Your cloud transformation starts here: How to develop a strategic plan

With written contribution by Andrew Wahl

 

For enterprise IT leaders, cloud-based technologies and services present a much larger opportunity for organizational transformation than merely a flexible extension of server infrastructure. The cloud offers a new model of operating and delivering IT to business users that can dramatically improve efficiency, reliability and agility. For an end state that allows end users within the Line of Businesses (LOB), the means of self-service consumption of application, platform, infrastructure services from an intuitive subscriber portal. 

 

But this metamorphosis will not happen overnight. To successfully embrace all that the cloud can offer and avoid possible pitfalls, IT leaders need to map out a multi-year strategy with a practical vision for how they want to evolve to serve the business better.

 

A cloud of your own

Not to get too cute with the cloud analogy, but just like the atmospheric variety, every organization’s cloud will be unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Any vision for how your enterprise will use cloud technologies needs to take into consideration your environments’ specific requirements—for example, what platforms do you use now and in the future, and what kind of integrations will your strategy demand? 

 

It’s quite possible that your enterprise will not only require a mix of traditional IT, private and public cloud environments, but it may ultimately need multiples of each type, depending on the performance and quality standards your business demands. It’s important that when you do pick a cloud management platform, it is a foundation that can grow and change to fit changing requirements using a heterogeneous and modular approach. That the investments that were made today, and for tomorrow, will not be subjected to concerns of vendor lock-in.

 

Sky’s the limit

But how might those requirements change? This is why you need to have a clear vision of how cloud technologies will affect your business.

 

For example, the availability of cloud services changes the dynamic between the lines of business and IT. Whereas IT was once clearly tasked with building services for LOBs, now IT is frequently in the position of deciding whether to build or buy from some public cloud or Software as a Service (SaaS), and how to mix these with internal services to meet whatever performance or availability the LOB requires.

 

With this flexibility in provisioning such breadth of services, comes the need for a single unified IT operations management toolset capable of managing these services across traditional IT, private and public cloud environments. In simplifying day-day operations.  

 

Becoming a cloud service broker

This model of IT as a Cloud Service Broker is fundamentally different from traditional IT and requires careful technology planning and a new approach to managing your organization. But the payoff could be huge: the potential exists to remove most or all complexity from ordering IT services to the point that they can do it through a self-service web interface with automated provisioning.

 

Of course, your enterprise IT organization likely has some kind of strategy already. Your cloud strategy cannot stand alone—wherever possible, it should closely align to overall IT objectives. Addressing areas such as business service management, to security intelligence and risk management. For an end-end approach towards provisioning advanced IT operations management capabilities.

 

One step at a time

Developing a clear cloud strategy allows your organization to gradually evolve at a pace that works for the business and avoid paying unnecessarily high up-front costs or getting surprised by hidden costs. Better to start small with a foundation that lets you to scale over time, towards a bigger vision.

 

In a following series of blogs, I go into more detail about what IT leaders need to consider for prudently and successfully harnessing the power of cloud technologies, including:

  • Building cloud on a foundation of automation
  • Selecting cloud services you want to offer
  • Setting SLAs for your cloud services
  • Securing IT in the cloud
  • Managing cloud assets for fiscal responsibility
  • Avoiding cloud vendor lock-in

 

Learn more

Find out HP Cloud management provides support for application, platform and infrastructure services with cloud brokering and heterogeneous environments for a flexible foundation for hybrid clouds today and in the future. Visit www.hp.com/go/cloudmanagement

 

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Lending 20 years of IT market expertise across 5 continents, for defining moments as an innovation adoption change agent.
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