Part Two of the Cloud Business Management Series
By Khalid Hakim, Charlie McVeigh and Reg Lo
At VMware we have the good fortune of working with many different customers on driving and implementing a Cloud Business Strategy. As we have discussed in some of our prior Cloud Business Management blogs, there is a full spectrum of issues to be considered when considering Cloud Business Management. This spectrum of issues include:
- Cloud Strategy
- Cloud Costing
- Cloud Marketing
- Service Level Management & Contracts Management
- Budgeting & Forecasting
- Services Definition
- Cloud Pricing
- Consumption & Charge-back
- Cost Optimization
Today we are going to look specifically at the role of Cloud Business Strategy and our time tested workshop approach that we use with our customers to derive a road map to success.
Our Cloud Business Management (CBM) Workshops always start by asking our customers what their definition of “success” is when looking forward 18-24 months into the future. While every customer is unique, the common success criteria that we hear from our customers include the following items:
- Full transparency for IT consumers as to what they consume and what are the costs for what they are consuming, i.e. who consumes what and at what cost
- Reclamation and recovery of unused or underutilized infrastructure.
- Establishment of services definitions for “patterns” (repeatable services in the service catalog) and “snowflakes” (services that are unique and require engineering to stand the service up.)
- Reduced time of deployment of services especially “patterns”
- Understanding from an economic and technical perspective of where is the best place to run cloud workloads. Is it private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment? Maybe it is more cost efficient to run temporary workloads in the public cloud than the private one.
- users to “do the right thing” due to understanding of economics and transparency of costs.
- users to “do the right thing” due to vastly improved day 0, day 1 and day 2 operations automation.
Once we have an understanding of what “success” will look like in the future, we then drive into a deeper discussion of the following items:
- We start by asking for current pain points across the CBM spectrum listed after the first paragraph above. For example: Do you have service definitions? Do you know your costs for services? Do you engage in pricing strategies? Are you marketing cloud services to incent user behavior? Do your users know what they are consuming? What are you doing for cost optimization?, etc.
- We then engage our customers in a discussion of what they would like to see in the future across the CBM spectrum and what tangible improvements that they can anticipate as they mature across each of these disciplines.
- Discussions then dive into the current level of maturity across the CBM Spectrum. The key here being that more mature organizations provides higher levels of value to the IT organization and the business consumers of IT resources.
- Lastly, a deep dive into data sources that can be used for setting up automated cost modeling are investigated. We are looking to understand what are some of the foundational data sources for Cloud Management (such as vRA, vROPs), Foundation sources for costs (G/L, A/P, Organization, Budgets), Operational Data (Labor rates, Headcount, Compute capacity and metering, Storage capacity and metering, Network capacity and metering, Reporting requirements, Financial practices, etc.)
The workshop and the discussions that occur require a significant discovery effort and detailed listening to our customers. From this effort we are able to derive a detailed deliverable that results in a tangible Cloud Business Strategy deliverable. The strategy includes a road map with definitive success points at 6 months, 12 months and 18 – 24 months.
Embedded within the Cloud Business Strategy document, is an illustration of what will happen to the organizations maturity across the CBM spectrum if the road map is followed. Maturity gains will be followed and realized by direct and quantifiable improvements in value provided by the Cloud management team to the business that they are supporting.
For more information and to schedule a Cloud Business Management Workshop for your organization, please contact your local VMware representative.
Khalid Hakim is an operations architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice. You can follow him on Twitter @KhalidHakim47.
Charlie McVeigh is an IT business management strategic advisor for VMware. You can follow him on Twitter @cbmcveigh.
Reg Lo is the Director of VMware Accelerate Advisory Services and is based in San Diego, CA. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.