What Will Cloud Computing Bring to Your Bottom Line?
Approaching Cloudsizing – Part 2 of 4
By: David Linthicum
Dec. 31, 2008 06:15 AM
As you remember from Part 1 of this article series, there are 17 steps to Cloudsizing, including:
We covered the first two, so let's continue down the list.
Assess the Value
The first step is to determine the "as is" state of a particular application and / or business system, including the cost of operations, maintenance, design, development, testing, deployment, etc. From there you determine the "to be" state with cloud computing resources.
In addition, you need to define the value of agility and expandability, or the ability to change the information systems quickly as business needs change, and the ability to scale or expand the systems as the processing load needs to increase to support the business.
Finally, you need to consider the "network effect" or the ability for your applications to take advantage of other services, information, and applications that exist on the platform of the Internet. Make sure to document all of this, and come up with an ROI that the business can expect, or not expect. You determine the need to proceed at this point.
Understand Your Data, Services, and Processes
Understanding the data refers to the process of defining all relevant metadata within the candidate applications, new or old, that you're looking to outsource to a cloud platform. This means where the data is now, its structure, logical model, physical model, security issues, data definitions, etc. At the end of this process you should have a populated metadata layer.
The services are actual Web services, transactions, or APIs that are externalized by the existing candidate systems. The purpose of this process is to list them, understand them in detail, document them, and link them back to the metadata we defined in the previous step. Again, we're attempting to understand existing or new services that will either be placed on a cloud computing platform or will interact with resources hosted in the clouds. Services provide a more granular way to deal with applications, since you can mix and match services that exist within the enterprise and on cloud computing resources, all bound together using processes (discussed next).
You need to define and list all business processes that exist within your domain, automated or not. This is important because, now that we know which services and information sources are available, we must define higher-level mechanisms for interaction, including all high-level, mid-level, and low-level processes. In many instances, these processes have yet to become automated or are only partially automated.
You should also consider the notion of shared versus private processes. Some processes are private and thus not shared with outside entities (or, in some cases, they are not even shared with other parts of the organization). Other processes are shared, meaning that others leverage the same processes in order to automate things inter-enterprise. Private and shared processes can exist in the same process space with the process integration technology managing security among the users.
We'll move on to the next steps, next month.
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