Making Cloud Work For Your Organisation – Questions CIOs Must Ask

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Cloud Computing as a service provisioning mechanism is graduating to become a mainstay option for organisations. Despite skepticism, CIOs are exploring, pilot testing or using in production Cloud offerings in some form or shape. Earlier touted to be only popular with startups and small and medium businesses, Cloud offerings now meet the criteria of enterprise IT and are also supported by traditional IT vendors like IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle among others.

Per a recent Greyhound Research study titled, Emerging Markets Cloud Index 2015, more than 75% organisations in the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) region are already either using Cloud, planning to increase consumption in next 12 months or currently running a Proof of Concept (PoC).

The study also concludes that over 50% Cloud users are yet to attach tangible business outcomes from Cloud-delivered IT resources and over 40% organisations remain unsure of their workload-specific strategy. Greyhound Research believes it’s critical for IT Decision Makers to look at their Cloud strategy in a holistic manner.

At Greyhound Research we address over 3000 enquiries (per year) from Decision Makers of global organisations and help them asses their Cloud strategy on below stated areas

Expectations & Outcomes – Greyhound Research believes CIOs must embark on the journey by having a clear understanding of key expectations and outcomes from migration to the Cloud. This can range from capex to opex, agility, higher availability among others.

Mindset & Skills – Making Cloud work requires CIOs to make a fundamental shift in mindset – from provisioning IT to acting like a services provider for the company. It also deems the team to re-skill for Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) among other areas.

Systems & Readiness – Prioritising workloads (and systems) for migration needs to account for dependency on other systems, most suited Cloud type, SLA requirements among other considerations. IT teams must account for their readiness to support the migration in addition to running day-to-day operations.

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Security & Privacy – CIOs must ask pertinent questions like: How different is Cloud security to the previous on-premise and hosted scenarios? Is Private Cloud more secure than Public Cloud? How can the organisation better manage data privacy for Cloud-delivered workloads?

Legal & Compliance – Albeit Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) proclaim to be certified, IT teams must ask critical questions like: What industry certifications does the CSP have? What is their validity and how often is it conducted? Which body has issued them? Is CSP compliant with regulations like HIPAA? Is CSP willing to participate in an independent, third-party audit?

Billing & Termination – While Cloud pricing is touted as fairly simple, Greyhound Research has worked on multiple assignments where the overall cost implications of migration and usage were not well understood and hence led to a situation of contract termination. Cost implications can include aspects like impact on existing on-premise licenses, specifics of utility billing model among others.

To make Cloud a rewarding experience, Greyhound Research believes IT teams must understand the expected outcomes, plan in detail to avoid last minute surprises and most importantly, adopt a new mindset.

About The Author: Sanchit Vir Gogia is the Chief Analyst & CEO of Greyhound Research, an independent IT & Telecom Research & Advisory firm. He also serves as Chief Futurist, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group that operates under four brands – Greyhound Research, Greyhound Sculpt, Greyhound Technocrat and Greyhound Vivo. To read more about him, click here.

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