What does Cloud Transformation mean to IT?

ARTICLE – Collins DeLoach shares his thoughts on gaining the greatest value from Cloud by consider Cloud Transformation from an Enterprise perspective. (05:30)

As Cloud Computing becomes the standard for applications, data, and storage, IT Organizations are scrambling to remain relevant in this new technology metaphor.  Most are focused primarily on the transactional aspects of cloud such as:

  • Addressing variability in compute power with flexible capacity
  • Implementing low cost cloud-based backup/recovery solutions
  • Shifting from a capital expense to an operational expense model
  • Moving work loads for immediate cost advantages

While these are valuable benefits from cloud computing, the greatest value from Cloud is when you consider Cloud Transformation from an Enterprise perspective.

At Pariveda, we utilize a perspective titled the Enterprise Architecture Framework which incorporates a business, technology, and product architecture view of the enterprise.

  • Business is an internally focused view of the business value chain architecture, modeling impacted business functions, interactions, people, processes and capabilities
  • Technology is an internally focused view, modeling applications, data, and infrastructure that enable the delivery of systems supporting business functions
  • Product is an internally and externally focused view of the value chain, modeling how you and your suppliers features and capabilities meet A specific need to differentiate in the marketplace

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Business Architecture

The Business Architecture includes People, Structure and Process which guides the IT Organization as they realign business expectations around their capabilities available in the cloud.

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In the Business Architecture, the IT Organization might be considering a few key questions:

  • What roles will be created or shifted with Cloud adoption?
  • What are the keys to talent acquisition, training and retention?
  • How will Cloud adoption challenge the current beliefs/mindset?
  • What values must be developed or cultivated?
  • What behaviors must be present to be successful?
  • Does the current IT Organizational Structure need to change or shift?
  • How does governance change when transforming the enterprise?
  • Which Processes will change for Cloud?
  • Who owns what Processes?
  • Where should a Process change start?

Upon answering and addressing these key questions, IT has an opportunity to fully align with the Business and create new opportunities through Key activities.

  • Adapt existing IT organizational structure to incentivize experimentation and innovation of Cloud ready solutions to foster broader adoption by business units
  • Support business-led projects by identifying and providing central facilitation, consulting, and oversight capabilities
  • Empower business to enable non-IT executives to lead, implement and manage some application development programs in collaboration with IT
  • Develop, recruit, and retain new skillsets throughout the IT organization in alignment with technology strategy and overall vision of the Business
  • Identify opportunities to increase quality, velocity, security, and predictability through automation in partnership with the Business

Technology Architecture

The Technology Architecture includes Applications, Frameworks and Infrastructure that serve to create the foundation for cloud transformation. In order to gain the most benefit, the IT Organization needs to use a structured approach evolving towards cloud-native operations and technology.

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We find many IT Organizations are struggling with similar questions on this journey:

  • What changes are needed to the application portfolio?
  • What changes are needed to the infrastructure?
  • What changes are needed to frameworks?
  • What order should internal applications be moved to the cloud?

Answering these questions will provide IT with process improvements to move faster, be more agile, and support new business initiatives made possible through cloud services:

  • Evaluate existing portfolio to identify candidates for cloud migration to retire, right-size and consolidate services
  • Leverage and embrace new architectures and processes within applications (e.g. DevOps, IoT, Mobile)
  • Foster rapid innovation by providing controlled, managed access to critical data and a safe environment in which to experiment and trial new products/offerings
  • Increase speed by implementing DevOps for automated deployment of applications quickly and repeatedly
  • Identify new applications which are made possible through Cloud services and capabilities (e.g. Big Data, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence)
  • Implement business continuity and disaster recovery plans by using native Cloud capabilities and redundancy
  • Define and communicate new measures to report on progress and overall health of technology organization
  • Seek to make infrastructure/security/compliance “cloud native“ by adopting an everything-as-code approach and implementing heavy process automation

Product Architecture

The Product Architecture includes Customers, Suppliers and Differentiators which provide both a unique internal and external perspective to the organization. The IT Organization is no longer a software development organization, but rather, a product and partner-centric organization.

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In the Product Architecture, consider the following questions to guide a product-focused transformation:

  • What existing Capabilities will be impacted?
  • What new Capabilities could be exposed (and monetized)?
  • What are the new Capabilities that must be more continuous?
  • How can governance be applied to Cloud consumption throughout the organization?

Addressing these key questions will allow IT to reinvent themselves in this new model. Aligning with business as a facilitator towards new technology and not a bottleneck will be key to success:

  • Consider the new value an IT Organization brings with cloud service adoption for the Business:
    • Provide Vendor and Technology evaluation/management services
    • Coach and assist with understanding, negotiating, and monitoring SLAs
    • Define approach and definition of security, compliance, and risk management procedures
    • Implement new procedures to monitor Cloud spend and usage across the organization
  • Ensure clear alignment and understanding of the evolving business needs, and be prepared to help Business assess the full range of possible
  • Seek new opportunities to monetize new services or offerings through Cloud enabled technology by proactively bringing “value creation” ideas to the Business
  • Communicate and realize the financial benefits of Cloud Adoption through operational efficiencies, total cost of ownership (TCO), and return on investment

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