October 5th, 2017 Dave McCarthy

Cloud Strategy: Planning your move to the cloud

Planning your cloud strategy involves a lot more than just planning the technology.

So last week we finished a bit of a tour around the UK for our café briefing session, plus it gave us an excuse to go and see some sites around the UK (the Churchill War Rooms is excellent and worth a visit). The brief was “Demistifying the cloud” (deliberate spelling error) and it was an attempt to put over what you need to think about when you are moving out to a cloud based model.

One of the things we did bring up was the fact that it’s all about the apps. What business processes are you moving and do you wrap it up in your normal service delivery models?

Interestingly, one piece of feedback is that this was the first time anyone has related cloud to service provision and linked it to ITIL. In the rush to the cloud many organisations big and small are being given the technical story and how nice the cloud is (and some parts aren’t) but do appear to be missing all of the good house-keeping we’ve learnt over the years of doing IT.

A genuine example

A genuine example of this I have was a retailer I’ve dealt with. The conversation goes like this:

Customer: “We’re moving out to large scale cloud provider because we can spin out environments much faster.”

Me: “With the tech you have deployed already your on-site system can do this. This can be done using the already paid for management engines and cloning tech to make it happen.”

Some time passes while we go away and do a PoC based on their existing FlexPod environment using automation engines. The conversation continues:

Me: See. Takes an hour for clone environment to a dev bubble, held in check by QoS.

Customer: “Ah, but you didn’t go through change control, so you need to do this. Means it’ll take at least a week. Cloud doesn’t need change control, so we can do this in an hour…”

Me: “Whah…OK, best of luck with that.”

As it transpires, the customers IT manager was trying to get cloud on CV for his next role, a role which he has moved on to. Now the customer has had several outages because of lack of control on the cloud production system. Their biggest problem is that without change control (even on the development environment) they face spiralling costs as there is no control over this at all.

I guess my point is that when planning for cloud deployment there is way more to consider than just planning the technology and platform. Your business processes are equally as important in planning any successful cloud adoption strategy.


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About the Author

Dave McCarthy
Dave McCarthy Principal Consultant and technical lead for Simplify IT Solutions Limited.

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