A big part of the digital disruption that is occurring today has some form of cloud computing at its core. The availability of very low-cost, on-demand and easily provisioned Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) has all but rendered obsolete the need for many organisations to build and operate their own data centres. The growing portfolio of application Software as a Service (SaaS) has enabled business organisations to procure solutions directly with little or no assistance from IT, eliminating the need for upfront capital and reducing the lag time from decision to value from months or years to weeks or days. The 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey confirmed this journey to the Cloud with the clear majority of respondents planning to make significant investments in cloud services, especially in Platform as a Service (PaaS) which has lagged the other two, primarily due to its higher degree of complexity and relative immaturity.
Choosing cloud services means having to make decisions about service models (IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS), delivery models (public vs. private vs. hybrid), location (on-premise, off-premise dedicated, off-premise co-located) and then navigating an ecosystem with hundreds of vendors supplying the components that must be stitched together to provision a workable solution. Then you need to factor in the existing IT estate and its data centres and legacy applications, often representing a significant capital investment reflected in the organisation's balance sheet. Consequently, it was no wonder that when the Harvey Nash/KPMG survey asked CIOs about the barriers they face when adopting cloud, the reasons provided ranged from compatibility and integration issues with existing systems to legal and regulatory compliance (see figure below).
Based on our research the keys to achieving cloud value are:
1. Adopt an enterprise-wide cloud strategy. As a minimum, the strategy should address when it is appropriate to use public vs. private cloud, when it is appropriate to use off-premise vs. on-premise, where different types of data can be physically stored and accessed, which cloud providers, services and solutions are pre-approved and the process for procuring cloud-based solutions.
2. Integrate effective cloud governance. Cloud governance needs to be integrated with existing technology governance and cover the entire cloud life cycle from planning through to off-boarding from a cloud provider. In addition, enterprise architecture, technology, security, privacy, compliance and operational policies should be addressed in the cloud governance.
3. Deploy an integrated consumption platform. A consumption platform is a holistic set of capabilities for multi-modal service consumption (independent of deployment model). Instead of being a "silver bullet", the consumption platform is a composite of off-the-shelf (COTS) and engineered/open source components.
KPMG's Point of View goes further in depth with the above topics, providing insight on CIOs' top reasons for adopting cloud computing, the barriers they face and our recommendations to help them successfully navigate the current cloud environment and realise value from cloud investments.
Click here to read the complete PoV, or contact us directly if you would like to hear more.
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