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Tips for Seamless Cloud Onboarding


June 5, 2020

In the previous blog ‘Making Cloud Onboarding Hassle-Free and Valuable’, we looked at the security and governance related concerns of cloud onboarding. Now let us deep dive into cloud managed and ITSM based processes.

Cloud Management

The key word to describe the challenge is ‘scale’. Operating cloud at scale and in a multi-cloud world is only possible with automation. Otherwise, the complexity will result in a scaling of the operations team and that is counterproductive to the aims of efficiency, speed and cost saving.

Cloud Onboarding

Do you need a cloud management layer or can your existing management ecosystem cope with the different clouds? Probably you will see a mix.

  • You do not want to change your business risk monitoring but need to feed the cloud information into it! – APIs are your friend
  • You want to manage infrastructure on-premises, in the private and in the public cloud in one place? – A cloud management layer consolidating environment-specific information and automating the operations can make a lot of sense
  • You want one user experience (e.g. through a catalogue or a PaaS framework) and not different portals by technology? – Hooking up the service to an operational platform like ServiceNow or BMC Remedy can solve that as well as specific integrations into the experience of special needs groups, e.g. developers

Cloud services drive or in some cases mandate a different behavior. Cloud management helps in enabling your operations teams to monitor and document to provide the required input. Acting on that input to nurture a new behavior is a challenge that goes beyond the onboarding discussion.

ITSM processes for the cloud

Part of the onboarding exercise is to ensure that the ITSM processes in place are being used and that cloud behaves like a natural ingredient to the IT ecosystem.

ITSM processes for the cloud

The most obvious processes in the ITSM realm are incident, problem and change management. Establishing ticket tool connections, alignment of expectations (response times, solution times, escalation routes, etc.) are activities that are obvious and at least partially covered in the contractual and technical onboarding of the tool ecosystem.

But there are more processes to look at. Let me pick just one combination Capacity Management / Demand Management. While the cloud world seems simple from a commercial point of view – it is all pay per use – the truth is far from it. On demand vs reserved, capacity bands, billing mechanics, etc. can make a huge difference to the bottom-line number on the bill. In addition, you want to avoid hitting the ceiling of a contract the moment you need new capacity urgently.

There is a lot to learn and adjust when stepping into the cloud space and getting the team and the processes / process integration prepared as a part of your onboarding activities.

Conclusion and practical tips

This first step into cloud onboarding has shown that there are many aspects in many different areas to consider. These cloud onboarding best practices should help you to get onboarding under control.

  • Coordinate the activities across all disciplines at a central place
  • Ensure that you document decisions and that you put activities saved for later into a backlog that is not pushed into the back of the drawer
  • Be prepared to mediate conflict and to challenge existing practices and interpretations of rules
  • Get the regulator and internal revision on board of the discussions with the cloud provider. Share your plans and the limitations
  • Make onboarding, or even better the onboarding effort, part of your decision process for a cloud provider
  • Work with a system integrator / multi-cloud provider with a consulting capacity not only in the technical space but also with regards to strategy, governance and cultural change

Having started with a statement that “it is time for some emergency braking”, we can now safely say it is time to start the engines, get the foot off the brake and get cloud onboarding done in a managed and controlled way.

Cloud Onboarding practical tips

Part 1: How to onboard a cloud solution provider

Part 2: The foundations of hooking up to a cloud provider

Part 3: Making Cloud Onboarding hassle-free and valuable

Part 4: Tips for Seamless Cloud Onboarding

About the Author

Matthias Popiolek

Matthias Popiolek

Matthias has more than 20 years of IT experience. He is dedicated to Cloud services fulltime since 2007. He has a unique set of experiences in areas including consultancy management through portfolio management, creation of cloud products, and classic data center delivery. Matthias is focused on enterprises adopting “modern delivery” as a standard way of working. In doing so, he works with customers on strategy, organization, processes and technology.

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