Despite the apparent ubiquitousness of cloud computing, it is still relatively new for many organizations. Yet it offers something tremendously valuable and unique including superior scalability and flexibility with respect to application services and IT operations. Cloud has the greatest potential to meet rapidly growing and shifting business requirements in a cost-effective manner.
Because more and more organizations are building their businesses around the capabilities of their technology platforms, it is important for business owners to know whether their organization is ready to move to the cloud to scale out these capabilities.
Is the Cloud Right for Your Organization?
While there are many advantages to moving to the cloud, it is not as simple as eliminating your organization’s physical network infrastructure and software and moving everything to a hosting company. Not every aspect of the IT environment can be easily and effectively moved into the cloud. It is essential to review all the options to ensure that the hosted services (as well as the cloud provider itself) can deliver the desired benefits to your organization. In addition, some organizations may feel as though security and privacy are concerns with cloud computing, making them hesitant to migrate to the cloud. However, in most cases, your environment can be migrated to the cloud to decrease expenditures and deliver overall improved service.
Conducting a Cloud Readiness Assessment
Cloud readiness assessments can help you determine the viability of cloud computing for your organization, and recognize the benefits that could be gained by moving to the cloud. The cloud assessment entails examining your current IT portfolio to identify those applications that would benefit most from this model; assess the degree of preparedness for a migration, and establish a migration road map designed to maximize the benefits of a cloud migration without exceeding budgets.
Any push towards new infrastructure will require planning and a solid business case. Conducting a cloud readiness assessment will help you better understand your current capabilities and the optimal type of infrastructure for your long-term goals. Ultimately, this helps align your IT capabilities directly with the goals and objectives of your organization.
The Structure of a Cloud Assessment
Cloud assessments are based on a strong understanding of the complete IT portfolio. It is critical to identify the crucial drivers behind your cloud strategy and then methodically place each one through a set of evaluation criteria. This helps to create an scorecard that is customized to the particulars of your organization’s cloud strategy. Cloud readiness assessments should illustrate what cloud computing can accomplish for your business and a strategy for getting there.
A cloud assessment allows businesses to custom tailor a set of selection criteria based on business priorities, anticipated business value, environmental requirements, size and scope of migration, and other factors. Executives can then assess and discuss high-level recommendations for each application and service in the portfolio analysis.
Cloud computing can bring many benefits, including greater flexibility and mobility; global usage with scalability and high availability; and reduced costs while simultaneously giving IT more time to focus on business challenges.