Preparing For Your Private Cloud, Part II: Know What You Already Have

Cloud Computing3 minutes readSep 8th, 2011
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In my last blog post, Preparing For Your Private Cloud — Part One, I talked about what you should pay attention to when you’re thinking about implementing a private cloud.  Now let’s talk about the steps you should take to get ready.

The following steps will help you avoid Cloud in a Corner Syndrome, align your private cloud with business goals, and navigate around pitfalls that come when you only pay attention to technology, rather than taking an holistic view that includes people and process:

  1. Know what you already have
  2. Determine if a private cloud is the right answer and how you will architect an holistic solution
  3. Decide how you will measure, monitor, mitigate and secure
  4. Decide how you will manage
  5. Create a private cloud “factory”

Let’s talk about the first step.  To inventory what you already have, discovery technologies, modeling, and process flow simulation are needed to document your business services, service management processes and the infrastructure and the applications that support them. For example, this could include mission-critical applications, back office applications, development and test environments, analytics tools, service management tools, other less critical services, and accompanying servers, networks, storage and IT security infrastructure.

Evaluate this inventory to determine what can (and can’t) be easily moved into a cloud.  You may want to seek outside help to do this as you’ll want to end up with a complete mapping of the business services that you intend to move to the private cloud.  At the end of the day, this mapping should link corporate objectives to business processes to IT services, applications and infrastructure. Some items you might move to a private cloud could include ERP applications, HR systems, and infrastructure/server provisioning.  This will vary depending on your organization’s business objectives for your private cloud.

Now is also a good time to assess your IT service management (ITSM) and governance capabilities, which entails evaluating the current state of your IT process maturity, strategic positioning, capability, capacity and compliance.  This helps ensure that your ITSM processes and governance can provide the required levels of service delivery to support the cloud transformation, to help prevent negative impacts to the project schedule and quality of results.  As you migrate, good IT service management will also help ensure the changes don’t result in new IT incidents that need to be handled by the service desk, as well as help ensure reductions in rework and IT costs, greater agility in providing new business services, and improved service levels and customer satisfaction. This assessment should result in findings and a prioritized set of recommendations for process and governance improvement in the following areas:

  • ITSM strategic positioning, strategy and goals
  • Planning, resourcing, staffing, training and certifications
  • Process maturity, quality and compliance
  • Financial and demand management
  • Continuity of ITSM knowledge
  • Service lifecycle and governance
  • Service management tools and repositories

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how you can determine if a private cloud is the right answer, so that you can architect an holistic solution that meets your business needs and financial constraints.

Tags-   Cloud computing IT infrastructure IT service delivery