Thursday, 21 June 2012

Cloud Strategy and Planning Framework


Cloud is moving fast , so are the IT companies. The Cloud Platform companies are churning out new features examples Azure 2.0 , Amazon new releases. The new functionality is tuned to the industry needs.

Gartner estimates, over the next five years, enterprises will spend $112 billion cumulatively on cloud services, 91% of IT Professionals anticipate in 5 years cloud will overtake on-premises computing & Over 80% of IT leaders indicate that their staff will need to develop new skills.

In the last 3 decades there has been billions invested in IT. These IT application a good percentage of them will most likely move into cloud. The IT services and consulting companies as of current have move past the stages of POC’s and building capacity for cloud development by way or training or buying out smaller companies in cloud developmentThere is a need for most IT services and consulting companies to start thinking of a good framework & proven practices for addressing cloud projects. Cloud is essentially a disruptive technology and is a part of overall IT Architecture & I believe an Enterprise Architecture should drive Cloud Strategy & Planning.

I read a couple of articles from companies like

Aditi Technologies http://adititechnologiesblog.blogspot.in/2012/06/5-important-considerations-for.html,- I found most of the articles from Aditi on tactical technological benefits , no insights into maturity of having a Strategy Framework for Cloud

Sapient - CLOUD COMPUTING FOR THE FINANCIAL SERVICES ... – Sapient- Very Half Baked Strategy

Booz Hamilton - http://www.boozallen.com/consulting/transform-technology/technology-innovation/cloud-computing- Seem to have some kind of a framework not much data on the same.

Open Group on Cloud Computing - http://www3.opengroup.org/subjectareas/cloudcomputing- Some good stuff but not open to public

I’m still in the process of evaluating more companies.  I see the need to highlight the importance of having a Cloud Strategy and Planning Framework.  TOGAF in some ways can be morphed to run large cloud engagement. The below write up is work in progress I’m reading, collating data & putting my own perspective to the same.

. I have studied the sapient cloud framework, CSC cloud adoption strategy , accenture cloud strategy framework. One thing which is categorically missed out is Cloud although a disruptive technology but still is a part of the overall IT Architecture. Hence Enterprise Architecture should ideally drive the Cloud Strategy & Planning.

The Need for Cloud Strategy & Planning Framework

A need for a robust cloud strategy framework is required. The CSP will help aligning the Cloud Strategy to Implementation. The Corporate Strategy defining the business benefits , Business & IT Capability Analysis & Transformation Plans & RoadMaps. The Transformative Strategy driving the execution ( Initiatives & Projects).

The Methodology Used

One can use any Enterprise Architecture Framework which indeed has a methodology like TOGAF ADM. The TOGAF ADM can be taken and changed to adapt to cloud.

Applying TOGAF to CSP

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Strategy Rationalization

The Business & IT strategies are walked through to identify cloud ready capabilities and which align with the overall business goals have a good value and low risk. This is starting process which a experienced consultant will study the organization enterprise architecture, understand the business drivers , goals & dependencies. It’s a hectic process.

Establish Scope and Approach:

  • Conduct the Cloud Envisioning Workshop
  • Provide overview of cloud computing
  • Define the enterprise business model for cloud computing
  • Establish project charter

Set Strategic Vision

  • Gather the IT and business strategic objectives
  • Identify strategic cloud computing patterns and technologies
  • Analyze customer feasibility and readiness
  • State strategic vision for cloud computing

Identify & Prioritize

  • Define evaluation criteria for key IT & business value drivers
  • Evaluate the capabilities based on these metrics
  • Identify ~5 high-priority capabilities for deeper analysis

Cloud Valuation

Based on the priorities identified , we evaluate the technology readiness and risk associated with the same.

Profile Capabilities

  • Determine current state of capability maturity leveraging IO Maturity Tools
  • Execute Risk Analysis Method with corresponding assessments and remediation steps.
  • Profile the capability asset portfolios of information, technology, and processes and analyze by architectural fit, risk and readiness

Recommend Deployment Patterns

  • Research capability proven practices and market direction
  • Define target cloud capability requirements
  • Determine optimal cloud service and deployment patterns for the capabilities based on fit, value, and risk

Business Transformation and Planning

Define the Execution Roadmap.

Define & Prioritize Opportunities

  • Completely define opportunities to include an overview, benefits, risks, assessment results, technology impacts, and project plan
  • Prioritize opportunities for detailed architecture and execution

Define Business Transformation Roadmap

  • Assess implementation risks and dependencies
  • Develop and deliver a business transformation roadmap
  • Validate with the customer and edit accordingly

 

I’m currently engaged in cloud assignment which is helping me build this framework. I  will be publishing the complete framework and more structured documentation.

