Windward Insights

Cloud Isn't Something You Buy - Seven Tips for "Doing" Private Cloud

Published Mar. 24, 2015
Written by Sean McDermott

question mark clouds

The number of private clouds continues to rise; yet companies still have some pretty big challenges to overcome with regards to implementation. I don’t think anyone would argue that cloud-computing models can significantly reduce infrastructure costs and greatly increase profitability, but as we discussed in an earlierpost, Enterprise Cloud Computing isn’t something you buy, it’s something you do. So, what do companies need to consider when developing a strategy to implement an effective Cloud Management Strategy?

  1. Knowyour starting point– Not all clouds are created equal. Delivering Virtual Desktops is different from hosting applications, which is different from full-blown enterprise services. Set the proper expectations between the business and IT in the form of succinct Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) to allow your cloud solution to not be viewed as a set of costs that need to be managed. Cloud service definitions need to provide overarching direction for the alignment of IT capabilities that can be managed in and end-to-end solution.
  2. Know your environment– Recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to implementing a Cloud management platform, so take inventory of IT assets, processes, and organizational resources, as they will lay the foundation for how everything can be aligned to support the business.
  3. Define the Services to be offered– Cloud service definitions need to provide overall direction for the alignment of capabilities that can be managed in an end-to-end solution. Proper service definition will help bring people, process, and technology together, removing traditional silosUtilizing Use Cases that map into Service Descriptions can be articulated to end-users and ultimately become the basis for the Service Catalog.
  4. Establish a baseline –Recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to implementing a Cloud management platform, so take inventory of IT assets, processes, and organizational resources, as they will lay the foundation for how everything can be aligned to support the business. This will also help understand the requirements for a transition strategy which will be critical down the road.
  5. Leverage Cloud Management Reference Architecture –Develop a blueprint, or Cloud Management Reference Architecture to guide implementation activities. An effective blueprint will enable the project the executives and project team understand how the functions will be served within the Cloud and where automation plays a role across the infrastructure with workflows.
  6. Develop a Roadmap– Transitioning from a support framework and legacy infrastructure to a Cloud model requires a well-defined plan. Your organization will need to integrate existing investments around tools like asset, service desk, problem and incident management and security.
  7. Conduct a pilot– A functional proof of concept (POC) can provide important functional parameters that assist with early stage success and help demonstrate broader potential within the organization, which can help drive support and enthusiasm for the overall program itself. A POC can also help vet the underlying technology of the architecture and uncover shortcomings that will need to be addressed as the project moves forward.

According to a recentInformationWeek Private Cloud Survey, 56% of those surveyed indicated that integrating existing IT product as their biggest challenge, while 43% with reported their challenges in updating their infrastructure, further demonstrating the operational problems. Managing Enterprise Cloud Management strategies involve interesting challenges, but with an understanding of the complexity and associated pitfalls associated, the benefits of your Cloud Computing environment will far outweigh any drawbacks encountered during your journey.