Cloud Suitability Assessment

At the start of a cloud suitability assessment it is important to have a recap on what Cloud Computing is, its characteristics and the objectives. It must not be forgotten that moving to the Cloud does help cut costs but it also generates opportunities. The general appropriateness of the Cloud and it’s applicability to your business is key and the migration journey and potential disruption of upgrades and reengineering will be taken into consideration.
The impact of the Cloud is expected to deliver improved business performance including improved IT delivery capability and integration between internal and external IT service offerings. From a business perspective the migration to the Cloud also highlights potential changes in Service Ownership, Risk Management, Finance and Vendor Management. All of these areas will be explored. A move to the Cloud will also change the IT capabilities of your business around the following areas.

The Cloud model will allow a move to a pay-as-you-go but with demand management to enable efficiencies. By moving to an operational expenditure model from the capital expenditure model there is also an opportunity to greatly reduce project risk.
A review of the IT strategy will be undertaken including vendor capabilities of the current and planned IT assets and the external partners.
A review of planned and on going projects for Cloud benefits will also be undertaken along with a demand planning exercise to establish the impact on capacity and the flexibility to cater for the requirement for extra resources.
The impact of the Cloud on IT management and costs per user and per IT metric (GB RAM, vCPU, GB Storage, GB backup) will be established.

The move to the Cloud could introduce new risks to your business through the need to now access external IT computing power, the use of new technologies and partners. This section of the review will focus on how to establish and enhance the IT risk management and controls now with a proposed new Cloud model. The existing teams and structures will be reviewed to make sure that they have the capabilities required and flexibility to handle the new providers and their challenges. A review of any regulatory requirements (e.g. data must be in the UK only or must be on dedicated hardware) will also be discussed.

A review of the existing assets of hardware and software will identify the age and complexity of the existing architectures. Off the back of this exercise, technology standards and roadmaps will be confirmed allowing for Cloud provider preferences and upgrades and migrations to be included or excluded from the scope.
Standards around integration within a private Cloud or across Cloud service providers will be firmed up. A general review of emerging industry standards will also be explored for relevance to the IT strategy.

Information Management
The objective of the focus on information management is to clearly establish data archiving and retention policies and to allow secure access to the information on the proposed Cloud platform. A review of the current governance model will allow for ideas around the improvement of data quality and integrity to be an output from a migration to the Cloud and expected data volumes and growth profiles..

Solution Delivery
A move to the Cloud promotes a new approach to solutions, being a move away from building bespoke to finding what’s already available and integration. Ultimately the approach should deliver shortened project timescales and new options for testing and DR. This section of the Cloud Suitability Assessment will involve the review of existing and planned applications and their integration strategies.

Service Management & Operations
A move to the Cloud will require a new definition of roles and responsibilities and the fostering of a new team approach across providers. It is important to review what services will remain in house and what will become Cloud/external partner services. This review will focus on what changes are required on move to an on-demand model whilst remaining in control. A review of existing service desk functions and provisioning procedure will be undertaken as part of the Cloud Suitability Assessment to establish if fit for purpose.

Scope of Work
Ultimately a decision has to be made on your readiness for Cloud adoption. The Cloud Suitability Assessment exercise will establish the most appropriate model for your business in terms of service and deployment and how and where to adopt Cloud models. As part of this exercise the areas impacted by the adoption of the Cloud model will be established and based on the findings recommendations for a migration roadmap made.

Xicon will perform an Cloud Suitability Assessment adjusted as appropriate based on the size and complexity of your business. The deliverables will be a draft report at the half way stage followed by a completed report at the end of the exercise. If a only a high level Cloud Suitability Assessment is required, then only a single report will be prepared.

The report from the cloud suitability assessment will include the following:-
Sections covering the above on Strategy, Governance, Architectures, Information Management, Solution Delivery, Service Management and Operations will be included.
Budget costs for hardware, software, subscriptions, resources and a draft migration plan will also be proposed.

For more information please contact us.