Cloud

How to Mitigate Against a Cloud Implementation Storm

Overview

Migrating to a new cloud service not only requires evaluating and finding the right cloud partner that meets your requirements, but also ensuring that your infrastructure and processes are ready to integrate with the new service.

A hasty or ill-prepared launch into a new cloud service could negatively impact your existing processes never mind absorb a lot of time, effort and cost to remediate if things don’t go well first time.

As with all IT implementations a cloud migration needs to meet the business goals and the best way to measure whether the business goals have been satisfied is to have a clear quality assurance delivery programme.

At ChallengeCurve we have compiled the 5 key areas for which a cloud migration programme team should consider to ensure a smooth transition to a cloud service:

5 Key Areas

Cloud Requirements

  • Is the cloud business case clearly defined and scoped?
  • Are the business benefits and ROI viable and achievable? How have they been validated?
  • Are the business requirements defined and complete? Are they succinct, unambiguous, traceable and verifiable?

 

Cloud Engagement Options

  • Have you investigated and compared the different cloud models?
  • Have you investigated vendors and their service maturity: reporting, capacity, change management, incident management, financial management, service level management?
  • Have you scoped and targeted your existing or new systems to be considered for cloud migration? Have you considered business criticality and the sensitivity of data to migrate?

Cloud Acceptance Criteria

  • Have you reviewed your current operation procedures and identified the points of integration with the cloud services?
  • Have you reviewed your existing SLA targets?
  • Have you defined a new enterprise wide SLA framework for the cloud services to work within?
  • Have you define the business acceptance criteria for the new or amended business processes supported by the target cloud services? How will the vendor demonstrate meeting these criteria?
  • Does your operational team have the right skills to maintain and operate the interfaces with the cloud service?

Cloud Contracts

  • Availability. What is the cloud uptime? What is in the cloud SLA?
  • SLA Penalty. What is the consequence for downtime?
  • Performance. What performance load can be supported?
  • Data Security. How secure is your data?
  • Cloud service usage. How are you charged for the cloud service?
  • Cloud termination. How do you get your data back out and how long will it take?
  • Service amendments. Can the vendor change their service post signed contract?

Cloud Acceptance Test

  • Have you identified the implementation stages to the cloud migration?
  • What data migration checks can be applied to each migration stage?
  • Have you defined a set of cloud service termination and exit tests? How will you extract your business data and processes from the cloud vendor on termination?
  • Have you create a migration test plan, prioritising test scenarios by business criticality and risk?

 

Summary – Critical Success Criteria

  • Senior management are committed to the delivery of the cloud service. They are involved throughout the implementation
  • Enterprise service levels and service operation manuals are updated incorporating the new cloud service. These are reissued to the appropriate help desk and service support teams with training
  • Business process guides are updated to clearly define responsibilities and handoffs between the organisation and the cloud service provider
  • Business and IT regression test suites are continually maintained with each change or cloud service update
  • Cloud exit tests are performed as part of the enterprise business continuity plan to ensure the company is mitigated against potential risks

Are you heading for a Cloud thunderstorm?

Having a QA and testing framework while selecting and implementing a cloud service can help you avoid a lightning strike.

The traditional role of a CIO, the company’s steward of all things technical, is shifting as the business part of the organisation becomes more tech savvy and more demanding. Business is taking control by engaging directly with vendors who are offering on-demand services and promising more value at less cost and more quickly than the internal IT department. As a consequence business is effectively bypassing their IT colleagues in a growing trend known as ‘Shadow IT’. Why engage the internal IT department to define a solution on your behalf when there are ready made Cloud based solutions that can satisfy your needs?

Our second whitepaper, co-sponsored with the Cloud Industry Forum, is now available. Please contact info@challengecurve.com if you would like a copy.

Do you have full confidence in your next cloud software release?

Our first whitepaper has just been released in partnership with the Cloud Industry Forum.

 

As a cloud-based SaaS (Software As a Service) provider there is a constant challenge to add more features and functions to your platform in order to remain competitive. And of course there are the necessary patches and security updates to ensure your customers have a stable and secure platform. But just how confident are your customers in receiving your next planned cloud software upgrade? How confident do you feel in your ability to deliver your next software release without production issues or client dissatisfaction?

With recent surveys finding that over 25% of customers are unhappy with their cloud-based service suppliers it is worth examining how the delivery life-cycle process differs between the SaaS and non-cloud models.

 

Interested in reading more? If so then please email info@challengecurve.com if you would like a free copy.