Cloud Adoption and Strategy
Cloud computing infrastructure is different from a data center or on premises computing, even if you were to adopt a software-defined data center (SDDC). The SDDC brings you closer to cloud computing and provides some of the benefits, especially around developer experience, but you don’t gain many of the benefits that you do with a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS). You still end up paying capital expenses to build out a data center with hardware and software, you are still limited to the geography of your data centers, and you are still paying either through employees or outsourcing to manage and maintain a data center.
The Cloud Adoption Framework
Cloud computing introduces a fundamental shift to the way computing resources are obtained, used, and managed. There is a corresponding shift to the way organizations buy, budget, and pay for technology services. The cloud provides a consumption model, where you only pay for what you use, you don’t need to buy hardware and software up front, and deploying globally is easier than ever. Because of these changes, a good cloud adoption strategy and plan can make the journey to the cloud successful. Trying to move to the cloud without a plan can lead to unnecessary risks and delays.
Fundamental Differences in Cloud Computing
Why Make a Plan?
Moving from a traditional IT infrastructure to a cloud computing infrastructure requires these fundamental changes to be discussed and considered across the organization. It is important for all IT and non-IT stakeholders to support the changes in order to make a successful transition. The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) provides a framework to support both business and technical perspectives when you are building your cloud adoption plan. Looking ahead will help each area understand how skills need to be updated or obtained, how existing process may need to change, and how new processes may need to be put in place.
Cloud Adoption Framework Perspectives
The AWS CAF is organized into two broad focus areas, business capabilities and technical capabilities. The business capabilities are broken into business, people, and governance perspectives. The tehcnical capabilities are broken into platform, security, and operations perspectives.
Common Roles: Business Managers, Finance Managers, Budget Owners, Strategy Stakeholders
Capabilities: IT Finance, IT Strategy, Benefits Realization, Business Risk Management
The business perspective helps in planning for the shift from capital to operational expenses, with the opportunity and often need to develop new charge-back processes.
Cloud computing offers new efficiencies with managing applications and potential for more agile development of software. To take advantage or this, new skills may need to be developed or acquired by staff.
AWS offers granular billing, which allows for new more precise ways to measure total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) since consumption can be tied directly to a specific business process.
The cloud is a different computing environment. Understanding the security risks and responsibilities may require new skills or processes to avoid unnecessary exposure.
Common Roles: Human Resources, Staffing, People Managers
Capabilities: Resource Management, Incentive Management, Career Management, Training Management, Organizational Change Management
Personnel needs may change when your organization adopts a cloud computing. It is important for staffing to acquire the skills to forecast and hire any new staff needed.
Some IT roles will shift from being commoditized to being highly specialized. Workers compensation should be competitive in order to attract and retain talent.
Cloud computing changes traditional IT career paths. Managers and systems need to be updated to accommodate this.
Training programs will need to change to provide the skills necessary to be successful with AWS. Employees will require training on polices and processes that may change as a result of the shift to the cloud. Skills will change rapidly as cloud innovation continues.
Finally, clearly communicating the changes that cloud adoption necessitate is critical.
Common Roles: CIO, Program Managers, Project Managers, Enterprise Architects, Business Analysts, Portfolio Managers
Capabilities: Portfolio Managment, Program and Project Management, Business Performance Measurement, License Management
Not all workloads are created equal and some will be a better fit for cloud migration than others. Prioritizing which to migrate and when can impact cloud adoption success.
Traditional waterfall software development often fails to keep up with the pace and innovation of the cloud. A shift to an agile-style development process can lead to more success.
AWS offers new ways to automate and optimize existing processes with corresponding new ways to measure performance. Leveraging new key performance indicators (KPIs) can help produce business outcomes.
Cloud computing provides new ways to provision infrastructure. Managing software licenses the same way as before can cause difficulties. New processes will likely need to be developed.
Common Roles: CTO, IT Managers, Solutions Architects
Capabilities: Compute Provisioning, Network Provisioning, Storage Provisioning, Database Provisioning, Systems and Solution Architecture, Application Development
Your organization’s ability to provide computing resources, processing, memory, networking, storage, and databases for applications is very different for physical hardware compared to virtual infrastructure. Many processes shift from real world logistics to virtual and automated processes.
In AWS, the traditional architecture of systems can change significantly or be improved by changing. Architectural standards should change as well.
Cloud based software development lends itself to continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) and DevOps. Other skills may be desired to adapt to cloud computing.
Common Roles: CISO, IT Security Managers, IT Security Analysts
Capabilities: Identity and Access Management, Detective Control, Infrastructure Security, Data Protection, Incident Response
AWS has granular access controls to resources within your account. New or existing systems need to be integrated in order to provide access to your users.
AWS provides native logging and services that can provide near real-time information. Centralized logging allows correlating logs from different sources, which can produce enhanced security visibility.
Cloud computing provides new methodologies to respond to both security and availability incidents. Automation can allow security to focus on root cause analysis more than incident response.
Common Roles: IT Operations Managers, IT Support Managers
Capabilities: Service Monitoring, Application Performance Monitoring, Resource Inventory Management, Release Management/Change Management, Reporting and Analytics, Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery, IT Service Catalog
Cloud computing offers the ability to produce highly automated responses to both application health and performance. Often new skills are required to take advantage of these, which can reduce downtime and increase application responsiveness.
Cloud adoption removes the need to manage hardware assets. On-demand software licensing reduces the need to manage licenses. New processes and skills are needed to adapt to these changes.
Traditional software release management is slow to deploy. AWS allows for CI/CD and rapid mange releases and version rollbacks in the case of any issues.
Cloud computing offers new ways to report and analyze cloud resources and applications. Reporting policies and KPIs may offer additional business value if changed.
Significant IT failures in the cloud require a different set of processes and skills.
Business goals and value correspond to an IT service catalog. Using select services ensures that you minimize risk while providing the best business value. This is closely tied to the Governance Perspective to align business goals and technical services.
Cloud Adoption Action Plan
The Cloud Adoption Framework shows you how to align business goals to cloud strategy. Through the process, gaps in skills and processes between the current IT environment and the future cloud environment are identified and an action plan can be created to close the gaps.
How Tribloom Can Help
Each organization’s journey to the cloud is unique. Tribloom has guided companies and public sector entities through the process. Planning and strategy will allow us to create an actionable plan that provides a clear path to move quickly to the cloud. A successful outcome starts with a strong plan and strategy.
Call us at (719) 387-4206
Where to find us
PO Box 38003, Colorado Springs, CO, 80937-8003
Call us at (719) 387-4206
Where to find us
PO Box 38003, Colorado Springs, CO, 80937-8003