A checklist for cloud readiness

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“Many companies already feel that they’re good at IT outsourcing and vendor management. Often these companies run in virtualised environments which sets them up well for cloud services adoption. However, executives need to consider a number of business and technology issues before I’d advise a company to go the cloud route.”

According to Carroll, determining whether an enterprise is ready for cloud services adoption comes down to how they answer these three questions:

1. Is it relevant to my business?
“Companies need to look at whether there is business value in adopting cloud services. Often the answer depends on who is driving the process – business or IT? It’s important to understand the true value proposition of cloud,” says Carroll.

2. What are the barriers and risks and how do we overcome them?
“Many enterprises fail to understand the unique risks associated with cloud services and how these risks differ from traditional systems. This lack of understanding often leads to executives ignoring the risks – with potentially disastrous results.”

3. Do I have a roadmap?
“Cloud adoption is a journey,” explains Carroll. “There has to be a clear strategy around integration, aggregation and orchestration, else it’s nearly impossible to tie the process back to your business objectives.”
Stephan Pienaar, COO of software development company Exclr8, says there are two additional questions he asks.

“Considering the skills shortage in Cape Town and rest of South Africa, we always ask clients whether they have sufficient in-house technical skills to manage the cloud integration and management process. You need slightly different skills to manage your cloud environment and it’s important you have internal capacity to do this efficiently.”

According to Pienaar, there’s also a cultural fit that needs to be considered:
“Many of our clients are eager to adopt modern technologies and see cloud as a natural fit. However, there are still old-school IT professionals that prefer the hands-on aspect of having physical on-site IT infrastructure, and for them the cloud will never be an option. Understanding a company’s culture enables you to make a more informed decision on whether cloud adoption is the correct route for them, and helps avoid costly mistakes.”

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