People of IT:
A powerful global change has begun. Through cloud services and automation, people are discovering and inventing new ways to deliver IT services with blinding speed. As a direct result, IT Operations are changing — and those that adopt a pragmatic cloud are creating competitive differentiation for their business faster than most companies.
But there are many stones on the road to Damascus on which to stub you toes.
Some IT shops moving to a cloud are not yet ready to take ownership of that Private or Hybrid Cloud deployment or to change their operations. These shops will not be successful.
Some expect their vendor to build it and own it. Other shops are relying on third parties. This will work at first but it will quickly get too expensive.
Finally, some of the visionaries want to own it themselves but don’t know where to start. These organizations need to build a maturity roadmap that gets them started quickly and easily so they can learn what works and what needs improvement.
We have worked with a large number of organizations. This has given us perspective on the 12 habits of successful cloud implementations. Here they are.
12 Habits of Successful Cloud Builders:
1. They invest in training from their cloud automation software provider so that they can take ownership of and drive the technical work.
2. Cloud builders are indeed that, their goal is to build: over time they rely less on vendors and third party services to build their cloud; they have a plan for that transition.
3. Moving to cloud requires new roles. Builders define new roles in their organizations to take into account the new skills and competencies needed. They think through career implications and pathways.
4. Program management is the key to success. Like remodeling their house or building green field to spec, they have a Program Manager, he owns the project deliverables and drives the engagement across the IT organization and with the software vendor and services partner.
5. Cloud builders have a Cloud Architect; she owns the strategy and roadmap of my cloud services and technical implementation.
6. Building a cloud is not just about infrastructure, but also about end user centric services. They will have a Service Designer; she owns the definition and implementation of cloud services.
7. Orchestration, the processes and workflows that do the work technical integration and provision, will require having a Workflow Author.
8. All this building requires the right tools. Successful builders have a Technical Architect/Engineer who will drive integrations, installations, system administration and upgrade planning.
9. Someone pays the bill (and reaps the rewards) for this move to cloud. The best projects have an enlightened, visionary, but yet pragmatic Executive Sponsor who understand and knows why the organization is moving cloud and will fight for the project at the CIO and CEO’s table.
10. 2012 is all about results real fast. Builders want to move in right away. Even if the DVR and LCD TV are not installed. Cloud Builders will get their cloud into production ASAP. Without immediate results they can’t enable the Executive Sponsor and the support for their project erodes quickly.
11. Like non-cloud environments, they understand that typical development, test, staging, production instances of the cloud automation and virtualization software should be deployed for release/move to production best practices. Moving to cloud means they take their best practices from the pre-cloud era and apply as needed.
12. It is rare that a builder builds the client’s house of their dreams that will never change. Cloud is no different; those successful builders understand that the cloud automation platform and services offered will undergo a roadmap progression of functionality.
Nothing on this list is surprising. Follow my twitter feed at https://twitter.com/#!/Cloud_Wayne to see how Cisco Intelligent Automation is helping those pragmatic cloud builders.