The Logicalis Cloud Briefing looked at three key aspects of migrating to the Cloud on your terms - change leadership, legal issues and the technology considerations. While moving to the Cloud brings clear financialand operational benefits, it's important not only to consider the most appropriate cloud provider and how to migrate workloads with least risk but to understand how cloud can help the CIO drive change and how to navigate the legal/compliance issues.
Change Leadership (Don Holley, Mindset)
The speed and volume of change is increasing; this can be highly disruptive not just to industries or companies, but to the role of IT Deptartments. The role of IT is shifting, and there’s an opportunity to re-think or re-invent IT within the organisation - Cloud plays an important part in enabling IT to be far more agile and align IT to the business more closely than ever.
Mindset has developed a model to address common challenges in re-positioning IT - within this model there are two key areas that typically need to be addressed:
- Change leadership – how to take the organisation on a journey, when there isn’t a clear start or end point
- Culture – reviewing the style or language, and focussing on benefits, not features – "sell the hole, not the drill"!
Don recommends that CIOs look at their organisation and see how they can create “push down" leadership that will accelerate the pace of change – people that are able to do this and deliver results will be important people in any organisation.
Cloud Legal and Compliance Issues (Dudley Kneller, Madgwicks)
“Legal” are often seen as the “blockers” to technology projects; in the case of cloud there are clear commercial advantages but also some potential pitfalls that need to be navigated. Understanding the legal landscape will help CIOs negotiate Cloud agreements that deliver the benefits of Cloud and mitigate any of the potential risks involved.
Some of the common areas that need to be considered are:
- National Privacy Principles (NPP) – storing customer data securely and in compliance with Privacy Act (overseas cloud providers may not adhere to this legislation)
- Service levels – there's increasing flexibility from vendors around SLAs and aligning these with customers' business requirements
- Termination – consider mutual termination of convenience clauses - but more importantly, consider how you will your data out of the service provider’s cloud
- Jurisdiction – it’s much harder to enforce your rights if the cloud provider is in the US or UK, so consider under which jurisdiction that the Cloud contract is written in.
In general, while there are some legal compliance issues to consider, there’s a move away from negotiations around rebates and penalties to an open dialogues about aligning service levels with the business.
Migrating to the Cloud (Stan Sotiropoulos, Logicalis)
Organisations are seeing an increase in business demand for IT, but flat or declining IT budgets – this is creating an increasing gap in the provision of IT services. Cloud services are increasingly being used to close this gap, by reducing the cost of IT services and reducing or eliminating the adminstrative overhead of data centre administration.
However, when looking at migrating production workloads to Cloud it's important to recognise that not all clouds are created equal. In addition to different cloud models there are two "flavours" of Infrastructure as a Service models:
- Enterprise class Infrastructure as a Services is intended for enterprise applications, with the Cloud infrastructure designed for performance, with redundancy and high availability
- Commodity IaaS is intended for “cloud applications” where the application itself is distributed across availability zones (and the application is designed to be distributed across multiple availability zones for redundancy.
The first step to moving to the Cloud is to categorise your workloads and match them to the appropriate cloud type.
The second step is to select a cloud provider, considering criteria like:
- Can they assist with migrating workloads to the Cloud?
- Are there flexible connectivity options?
- Do the SLAs align to your business?
- Security: does their offering assist you in meeting your industry regulation compliance?
Finally, you need to consider your migration strategy: how you connect to the cloud, migrate servers and licences and ensure that the existing environment will works in a cloud evironment. (Logicalis has developed a migration methodology that considers a broad set of design, migration and optimisation aspects.)
For more information on these topics:
- View our video summary of these three Cloud perspectives
- Download the Briefing slides on Slideshare
- See how the Logicalis Cloud works in our short video