In the last blog (Blog 3), we explored the last four pieces of the Cloud Readiness Domain Model. In this final installment of the Cloud Readiness Blog Series, we provide an overview of the Cloud Readiness process and engagement model, describing how the process is performed with a Client.
The Cloud Readiness Assessment Process
The Cloud Readiness Assessment process follows a very simple process flow, with a few go/no go decisions along the way. The Cloud Readiness process is illustrated below:
The Cloud Readiness process is explained in the sections below.
Preparing for the Cloud Readiness Assessment
The Cloud Transformation Readiness assessment requires some preparation to help ensure successful outcomes. The following should be planned and completed preparatory to beginning a Cloud Readiness Assessment:
- Data Collection: What data is required for the Cloud readiness to be completed?
- What documents, presentations, and interviews will provide the necessary data to enable a 360 degree readiness analysis?
- Identify and prepare key stakeholders
- Gather the preliminary data
- Schedule interviews with stakeholders
- Obtain commitment to act on the recommendations and findings
- Distribute a summary of the Cloud Readiness project and the goals, objectives and expected time commitments from the stakeholders
Once the pre-Cloud Readiness preparations are completed, the 360 Cloud Readiness process may commence.
Cloud Readiness Preparation
To prepare for a Cloud Readiness engagement, some pre-engagement activities will help pave the way for a successful Cloud Readiness project. The following might be considered:
- Perform an optional Cloud Readiness Self-Assessment using a provided template
- Complete the application portfolio inventory
- Create awareness with key stakeholders about the Readiness Assessment project
- Distribute a project summary to the stakeholders
- Distribute sample interview questions to key stakeholders
Cloud Readiness preparation will help ensure a smooth engagement that will provide value to the stakeholders, while enabling the completion of the Cloud Readiness process.
Cloud Readiness Discovery
The Readiness Discovery phase is where data is collected from the Client organization as required to determine Cloud Readiness. The Readiness Discovery phase involves the following activities:
- Advance data collection (documents to review before arriving on site)
- On site data collection
- Interviews with stakeholders, and clarification interviews
- Identification of “Headlines,” findings and observations
- Magic Wand questions
Cloud Readiness Discovery is a critical process step to ensure that the necessary information is collected, clarified and understood such that the analysis can be performed. The Cloud Readiness Discovery process provides the factual foundation and evidence for determining the organization’s Cloud readiness.
Cloud Readiness Analysis and Gaps
The Readiness Analysis and Gap discovery focuses on analysis of the data collected, reviewing interview notes, and identifying any major gaps in Cloud readiness capabilities. The Cloud Readiness analysis is based on the interview data from key stakeholders, mapped against the documents and other information that was provided, in order to complete the readiness analysis.
Often, there is a subjective nature to assessment, which are based on human beings talking with other human beings. What was said and what was heard can vary. The Cloud Readiness seeks to bolster its observations and findings with facts, numbers and details, augmented by interpretation and context. Often, compelling quotes from interviews are used to bolster key findings.
Key headlines are also used to identify “big” ideas or findings that merit attention, as in a newspaper headline. Headlines, observations and findings, and detailed analysis provide the foundation for the readiness assessment. The Cloud Readiness analysis results in the Cloud Readiness deliverable, which also includes a gap analysis and suggested gap close plans.
Cloud Readiness Report and Readout to Project Stakeholders
Upon completed of the Readiness Analysis, a Readiness presentation is provided for the project stakeholders and IT leadership. This is an opportunity for the engagement team to present its findings to Client stakeholders, answer questions, and make plans for the next phase of activities.
Post Readiness Remediation (Preparing for Deployment and Migration)
Upon completion of the Readiness Assessment, there will be follow-ups and additional work to be completed based on the Readiness Assessment recommendations and findings. Often a Readiness Remediation engagement will be planned to quickly close key gaps and accelereate the Cloud transformation process. Some of the anticipated remediation activities might include the following:
- Cloud Strategy development
- Cloud business case model development
- Legacy portfolio analysis for Cloud migration
- Cloud governance and security policy refinement
- Cloud training and awareness for Business and IT leadership
- Cloud PMO team preparations
- Cloud service catalog definition
Once the necessary Readiness Remediation steps have been completed, you can proceed to launch the Cloud initiative and begin the Cloud migration process.
