These posts are taken from my book “Embracing Cloud: How to migrate your ICT Services into the Cloud.” The full book is available via Gumroad as a PDF or Amazon in Kindle Format. The full list of posts is here.
Cloud represents opportunity and threat. This section deals with the opportunities that Cloud present against the traditional ICT model that is pre-Cloud. These opportunities are often used as the basis for business case planning for the move of ICT services to the Cloud environment.
Traditional ICT Model
Current state ICT service delivery is characterised by the following:
- Siloed; information is not easily shared or reused.
- Capital Intensive; enterprises build, support, and maintain their own capital equipment, which must be periodically refreshed at a high cost.
- Inflexible; enterprises find it difficult, and costly, to respond rapidly to legislative, market, or technology change.
- Complex; enterprises have tightly integrated, often bespoke solutions with high maintenance and operational costs as a result.
- Duplication of administrative effort.
- Limited standardisation or use of common solutions.
- Current solutions do not meet business needs in the most cost effective or productive way.
- Over capitalised; in order to cater for ICT demands, such as end of year processing, the enterprise must purchase for peaks. This often means an over provisioning of infrastructure to cater for very short periods of high usage.
- Traditional; investment in enterprise ICT mainly supports existing functionality as opposed to improving service.
- Small in economy of scale; an enterprise in isolation has limited economy of scale in purchasing and provision of service.
- Proprietary; enterprises frequently find (often due to their age) that legacy systems are built on proprietary infrastructure, operation systems, databases, and potentially virtual environments.
Value Proposition Characteristics – The Future State
- Operational cost oriented; deploys “pay-as-you-go” basis. Costs are easier to control and pass on to consumers of a service.
- Demand driven; the enterprise only pay for the capacity it consumes.
- Agile; service, system, and environments are able to be commissioned quickly, and decommissioned quickly.
- Consolidated; significant reduction in duplication of effort via consolidation.
- Able to leverage economies of scale; this appears as cost reduction. Cloud providers can offer significant cost reduction compared to traditional given their massive scale.
- Innovative; investment and resource is freed up to innovate.
- Standards compliant; standards compliant approach enables greater re-use, service portability, and choice.
- Cloud computing offers opportunities to realise savings, or improve services, at all levels of the technology stack.
- In addition to lower costs, outcomes will include qualitative or intangible downstream benefits resulting from improved efficiency and agility, greater sharing and less duplication of effort.
- Risk reduction; enterprise’s ICT services fit into the new delivery model of Cloud and away from the technical cul-de-sac of the traditional model.
 Those opportunities lower in the stack are sometimes simpler to realise without high transition costs (due to the greater levels of commoditisation that occur lower in the stack).