Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Anders Wallgren, Plutora Blog, Pat Romanski, Greg O'Connor, SearchStorage.com News

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Ten Steps to Successful Cloud Adoption

Adopting Your Very Own Cloud

A Journey of False Starts

This is not the first time you’ve had your heart set on revolutionizing your information systems:

  • One year, you rolled out a big Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) initiative, but it was too brittle and carried high maintenance costs.
  • For a while you experimented with Web Services, but found that while they were easy to work with, they were largely insufficient to meet your broader needs due to a lack of architectural design guidelines.
  • Out-sourcing, in-sourcing, up-sourcing, down-sourcing, and cross-sourcing just seemed to shuffle the work around and tended to result in the blame-game.
  • You’ve bought every pill and tonic you could find (ESBs, network appliances, UDDI registries, load balancers, etc.), each with varying degrees of success.
  • One crazy weekend you deployed a full-scale dynamic rules engine to fully automate decision logic, but this carried hidden costs and fell short of your expectations.
  • Then you stumbled across this witch doctor who could abstract data, memory, processing power, and bandwidth through some wizardy known as ‘virtualization’.  While initially very promising, the startup costs and expertise required were obstacles that you simply could not overcome.

On the verge of losing all hope, you hear that this virtualization thingy might not have to be so expensive after all thanks to Cloud Computing.  Could it be?  Could you actually achieve your dreams of scalability, availability, and reliability, without giving your CFO a heart attack??  Could you actually adopt a Cloud of your very own?

Adopting Your Very Own Cloud

Adoption can be a scary process.  In your fear of doing something wrong, you may be tempted to buy a big, expensive consulting package and just have someone else handle everything.  You don’t need to do that.  Simply find a subject matter expert to serve as a mentor that can guide you through the process of pragmatically evaluating and possibly even adopting Cloud.  Along the way, make sure that this mentor is educating you and your team so that you are able to function effectively once this person has left the building.

Ten Steps to Successful Cloud Adoption

  1. Identify your business drivers — What are you actually trying to accomplish from a business perspective? What are your enterprise initiatives, key objectives, and targets?  Look for growth drivers as well as risk mitigation drivers.
  2. Get educated — What business opportunities does Cloud Computing present?  What are the advantages, disadvantages, and key factors that Cloud brings to the table? What cost models, value models, solution architecture, and infrastructure design changes are required in order to take advantage of Cloud Computing?  What impacts does cloud have at the enterprise, division, and individual project basis?  Throughout the adoption process, your mentor should provide education around Cloud, but at this stage you need focused attention upon the subject.
  3. Articulate a value proposition — How do you see Cloud Computing supporting one or more of the drivers identified in the first step?  There are a variety of reasons that an organization might choose to adopt Cloud (reduce maintenance costs, scale support costs during peak system usage, support after-hours service requests, business continuity, operational risks, reduce capital expenditures, accelerate growth into new markets, improve business agility, and etc.).  Identify and clearly articulate the Cloud value proposition(s) for your enterprise that are applicable given your business drivers.
  4. Define one or more scenarios — With an understanding of the value propositions that you are targeting, it is now time to get specific and define scenarios or use cases for applying Cloud Computing to address one or more of the business drivers previously identified.  These scenarios will serve as candidates for the initial Cloud adoption effort that your team will embark upon later in this process.
  5. Produce a roadmap – Using an “as-is” and “to-be” modeling technique, identify the gaps that exist between the current state of your enterprise and the desired future state for capitalizing upon Cloud.  Next, define a roadmap that shows how to move toward that cloud-enabled future state.  It is critical that this roadmap include objective and measurable milestones for your organization to work toward.
  6. Gain stakeholder buy-in — Throughout the adoption process, you will need to gain buy-in from various groups regarding this initiative.  It is particularly important to do-so after defining the roadmap and prior to actually moving forward with it.  From this point on your team will be drawing upon enterprise resources to establish governance, infrastructure, project personnel, and then deploying real solutions into production.  It is crucial that all impacted parties are on-board and ready to go.
  7. Establish governance — Oh great!  Here we go again!  Why does everyone insist that we need to govern our business initiatives?  The answer is simple - people screw things up. Governance ensures that we are all playing from the same playbook (vocabulary, portfolio, models, architecture, standards, metrics, etc.) and that the enterprise’s target objectives and risk factors are duly consider and investments are protected.  Governance should be lean, focused, and ever-present.
  8. Invest in infrastructure — Depending upon your adoption strategy, this may be very significant (server farm, policy manager and enforcement mechanism, load balancer, ESB, cloud gateway, etc.) if you are going to develop your own internal cloud or relatively simple (content-based routing proxy and possibly a service registry) if you intend to leverage an external cloud vendor.
  9. Cloud pilot — The metaphor of a test pilot has been used consistently used for years to describe initial work done in a new area.  The fact that we’re now piloting through clouds opens up a whole new set of possible puns to play around with.  Setting those aside, the importance of proving out a single, definable test case that can prove out tangible value for your enterprise is essential.  As with other pilot initiatives, it is important that you carefully select from a candidate set of possible projects.  You need something big enough to count, but small enough to be successful. Your cloud mentor should assist in this process.
  10. Enterprise roll-out — Provided that the pilot was successful, it is now time to move foward with the roadmap and look for additional opportunities to apply cloud solutions.  This may involve moving existing solutions to the cloud, consuming cloud services, or delivering brand new capabilities that have never existed.  Continue to expand the use of cloud within the enterprise so long as your solutions adhere to the governance guidelines that have been established, and they are consistent with your overall business drivers for the enterprise.

Cloud computing holds tremendous potential for both small and large organizations.  Adopting your very own cloud solution may seem daunting, but the maturing of service oriented patterns, practices, methodologies, and tools has brought cloud well within reach.  With proper guidance, your organization can evaluate the potential for cloud and pragmatically adopt it without breaking the bank.

More Stories By Kyle Gabhart

Kyle Gabhart is a subject matter expert specializing in strategic planning and tactical delivery of enterprise technology solutions, blending EA, BPM, SOA, Cloud Computing, and other emerging technologies. Kyle currently serves as a director for Web Age Solutions, a premier provider of technology education and mentoring. Since 2001 he has contributed extensively to the IT community as an author, speaker, consultant, and open source contributor.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...