7 performance metrics for measuring cloud ROI within HP Cloud Management

In the last blog post, we looked at how to evaluate the financial health of your cloud business. Of course, financial metrics are just one aspect to measuring ROI. In order to be in a position to fully optimize your cloud environment, you also need to track a range of performance metrics.

 

When adopting a cloud strategy, there are typically four performance objectives that organizations need to consider:

  • Improving reliability
  • Accelerating agility
  • Increasing compliance
  • Improving data privacy

 

 The first two—reliability and agility—are the most important influences in showing ROI and proving that the cloud can maintain or improve performance benchmarks. Let’s take a closer look at how KPIs can measure progress on those objectives.

 

1. Improve reliability

Often some of the biggest concerns customers have when moving applications to the cloud involve how the move will impact their reliability and how much control they’ll have over reliability. There are a few KPIs that will help you establish benchmarks for reliability and maintain or improve high grades after the transition to the cloud:

  • Percentage of monitored applications—Ensures your business application monitoring procedures are efficient. A higher percentage indicates that you have a more complete picture of your cloud environment
  • Percentage of apps met SLA—Tracks whether SLAs achieve target performance goals over time

 

For example, Figure 1 shows how cloud performance aligns to SLAs across different services. This provides timely information that a service owner can use to react and improve services that are underperforming certain thresholds.

  

CDO-Reliability.pngFig. 1 — Screenshot of HP Cloud Delivery Optimization (CDO) mobile app, powered by HP IT Executive Scorecard

 

 

2. Accelerate agility

One of the critical objectives many customers have when they move to the cloud is to enable faster service to end-users for greater business agility. Central IT often has a hard time competing with public cloud providers—they are often faced with tough questions. What do you say to business users who ask, “Why does it take me two minutes to get a server from a public service provider and ordering it from you takes a month?”

 

But now imagine you can show that as part of the move to the cloud, you will be able to compete with that public cloud offering, and be able to demonstrate that your agility has dramatically improved. There are three KPIs that can help measure performance improvements and show your competitive advantage. These include:

  • Average time to provision a node—an average of how long it takes to provision a node, which over time you can take steps to lower (see Figure 2).
  • Average time to deploy an application—measures effectiveness of application automation.
  • Average delivery time of new products or services—helps ensure that from a project perspective, your business is agile and efficient.

 

For example, Figure 2 displays a favorable trend in the “time to provision a node” metric between August 2012 and May 2013:  

CDO-TtoProvision.pngFig. 2 — Screenshot of HP Cloud Delivery Optimization (CDO) mobile application, powered by HP IT Executive Scorecard

 

 

Measuring compliance and privacy in the cloud

Given the heightened requirements for security and compliance, your cloud ROI models should also assess metrics related to these areas. Here are two important metrics you can incorporate:

  • Percentage of Non-Encrypted Traffic measures whether the quantity of encrypted traffic is adequate and can help ensure you improve levels of data privacy.
  • Percentage of Managed Nodes can help you identify and reduce risk by increasing the percentage of managed devices, which is an important consideration for achieving higher compliance standards.

 

Measuring what matters

To accurately measure the ROI of your cloud environment, your organization should take a holistic approach that blends multiple performance and financial metrics for a complete picture. The metrics above track factors that most IT organizations should expect to improve over time by moving to the cloud—especially agility—or at least need to ensure they are maintained at a consistent level compared to on-premise standards. Only by having this type of transparency into your cloud environment will you be able to effectively operate and optimize it.

 

Learn more

Find out how the new HP Cloud Delivery Optimization integrates with HP Cloud Service Automation and uses HP IT Executive Scorecard to help you track the right data it CDO’s web-based cloud analytics dashboard and mobile application.

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