Top 4 Ways I Know My First Private Cloud is Successful

October 25, 2012 - 0 Comments

My users are happy:  Having clearly identified and targeted my end users (did I focus on  business application owners, trusted business IT folks, IT solutions team, or my administrators?), I can see that the adoption of the cloud automation is growing.  This does not mean they are able to do everything they want in my first cloud deployment, but it means they are getting value out of it and I can see the anticipated number of physical and virtual servers provisioned.  I also see deprovisioning occurring.  After a few months I might still see three times to the provisioning going on as deprovisioning. I also have other teams beyond the first deployment angling for their turn.

IT Operations / the Cloud Command Center are cautiously monitoring the people, processes and technology:  Let’s face it, getting into production was intense and we had to make tradeoffs.  We did not get everything we wanted in the first deployment.  We cut the tape and users jumped in the cloud pool.  We got lots of feedback.  We tweaked one or two things; we got even more feedback.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  We looked forward to chapter two and built long lists of what we wanted.  We adjusted our roadmap.  We reviewed the success, learnings and failures with our management.  We identified and quantified the ROI.  We realized that we had lots of work to do.  Our Data Center operational processes were so spread out among our staff.  We had to think very clearly about managing the change from routine to strategic and how our workforce needed to transition to new roles.

Senior IT management became pragmatic:  When we first started this project our management was looking for dynamic auto-scaling clouds.  They wanted hybrid clouds with brokerage functions.  We had needs for traditional IT applications and the new age of scale out applications.  Why not, doesn’t everyone have one of these for a dollar a day per compute resource and close to zero stand up cost?  An executive sponsor arose who had a vision for that future, but was willing to get quick wins today.  She knew that without these quick wins (progress not perfection) wholesale defection of business teams could occur.  This was a race for our survival.

We had a core team that was trained and could take us to the next cloud service release: We invested heavily in understanding the platform we had chosen.  Nothing was perfect, but we aligned our vision with our selected vendor.  We staffed up key roles and provided a career path.  While we still leverage our vendor’s services organization for key architectural guidance and critical activities, we have a framework we can use to build our own use cases.  Over time our team will get wiser, stronger and able to take the project on ourselves.  Oh, and we stayed close to the vendors roadmap and chose carefully what to deploy and when.

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