Putting Strategy in Cloud Computing (Part 2 of 2)

Pam Coffey

by Pam Coffey

Following up on my blog in October, Putting Strategy into Cloud Computing, I want to highlight the 12 month roadmap and strategic plan that I helped my customer develop.  As you might remember from the previous blog, my customer needed to gain a more thorough understanding of the costs to support the business units and to identify those business units who might say that IT isn’t responsive or flexible enough to meet their needs.

Our goal in developing the 12 month strategic plan is to transform the IT organization where it can provide strategic benefit to the business.  Here is a high level look at the strategic plan and activities that I and Sovereign architects will be helping my customer with:

  • Implement a showback mechanism to fully understand the costs per VM and the costs per business unit.  Use this showback information to gain executive sponsorship and socialize the need for a more stringent lifecycle management approach that minimizes waste.
  • Perform a virtualization optimization assessment to identify over-provisioned, idle and powered off VMs.  Also identify the level of standardization and complexity in the provisioning of VMs and the impact on the business units serviced by IT.
  • Define a service catalog reflecting each business unit’s specific SLAs and associated costs
  • Align the service catalog components with the correct on-premise infrastructure layers
  • Determine what workloads (if any) can be provisioned off-premise using a public cloud provider
  • Implement a Pilot with a self-service, automated provisioning portal for the targeted business group.  Use the pilot to gain experience, flush out details, highlight any organizational changes required and show a quick success.
  • Based on a successful pilot, identify an expansion plan and justify associated budget
  • Create a baseline IT agility “score”

This last bullet is probably one of the most important aspects of our approach.  The baseline consists of a business agility “score” along with an estimated revenue impact of the IT organization in its current state.  We then identified a target “score” and anticipated revenue impact at the end of the strategic plan.  This “dial”, if you will, is the way we will demonstrate success within the organization and to the executive sponsors.  While I’ve found that each customer creates a baseline score that is specific to them, here are some of the metrics that are typically considered:

  • Current cost per VM
  • IT satisfaction score (created by the business units)
  • Percentage of waste in the environment
  • Costs to maintain the environment
  • Percentage time spent innovating vs. maintaining
  • Potential for IT to impact revenue (dollar value)

Now armed with a strategic plan, a baseline score and some critical data, our next step is to implement a successful pilot solution.