 

I have taken a lot of the inputs from Mike Walkers blogs found it nice.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Windows Azure–Session–Starter Series


Considering a lot of folks have asked to host the sessions on Windows Azure, here I start with the first session. The volume is slightly low ,works fine on headphones.
Broken down in to  Windows Azure Part 1, Part 2 for size consideration. This session have be done last year Oct 2011. Windows Azure 2.0 is already out this is older session good to have an understanding from a beginners stand point of view. The subsequent sessions will be in line with Azure 2.0.
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Part 2

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Forrester–Future of IT is not Cloud


The complete article on Future of IT is not Cloud can be found here. Below are my responses marked in blue.

Cloud computing is not the future of IT and Commoditization is, says analyst house Forrester, although the two support each other.

--> Amazon, MSFT Azure pretty much have there entire business model packaged around " selling cloud services as granular as possible". The Commoditization of cloud is currently at the platform service level, it has to be seen how the economics play around changing the Commoditization story around larger offering. The larger offerings like Sales Force, MS CRM, Office 365 are already in the market. A lot of organization have begun to see value in moving to the low level Commoditization as well using larger offering such as Office 365. The future play I presume, the direction is already set up for most organizations. What's to see how much more Commoditization can happen? I refer to old article on Cloud Computing Commoditization - Cloud Computing Commoditization.Which is dated 2009 , I guess unless you are living under a rock you will see how much progress has been made into this space.

Forrester says that as a result of commoditization and modernization, IT portfolios will evolve over time so that many applications will become suitable for cloud deployment, but many will not.

--->This is not a new statement its an line pulled out from the old reports "We all know in client server to 3 tier change era not all applications moved to 3 tier as there was no business justification.

James Staten, an analyst at Forrester, says in a report: "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can't take advantage of cloud economics. For this reason we'll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now."

--->Cloud is broadly classified into 2 major areas Cloud Applications and Cloud Platforms. It’s a bold statement to make that all IT applications will move to the cloud in FY 2022, We know for sure this is a business decision and some very large investments have been made in technology in the past 3 decades which involve IP, proprietary solutions and standards moving to cloud should be seen first be the ROI lens both short & long term. So I would tend to agree with James but Forrester needs to go down into the trenches of each industry verticals come out with hard data on IT applications and potentially the % of conversion into cloud. That would require a lot of hard work, I'm sure there are plenty of consulting companies which are already equipped with that data as this is what is going to drive there sales in the coming years.

The "Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready" report, which is part of Forrester's "Playbook on Cloud Computing", urges CIOs to "leverage cloud services today and reap the early education from doing so" to gain competitive advantage in the future.

--->I think 40-60% CIO are past the education phase on cloud, A lot are experimenting to understand the ROI and long term benefits. So Forrester is little late here. A good gauge will be to dig into Amazon Enterprise customer data I'm sure some interesting results will be there.

The Playbook on Cloud Computing is a framework for adopting the cloud, going into detail on the benefits and disadvantages of public and private clouds, cloud economics, and addresses "cloud washing" - the efforts by a number of vendors in branding their "business-as-usual IT services" and virtualization products as "cloud" offerings.

--->Playbooks should go beyond Virtualization story peg the Cloud Platform Services story " that’s where the real meat is". Most organization today use virtualization . What they really need at this point a consulting company to walk the talk on cloud application migration of course with hard data in terms ROI.

The Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready report says: "Long term, enterprises will have a hybrid portfolio of cloud and non-cloud workload deployments that uses these options to optimize resource and agility requirements."

It adds: "In this future state the majority of system workloads will be cloud-resident while your own systems of record will evolve to cloud at a slower but deliberate pace. The end result will be a mixed environment managed through a decision tree and a series of workload automation systems that ensure governance and regulatory compliance across

this portfolio."

--->The Hybrid Cloud Story is quite a confusing term Find my research here Hybrid Cloud

The report also warns that those companies that have chosen a private cloud architecture as their main cloud strategy will not realize the savings that can be made through public cloud services or through an architecture that combines both public and private cloud IT capabilities - usually known as a hybrid cloud architecture.

--->Interesting but don’t agree as Private Cloud is initial strategy for most organization to move into cloud and eventually mature into public cloud. My research on private cloud can be found here Architecting the Private Cloud.

My parting words to Antony Sawas  author of the Forrester article we need factual data to support the text.