms.
  • The applications which are replaced or migrate and those that can be left behind must be categorized. In addition, migration techniques and tools for assessing applications must be developed and IaaS automation moved forward.
  • Operations has new operational and developmental roles with the new operating models that accompany them. Monitoring and the associated dashboard and status information must also be redefined.
  • Security focuses primarily on risk and compliance of automated frameworks. Last but not least, you will need the tools and software to create the necessary transparency.
  • DevOps is concerned with automation techniques and PaaS management. Roles and responsibilities must be reorganized for this and they also affect IaaS and development and coding practice.
  • Data migration has to be completed, which requires definition of database types/services with formats and structures. Governance and the lifecycle of data must also be considered carefully.

This list is far from complete and illustrates just some of the areas you need to consider! But even this brief outline shows: cloud transformation takes time, so don’t expect changes to happen overnight! As a minimum, the cloud strategy and the most important security requirements and mechanisms have to be clearly defined for you to start with some pilot applications!

Do you need help? We have answers and model solutions and can help you to overcome your specific challenges – get in touch with us today!

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