Designing your cloud strategy

OpenStack is a collection of open source software projects that allow users to develop and manage a cloud infrastructure in a data center. Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched the OpenStack cloud software initiative in July 2010 to help organizations offer cloud-computing services on industry standard hardware.

Defining-your-cloud-strategy-Rick-Blaisdell-1-300x300Cloud computing is opening new doors for many businesses, and it’s safe to say that it has become a new “standard”. This blog discusses cloud strategies, how to build a cloud strategy and why they should be the starting point in your cloud adoption process.

Analyze your business needs – Before choosing between private, public or hybrid cloud, you should first decide what your business needs in order to increase its performance, security, governance, and growth. After creating this checklist, you will have a better understanding of what cloud fits your requirements. Don’t look primarily at the costs but at the features and the support that the cloud provider has to offer.

Define your business processes – Just before moving to the cloud, you need to understand and determine what processes you let the cloud handle and control.

Identify your security needs – Security is another pressing issue for all businesses. And it’s only natural since every company handles sensitive information starting with customer data and financial data. Establishing a security policy for each application can be helpful in searching for a compatible cloud provider that meets all your expectations.

Create a network diagram – You need to design a network diagram which will help you and your cloud provider better understand your network. Moreover, as any business needs a robust and secure network, this step will also ensure that you create a reliable and manageable cloud migration.

Check out ITSM (IT Service Management) – Define policies, procedures, and responsibilities regarding your infrastructure and data center application management for both on-premises and off-site. Some of the cloud providers on the market can include in their package the ITSM but some, might just handle the infrastructure, thus applying your processes management becomes your responsibility.

Understand cloud costs – You need an agile barometer to compare the cloud costs with your IT portfolio.  The right solution will also serve as a dynamic ROI dashboard, giving you insights on savings and new costs.

Determine your measure of success – Each business understands success in a different way. Some might perceive success through saving costs, some through efficiency or agility, and some through flexibility. Since success is a relative thing, you need to determine what makes your business thrive

Defining your cloud strategy should be a top priority if you decided to move your business to the cloud. Remember to include in your strategy document the followings: Executive summary, cloud computing baseline, business baseline, cloud strategy, and supporting elements. Once you have all of these in place, you’re good to start.

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