Cloud Computing is one of the most exciting advancements of IT in the last few years. But even with all the hoopla, private cloud adoption in India has realized less than its potential in the enterprise
One reason why cloud adoption has been lukewarm in the enterprise could be that cloud deployment projects take longer than expected and most of the Sales team working with you feels deprived of opportunity to sell something else to another customer. Another equally important reason is that potential enterprise users are less than confident in realizing the cloud costs and benefits in terms of automation, licensing, return of investment etc, with private cloud.
Companies need to change how they assess their knowledge of private cloud as they progress through a deployment project. At the start of a cloud implementation project, nearly all companies consider themselves “knowledgeable” about the cloud, its technologies and its applications. After a year of planning and preparing to implement a private cloud in their environment, most of those “knowledgeable” execs realize they actually knew little about the cloud when they started and there knowledge came from various meeting they had with Cloud providers and tried to compare features to feature and lost their way during the discussions.
There are two classes of cloud projects: those aimed at reducing the cost of running an internal IT function and those intended to support applications not easily hosted by internal IT like a test environment for an application to test new features/changes or to test an application scalability. First, IT teams generally have to prove that a cloud project’s total cost (usually calculated at 36 months – 48months) will be lower than the current internal IT costs. Additionally, those cost savings must be enough to justify the chief financial officer’s return-of-investment expectations (about 25% and 35%).
Second, IT staff must prove business benefits — productivity improvements using automation or deferred licensing cost or deferred HW purchase cost — will be enough to justify the cost of implementing a private cloud. Getting accurate data for either of these justifications is another place where cloud projects often stall. The IT staff does not readily agree to spend time to provide data .Most often, the cost side of the cloud creates the biggest headaches for IT teams.
A cloud project plan needs more than the CFO to sign-off on it; all line departments that will interact with cloud resources must support the project. Two-thirds of all cloud projects fail when IT teams don’t get buy-in from all business units. If these stake holders are not in sync then be ready to answer basic question e.g. “Why PaaS and not IaaS”. A lack of support from line departments is the primary reason for cloud project delays after the planning phase.
Getting buy-in from all departments needs to start with approval from operations, which needs to include the cost and benefit assumptions you developed in the initial planning stage. For example, many IT administrators are under the false impression that an application will run in the cloud exactly as it did in the data center. Understanding and setting up expectation would be very useful.
After you have buy-in from all lines of business and have set expectations on what each unit should expect from the cloud, you’re ready to transition from a pilot cloud project to a production cloud. And buy-in is just as important here as it was in the previous stage.
A pilot test is — or should be — designed to prove that critical assumptions in securing the project’s cost and benefit use case are, in fact, being met. If there are any business workflows to be developed or any third-party software to be tested for provision, this is the time when it should be done. To avoid this, track how the cloud project will achieve its goals within specified cost constraints while you’re developing the deployment plan. Then ensure the pilot test validates that each goal has been achieved.
Enterprises implementing cloud computing typically overestimate their cloud knowledge going into an adoption project. But what they have is generally thoughts gathered from discussing with various vendors. Make sure all those involved in the cloud installment — IT teams, business units and end users — are properly educated before the project begins. Approach a private cloud deployment project logically to ensure that all phases — cost-and-benefit analysis, goal setting and transition to production — are established in advance, as well as understood and accepted by all parties involved.