There are broadly speaking two key stages for cloud service adoption, namely “selection of cloud services” and “usage of cloud services”.

 

There are broadly speaking two key stages for cloud service adoption.

 

Stage 1 : Selection of Cloud Services

 

Cloud computing can possibly provide different business values. In general, such benefits can be grouped under three categories as follows:

 

  • Operational Savings – improvements in computer resource utilisation, lowered labour costs and power consumption, etc.
  • Agility – flexibility for handling business changes, reduced lead time for providing new services, etc.
  • Innovation –taking advantage of the cloud service provider's innovative provisions without owning or managing the related complex IT assets.

 

The following table lists some major types of cloud services commonly available in the market.

 

Types of Services Specific Benefits

Productivity applications (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail and unified communication, etc.)

Work anywhere, anytime and using any device

Business Application (e.g. CRM, ERP, HR, development, testing and hosting, etc.)

Fast and flexible deployment

Agility to adapt for fluctuation on computing demand

Social Networking (e.g. photo and video sharing etc.)

Direct communication with customers, especially those of younger ages

Cloud IT Service (e.g. backup and storage, etc.)

Off-site storage provides additional resilience

Access documents and files anywhere using any device

 

To determine the readiness of adoption, the following are some of the major activities involved:

 

  • Identify the requirements for the existing applications to be migrated to the cloud environment.
  • Search the market for likely source of cloud service providers that can meet the requirements with a cost-effective pricing model.
  • Look out for other infrastructural (e.g. networking) or procedural (e.g. auditing) changes required to enable the adoption.

 

Stage 2 : Using Cloud Services

 

After confirming the business needs and readiness for adopting a cloud service, companies can start their implementation and usage of the service.  This would typically involve:

 

  • Contractual arrangements with the cloud service provider with mutually agreed service level agreements (SLA)
  • Application and / or data migration of existing systems
  • System testing and acceptance
  • Production system launch
  • User training and support
  • On-going management and monitoring of the service performance

 

 

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