In this four-part series, we offer practical advice as to how organisations can successfully implement Cloud by running through the detail of our eight-layer Cloud operating model.
In the third instalment of this series, we discussed the fifth and sixth layers of our eight-layer Cloud operating model: ‘Partners and Locations' and ‘Processes.’
In this final instalment, we address the seventh and eighth layers: ‘Technology and Data' & ‘Financial.' We will provide an overview of the challenges faced in these areas and explain why they are important factors to consider when designing and implementing your Cloud operating model.
Understanding and implementing the change
Cloud has brought about a significant change to the technology landscape, making it much easier to work with and more accessible to people of all skill levels. It offers the on-demand flexibility needed for organisations to meet market demands and build easily adaptable systems. When adopting Cloud, there are several areas of the tech landscape that you should consider:
Data & analytics
An organisation should investigate which data & analytics services that exist in their chosen Cloud platform that they could benefit from. Discovering insights and delivering recommendations through the use of advanced analytics provides organisations with competitive advantages. The intelligence can be used to improve decision making and increase the agility of the organisation in meeting changing market demands.
Working on public Cloud can impact security and the ease of opening Cloud services to the public internet can sometimes be a cause for concern. You need to work with your security counterparts to ensure that the services you choose can be used in line with the organisation’s approach to risk.
Cloud services are beginning to operate around zero trust frameworks, which centre around identity verification. From an architecture perspective, you need to establish your core identity provider and determine your federation strategy – especially if you are going multi-cloud.
Once you have understood the legal, regulatory, and security requirements of the organisation and established the processes, Cloud platforms allow you to programmatically implement and monitor your policies for compliance purposes. It is worth noting, however, that an overzealous approach to policy implementation can quickly lead to frustration for developers and trigger shadow IT.
DevOps / CI/CD
You should employ a combination of DevOps and CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery / deployment) for large scale Cloud deployments . Cloud is largely driven by configuration: not having a robust way of versioning and releasing configuration into the right environment can cause problems.
Understanding and pivoting your models
Cloud investment can bring about a change in the budget, funding and control of costs of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Traditional IT finance models largely focus on predictable CapEx spending & infrastructure, while Cloud models rely on less predictable, OpEx-based, consumption-led spending. While most Cloud transformations seek to lower IT costs, investments can rapidly escalate and should be carefully managed in order to maintain control.
Cloud offers tools that enable finance to implement automated monitoring and control processes, such as analytics to track and achieve cost performance optimisation.
The following considerations should be taken into account when transforming a financial operating model to support a Cloud IT operating model:
- Procurement: Aligning supplier management capability and processes to optimise cost;
- TCO: Calculating the total cost of ownership for the Cloud investment, covering licensing, storage and scaling models;
- Processes: Automating compliance processes and controls within approved and pre-set thresholds;
- Multi-provider models: Enable the selection of best price options and avoids risk of financial lock-in when choosing a single vendor model;
- CapEx to OpEx cost models: Outlining the move from one model to another;
- Flexibility to scale: Ensure governance around cost authorisation doesn’t inhibit the ability to scale.
Most Cloud transformations have ambitions of reducing cost of technology and improving operational efficiency. In order to achieve this, an organisation should consider Cloud cost models across providers and schedule in regular reviews to discuss the latest service offers. Organisations should also track the benefits from business case stage through to implementation and operation as the business scales. It is also important to create product investment models in order to provide a budget for on-going maintenance and changes.
In a nutshell
In this series, we have covered a range of areas that organisations need to consider when moving to the Cloud. Although there is a lot of ground to cover, the good news is that those who are prepared will capitalise on Cloud and its benefits in the most effective way. If you are looking for a partner to help with your transformation, our 30+ years of experience delivering and assuring such programmes strongly positions us to assist you, wherever you are in your journey.