With the Cloud – Do you still need planning? 

Moving the organization to the cloud is part of most CIO’s IT strategy.  While many look to hybrid or multi-vendor cloud services to address their enterprise requirements, planning and managing the execution of the plan is critical in moving to cloud and what follows thereafter. 

The key is to:

  • Understand the drivers
  • Align for success
  • Engineer the results

Understand the drivers

Moving to or leveraging the cloud requires some fundamental shift in the organization.  It starts with mindset.  How do you evolve the mindset of the organization from ownership of application, servers and storage to optimizing the consumption and usage of services?  While getting the right mindset takes time, one needs to start identifying and managing the right investments.  How do you determine which of your application assets and IT services is the right first set for cloud?  How do you drive the prioritization conversation with the business for right alignment and value realization?  How do you identify and manage the individual investments while fulfilling the current IT obligations?  As the leaders look for ways to transformation the organization with cloud, the traditional planning which often times is mostly capacity planning no longer fulfills the needs of this strategic initiative.  Leaders need a simple solution that brings the right level of process and information focus in planning and managing their investments for their organization to harvest the real benefits of cloud.


Align for success

With the cloud, the organization is really moving into the new world of consumption/usage based IT services model.  It requires paying attention to elements like workload, resource utilization, performance, security, compliance, architecture, financials, risk and most importantly alignment to business.  Your current process may not be looking at these data elements for any decision making but the value of moving to cloud and not breaking the bank requires one to start looking at these numbers.  The process and information focus around these elements can help the decision makers compare the investment requests, determine the right priorities and make informed decisions.  However, utilizing these inputs makes modeling harder in Excel, the most commonly used tool for planning J.  Even if you model them successfully one would need to keep these data current and monitor them for improved decision making.


Engineer the results

Engineering for the results requires planning to be an ongoing activity.  Constraints and dependencies keep arising.  It challenges the teams all the time in their ability to fulfill the objectives.  Right set of processes and information provide the leaders visibility that is needed on the health of their IT investments.  These timely visibility mitigates expensive course corrections and sometimes even the write off.  As you ramp on the cloud usage, data that is used for identifying the right set of investments may need to be consolidated from multiple sources (i.e. on premise and cloud) giving you the much needed comprehensive view on what you have invested and how they are performing.


Now that we established the case for planning even as you move or adopt cloud, we will look at what should a good planning include in our next post.