Transitioning the Enterprise into the Cloud:

A Business Approach

Overview: A practitioner’s approach

North of $600,000 is spent annually on cloud computing. Yet, this is only a small portion of the total IT spend. Still, much work remains to complete the transition, as the cloud is recognized as a superior information technology service delivery model. A cloud transition, involving a move from a premise-based data center to an Internet-based, on-demand model, is complex, risky, and costly.  Significant strategic planning and execution efforts lie ahead, as corporate leaders strive to deliver products and services while reducing their cost of operations.

This book accomplishes several objectives toward those objectives.  First, it identifies how the current premise-based information technology delivery model is helped by a cloud-based delivery model.  This is accomplished by outlining data collection costs, contrasting their equivalents to cloud price offerings and capabilities, and observing current and upcoming areas of need.

Why My book is different

The book leverages business strategy concepts to help corporate leaders, including but not limited to information technology executives, prepare to move their information technology operations into the cloud.

Beginning with a clearly defined cloud value proposition, this book highlights current information technology delivery and management issues found in today’s workforce. Several cloud use cases are presented that enable company decision makers to best deliver customer value, reduce operational costs, and increase revenue.

The book’s cloud transition journey continues as commonly used cost management methods or activity-based accounting protocols are introduced or further leveraged to guide information collection related to current operational costs, staff activities, and strategic services.  This specialized information gathering will generate strategic knowledge for assessing opportunities of continued improvement and advancement, particularly in the cloud but also in the current data center arrangement.

After a brief outline of the cloud’s key characteristics, written for the strategist, the book then outlines five potential cloud transition scenarios or use cases. These use cases build upon the first two chapters – Chapter 1: Applying a Cost Management System to the Current Information Technology Environment; and Chapter 2: An Outline of the Key Areas of the Cloud – to create a cloud-sourcing strategy.  The cloud marketplace is also assessed.  (Do these chapter title references match the title references you subsequently use toward the end of this document?  I could not find matching references.)

Leveraging the Cloud Marketplace

to Mitigate Risks, Costs and Complexities.

If you are a Chief Information Officer (CIO), you know transitioning to the cloud is a very large and risky project. Though your cloud strategy maybe part of your reference architecture, you may still continue to struggle to assess how the cloud actually fits into the larger corporate business model. Further, it is a daunting task to assess the cloud marketplace for vendors that are a good fit. Additionally, reducing operational costs during the cloud transition will be difficult especially if you have adopted a ‘cloud first’ mindset. Expenses will continue to grow in both the private data center and in the cloud.

This book may be able to help the CIO change her role to that of a cloud broker, serving all corporate departments, suppliers and customers. Developing a cloud managed service adds to the CIO’s portfolio. This book can also assist the CIO with cloud vendor selection, vendor contracts and service level agreements as it assists with a cloud implementation for all corporate departments. A cloud broker strategy will help to avoid the CIO from being left behind.

If you make a living as a Channel Reseller or Cloud Solution Company selling information technology products & services, then you know how difficult it is to sell into an environment that puts the purchaser at risk and will likely not reach a positive return on investment for an extended period of time. Selling into a marketplace that is constantly contracting and expanding is difficult. To dampen risks and complexity you clearly will want to understand the cloud marketplace.

If you are a Chief Financial Officer or otherwise responsible for balancing the books and addressing business challenges, then a few items of concern exist:

  • Changing cost management methods from a capital intensive (capex) model to the cloud’s operating cost (opex) subscription schema.
  • Living in two worlds (private data center and the cloud) will increase cost.Transitioning an entire information technology operation from a privately owned platform to a shared public model, is a significant challenge and change in culture. For the average size data center operation, the transition will take 5 to 10 years. At a minimum, it certainly is a multiyear endeavor, and the size and difficulty continues to grow each day. It is difficult to estimate the percent of corporate IT data centers that will have moved entirely to the cloud during the next few years. At a time when business must cut costs, the cloud will actually increase them until all operations reside in the cloud.
  • The rate of cloud spend increases are already outpacing that of any other category of the IT budget! So, monitoring the expenditures and spending it wisely makes sense!
  • Regardless how the cloud adoption occurs, things are going to become more complex and subsequently risker. And these increases will exist until the transition is complete.

If you are a Chief Executive Officer or otherwise set strategic direction, then developing a strong sense of the cloud’s true value and direction will help you make informed decisions and improve management visibility. Assessing potential cloud partners that can help sell products and services will assist to set a competitive differentiation. Knowledge of the cloud’s strategic value will help ensure the executive team and CIO maintain an application centric perspective (one that which produces corporate value more quickly).


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