Establish the Cloud Ecosystem
Before transitioning to the Cloud migration activities, you must establish the Cloud Ecosystem. If you are deploying a hybrid multi-cloud environment, you must implement the necessary Cloud management and enablement tools and capabilities, such as a Cloud portal, a Cloud service catalog, Cloud management and full-stack monitoring tools, Cloud pricing and bill of material comparisons, and more. Of course, you must have completed the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) negotiations and contracts, and be ready to begin consuming cloud services and migrating workloads to the target Cloud environment. All of these activities are essential to have a Cloud ecosystem ready to support the interactions of Cloud consumers (internal business and IT consumers) and Cloud providers (internal IT resources and external CSPs).
Cloud Migration Support
Cloud Migration refers to the iterative process of rolling out Cloud services and capabilities per the Cloud strategy and roadmap, as well as the execution of the Cloud migration process, which entails moving workloads of various types into your target Cloud ecosystem. Cloud migration is a continuous activity that, over time, will result in the optimal portfolio of Cloud services and migrated Cloud capabilities, as defined in your Cloud strategy, roadmap and business case.
Things to Do Tomorrow
This whitepaper provides an overview of the Cloud Readiness Framework and process. Cloud Readiness is an essential phase of Cloud adoption, and helps ensure that your enterprise is prepared and ready to begin your Cloud transformation, while ensuring critical gaps are addressed.
- Perform a self-assessment of your Cloud readiness internally, either on your own or using a Cloud Spectator self-assessment tool. This will provide an initial readiness baseline that can be built up on with a formal 3rd party Cloud readiness assessment.
- Ensure you have the proper leadership commitment behind the Cloud initiative, from both Business and IT stakeholders. They must ensure that key players allocate time to the Cloud readiness initiative, and also convey the importance of the effort to the business and IT stakeholders.
- Be sure your Cloud computing adoption model is scoped and scaled to your target goals. For example, if you are seeking a Cloud transformation, you should evaluate he entire Business and IT value chain in the context of how Cloud will benefit the enterprise. If you are incrementally adopting Cloud so improve IT infrastructure provisioning and response times, that is a much narrower scope.
- Develop a Cloud computing strategy and roadmap. A Cloud strategy provides the context and structure for realizing a set of business and IT goals and objectives, supported by a business case, return on investment (ROI) analysis with a defined payback period. Too often organizations have not invested in developing a formal Cloud strategy, and that has a direct impact on the ability to achieve stated Cloud computing goals.
- Perform a preliminary decomposition of the Cloud Governane Lifecycle to identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps of your current governance model, key policies that relate to Cloud computing, as well as regulatory and risk challenges.
Cloud readiness is an important gateway for progressing on your Cloud computing journey. The 360 Cloud Readiness Framework provides a rapid approach for evaluating the key capabilities necessary to help ensure success with Cloud computing. Most of all, the Cloud Readiness Remediation process will help quickly close key gaps and accelerate your Cloud computing adoption, thereby ensuring you will realize the business and IT benefits from Cloud computing.
About Cloud Spectator
Cloud Spectator is a cloud benchmarking and consulting agency focused on cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The company actively monitors several of the largest IaaS providers in the world, comparing VM performance (i.e., CPU, RAM, disk, internal network, and workloads) and pricing to achieve transparency in the cloud market. The company helps cloud providers understand their market position and helps business’s make intelligent decisions related to cloud strategy, cloud readiness, cost reduction and vendor analysis. The firm was founded in early 2011 and is located in Boston, MA.
For questions about this report, to request a custom report, or if you have general inquiries about our products and services, please contact Cloud Spectator (www.cloudspectator.com) at +1 (617) 300-0711 or [email protected].