Cloud Readiness: A credit card is enough. Nothing more is needed to buy new cloud services – even for corporate purposes. When using cloud services, the focus is on agility. As a rule, the procurers are unaware that an entire IT system landscape can fall apart, and a new form of “shadow IT” is created. The call for an overarching cloud strategy by companies is, therefore, no coincidence. Because of course, the departments should be able to use all solutions – if they offer added value – and thus secure the company’s competitiveness. But not at the price of an IT landscape that is difficult to control and the compliance problems that arise.
Therefore, companies should think about which applications and workloads they should move to the cloud and why. It is also important to develop a procedure that is as standardized as possible as to how potential “cloud candidates” (= applications and workloads) can be identified in the company’s application and infrastructure landscape and checked for their “cloud operability.”
Cloud Readiness: Carry Out A Location Assessment In Advance
Before the widespread introduction of cloud services, it makes sense to carry out a position assessment to see how far the company is already prepared for the introduction of cloud services. This also makes sense if the first SaaS solutions (such as Office 365 or Salesforce) are already used. This assessment then also serves to identify strengths and weaknesses and to derive recommendations for action. Five criteria should be checked here:
- Strategy: Has the company already asked itself what added value it is hoping for from the cloud, and how are these considerations communicated? How does the company want to use cloud services, and what are the framework conditions for this? Does the company have a clear perspective for the future use of the cloud?
- Architecture and technology: Are the technical requirements for the introduction of the cloud in place? Does the company have an educated estimate of the bandwidth required? Have potential cloud migration scenarios (repost, rebuild, replace) been identified? Has their implementation been verified? Has a test scheme been established in this context to proceed as standardized as possible and to be able to preserve experience?
- Organization: The cloud has many differences from traditional IT. Roles and processes also differ markedly. Has the company looked into it? Have the required roles and processes been defined, are the qualifications and skills available, or is there any planning on setting them up? How are cloud services provided to the departments, how are costs distributed based on where they are? Has it been clarified who is responsible for operating the cloud environment? Is a third-party operation planned, and is there a sourcing strategy for this?
- Compliance: Sensitive company data is sometimes outsourced to the cloud – have IT security and data protection requirements been met? Is the company aware that not all licenses can be easily used in the cloud? How are the potential risks associated with cloud usage mitigated?
- End-user experience: how are departments involved? How can the self-service character of the cloud be passed on to departments? Is there a defined feedback loop so that you can learn from the experience and become better with the next cloud introduction?
As a rule, companies do not yet have sufficient internal know-how to assess cloud readiness and develop and expand it. Vendor and manufacturer-neutral cloud readiness assessments and best practices as a benchmark can help identify and eradicate the “blind spots.”
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