POWER > Business Strategy > Executive Perspective

5 Steps to Implementing Cloud

Alise Spence

No matter what industry you are in, the evolving competitive environment forces organizations to adjust their business model and adapt their IT strategies. Cloud is a disruptive force that enterprises cannot ignore. Your organization likely plans to implement a transformational cloud strategy. But, what do you do to get there?

EMA analyst Julie Craig outlines five steps to implement an ongoing cloud strategy in your organization (ibm.biz/Cloud-EMA):

  1. Assess IT needs and cloud workloads: Identify organizational drivers for cloud. Why is cloud usage under consideration? Next, classify and prioritize initial proposed cloud workloads to ensure plans for cloud adoption are realistic in context with existing and/or planned services. Deliverables include an initial viability assessment and a list of initial workloads that align with drivers and objectives.
  2. Design your cloud: Match each potential workload to one or more suggested cloud options (e.g., private, IaaS, PaaS, etc.). Then, assess the feasibility of each proposed workload/platform combination. For feasible combinations, determine if and how the proposed cloud service will fit within the organization’s already existing execution ecosystem. New data workloads can be deployed in a fully automated environment or auto-deployed as a series of micro-services that together deliver an integrated service. Be sure to consider disaster recovery scenarios when architecting your cloud environment. The right platform is critical to a secure, flexible cloud environment.
  3. Implement proof of concept: Select a single proposed cloud implementation as a demo project to assess the validity of the deliverables from the assess and design phases. Once deployed, test the workload/platform, both as a single unit and as an integration with existing production systems. After successful testing, assess the viability of moving the workload to production, based on observation and testing of the demo deployment. If judged viable, move to the next stage.
  4. Production deployment: If the demo deployment fulfills all requirements, complies with organizational policies, and is fully tested and operational, production deployment is the next step. For new cloud workloads, deployment will be a matter of moving the design into production and running the test plan developed during step 3. For cloud workloads intended to replace existing workloads, most organizations prefer to ease the transition by running duplicate environments side by side for a time before turning off the old system and making the new one live.
  5. Ongoing cloud deployment lifecycle: Once the process is in place, subsequent cloud deployments should follow the same lifecycle, beginning with the assessment phase.

Cloud is critical to staying competitive today, but the move can be daunting. If you need help with your transition, contact us at ibmsls@us.ibm.com and our IBM Lab Services consultant (ibm.co/2mY8Emt) will help you design and build a reliable cloud infrastructure.

Alise Spence Power Systems Cloud Offering Manager



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5 Steps to Implementing Cloud

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