01 Sep 3 steps to take before you write that Cloud Services Proposal…
3 steps to take before you write that Cloud Services Proposal…
Actually, four steps: the first being to acknowledge that you are going to market for a disruptive technology. Bringing Cloud into your IT structure requires a deeper analysis of your organisation and business needs than previous innovations.
Relying on vendors to recommend appropriate solutions may cause you to overlook some crucial gaps. It may lead you to choose the wrong combination of offerings or even the wrong provider.
Vendors are focused on presenting their products in the best possible light. This is not a criticism: it is a matter-of-fact that they are motivated to highlight the features they deem important. But will these features be best suited to your organisation? Do you even need their complete package with all the bells and whistles? Do you have a clear idea of what it will really cost when you actually start to migrate your diverse and, in some instances, tailored apps and systems?
Before you invite Cloud vendors to present their products, before you even shortlist the vendors … before you write the RFX and start shopping around, we recommend you talk to an independent consultant. Having a dialogue with an expert is critical. It frames your entire decision making process. It gives you a platform to understand your requirements and how they can best be fulfilled.
There are three key steps to take when preparing to craft your Cloud RFX.
3 Simple, but Crucial Steps
The RFX needs to be built around your detailed business requirements, as well as an in-depth understanding of the strengths and pitfalls of the organisation’s existing technology and infrastructure. Your requirements in Cloud won’t be the same, necessarily, as the ones developed for your physical/legacy environment. There are risks involved in moving applications and data to the Cloud, especially if those apps were not built for Cloud. We encourage our clients to accept that they may not be able to just shift everything into the Cloud and that some of their legacy systems may even be best left as is. We see the resultant two-speed IT as a valid choice.
Your business, however, is not just its technology. More importantly, it is also about your processes and people. As you begin the journey to Cloud adoption, take the opportunity to analyse your organisation, its processes and business workflows. This will enable you to determine how ready your organisation is to absorb the impacts of the disruption Cloud will bring; how ready it will be to truly leverage Cloud’s potential benefits.
And you’ll want a clear understanding of the cost implications of legacy vs Cloud. This will help you avoid investing in a bunch of tech you don’t actually need, prevent you from choosing the wrong combination of offerings, and/or even the wrong provider. If you ask a Cloud provider to tell you what you require, you will certainly get a list of must-haves. That’s why we advise our clients to proceed with informed caution guided by their people and process requirements, their level of cloud readiness, their existing infrastructure and their desired business outcomes.
Cloud migration is a journey not an arrival
The IT industry is in a transition phase. It is up to you, when preparing an RFX, to be clear on what you want to achieve, what should and should not move into Cloud and what might be too expensive. Before you even get into a competitive dialogue process, you and an independent expert should collaborate on:
- Cloud Readiness Assessment
- Workload Placement
- Business Case/Cost Analysis
Of course, you may be on your Cloud journey already, in partnership with a vendor of choice. That should not stop you from undertaking an independent assessment to fine tune the process and update your roadmap with new ideas.
Often, there is an initial balance between moving some workloads to the Cloud environment and maintaining some in the physical environment. The move to Cloud can be, and should be, a staggered approach. Organisations that are getting the best results are those prepared to accept a mix of legacy and cloud-based services at the start of their journey. This allows the people, the processes and the technology to catch up with virtual possibilities.
The promise and potential of the Cloud are exciting; but before you start, talk to someone who has already been down that road.