Friday Jul 17, 2015

Cloud Adoption Patterns for Enterprise

cloudImageBy Tejas Joshi, Oracle EA: Cloud adoption has become a main stream strategy for Organisations to deliver innovation, agility, better TCO etc. But there are many big and small enterprises that are struggling with successful cloud adoption even after four years of hype and maturity. One of the primary reasons that some enterprises fail is due to misalignment with its business strategy,  market dynamics, lack of appreciation of different types of Cloud adoption patterns . I have come across many Organisations over past four years who have successfully adopted Cloud strategy at the same time improved their competitiveness in the market. After studying these enterprises closely, I concluded that key to their success was identifying Cloud adoption pattern that was clearly aligned to their immediate business priorities supported by time and money required and with greater appreciation of risks. I am listing some of these Cloud patterns here with a view to help many other enterprises that are still looking for their first successful Cloud deployment.
Cloud Pattern 1: Applications to Cloud (SaaS)
  • Description: Lines of Business adopting new capabilities in Cloud to solve specific problem quickly, E.g. Marketing Campaigns, Customer Service center, Billing etc. These are tactical moves to SaaS, generally without IT’s knowledge
  • Concerns: Integration challenges is never a concern as it gets dumped on IT, But becomes primary reason for its failure in longer term. Initial integration is based on file import/export
  • Timeline: Go live in 4 to 12 weeks
  • Key benefits: Ease of Use, Agility, Instant Go live, Zero customisation, Business feels in Control
  • Risks: Creates Shadow IT, results in heterogeneous Cloud ecosystem, High Churn rate for Cloud Vendors
Cloud Pattern 2: ERP to Cloud (SaaS)
  • Description: Organisations look to transform all or some lines of businesses to move to Opex model along with strategic initiatives like Digital. These are strategic multi year initiatives like Finance, HCM, Supply Chain transformation with focus on outsourcing ERP to SaaS and making its IT nimble
  • Concerns: Integration is key part of these initiatives with links to other applications and coexistence with on premise ERP during the multi year migration. Integration profile will keep on changing and will require robust technology platform
  • Timeline: Go live in 2 to 3 years with interim modules go live every quarter
  • Key benefits: No longer tied to large upgrade projects for ERP without business benefits, OpEx Model, quarterly drops with new business features, focus on Business without IT distractions
  • Risks: Hard for customer to move out of ERP cloud, smaller cloud provider cannot provide long term assurance, business is required to change from defining requirements to selecting feature available in SaaS ERP. Other risks are lack of MDM, Security, robust integration strategy
Cloud Pattern 3: Test/Dev to Cloud (IaaS/PaaS)
  • Description: IT(CIO) led initiative to reduce cost of running infrastructure and providing agility for environment management to Lines of Businesses. Sometimes part of DevOps initiative. Typically. these patterns are seen as a reaction to lines of businesses directly consuming AWS for Dev environments. IT would end-up introducing Test/Dev to cloud initiative with focus on providing PaaS across multivendor ecosystem. IT roles changes to cloud broker
  • Concerns: Data security, DevOps Maturity are some of the key concerns
  • Timeline: Go live immediately
  • Key benefits: Service based approach to environments, instant provisioning of environments, Project pay for what they use, no CapEx, reduced TCO
  • Risks: IT maturity to act as cloud broker, LoB prefer to pay with their credit card, cloud proliferation without adequate governance
Cloud Pattern 4: First Attempt to Cloud (SaaS/PaaS)
  • Description: Organisations in which LoB and IT both want to move Cloud but do not know where to start, They would cloud-enable applications that cost a lot to run and maintain while having limited business impact (e.g. supplier portal, invoice management, markets data platform etc). These applications are most likely built on open source and migrated to SaaS or PaaS.
  • Concern: Security, availability are not critical issues but can become issues after they are hosted externally
  • Timeline: Go live in 12 to 18 weeks
  • Key benefits: low risk strategy to adopt Cloud. It can start small and grow quickly, Lower TCO , benefit from enhanced features in PaaS, introduction of DevOps discipline
  • Risks: Not easy to identify low risk application as every owner thinks their application is key to business, DevOps not easy to adopt for some enterprises, mis-conception that its easy to move to AWS (IaaS)
Cloud Pattern 5: Innovations Labs to Cloud (IaaS/PaaS)
  • Description: Many Organisations are looking to innovate through digital, mobile, IoT, BigData based initiatives. They would normally have task force with budget for these initiatives who are looking to setup technology platform based labs with google labs, AWS or other niche PaaS providers.
  • Concerns: Most of such initiative start with internal infrastructure on commodity hardware/OpenSource that is hard to setup by internal team but they would like to do it themselves to build CVs
  • Timeline: Go live in 4 to 12 weeks
  • Key benefits: Fail fast to create leading innovations, business benefits to get ahead of competition, Not constraint by Brick-n-Motor IT
  • Risks: High Risk of employee churn and lose of skills, steep learning curve for the team, difficult to get IT sponsorship to make innovations mainstream
Cloud Pattern 6: Cloud Burst
  • Description: Organisations always have business peaks that may not last all year long, for example online retailers require 400% of their normal infrastructure for Black Friday. These organisation want to invest in operations efficiency with Cloud bursting technology
  • Concerns: This patterns attracts a lot of attention, but is only possible with applications engineered to support such a scenario
  • Timeline: Go live in 12 to 24 weeks for instant cloud burst there after
  • Key benefits: Lower TCO, Operations Efficiency, Edge of Competition
  • Risks: Most Applications are not engineered to support this pattern and can create unknown side effects if Vendor does not certify such a pattern
Cloud Pattern 7: Enterprise to Cloud (Managed Hosting)
  • Description: Some Organisation especially in Retail & Finance are under immense pressure to reduce their operations cost by 30% within next 6 to 12 months. This is only possible with moving to Opex model based external hosting of their entire or significant IT estate. Providers like Fujitsu, Cap Gemini, Atos, HP and Oracle are some of the players who take as is IT estate to host it in their respective data centers and provide cost saving through operations efficiencies.
  • Concerns: These are pure TCO based initiatives for lift-n-shift without significant investment in technology like engineered Systems that can provide further operations efficiencies and future proofing
  • Timeline: Go live in 12 to 20 weeks
  • Key benefits: Immediate cost savings based on Opex Model, Slimmer IT, Helps New CIOs to establish their credentials
  • Risks: Higher TCO longer term with add-on services, Moving problem further but not resolving problem, Organisations risk going bust in 2 to 3 years
I hope you find above classification of Cloud adoption pattern useful. Please share your comments and experiences with me.
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