cloud policy

In this step, you will learn about different IT policy components, how the IT policies align with the business objectives, and you will also learn the important considerations for alignment of cloud adoption strategy with the IT policies.

Your supervisor, Sophia, has recommended that you review BallotOnline’s existing IT policy. When reviewing existing IT policies, it is important to understand both the technical information as well as the business impact of any proposed policy changes or updates. There are a number of factors to consider, including recovery time objectives (RTO), recovery point objectives (RPO), cost of change, and time-to-market.

Upon reviewing BallotOnline’s existing IT policy, you will engage in an online conversation with your colleagues at BallotOnline in the Discussion: Identifying SLA-Related Gaps in the Existing IT Policy.

After discussing potential SLA-related gaps in the existing IT policy in the discussion, you can move to the next step, where you will take a close look at the existing IT systems and consider what might be required for growth.

Step 2: Analyze Growth Trends and Forecast Future Requirements

Comic book panel showing mockup of a computer screen/email: Hello, Attached are those growth trends over the last five years that you requested. As far as future projections, I'd recommend incorporating 10 percent year-over-year growth for the new projects. Thanks! Sophia (attachment: Historical data).”

You have gained an understanding of BallotOnline’s current IT issues and policies and potential SLA-related gaps in the existing IT policy. Now, you will consider the future or expected growth of BallotOnline’s IT systems.

In growth projection analysis, historical data is combined with research on market and industry trends to predict growth and forecast future requirements. To get you started, Sophia has emailed you the BallotOnline infrastructure over the last five years.

In your forecast, Sophia has recommended that you incorporate an additional 10 percent year-over-year growth for the new projects.

Write a one-page report and submit it to the dropbox below for feedback. This will later become part of the final Cloud Adoption Policy Addendum.

END OF PAPER ONE.

paper 2 start

Step 3: Develop Preliminary List of Applications and Workloads with Acceptable SLAs

Comic book panel showing mockup of handwritten checklist sitting on top of desk calendar.  The to do list reads:  (1) Review data for applications and workloads (2) Classify as "cloud ready" or not (3) Update SLAs (4) Send report to application/LOB owners.

Now, you will combine the growth projection analysis from the initial steps with an analysis of potential applications and workloads to create a list of cloud ready items. You will propose a list of applications and workloads for migration to educate the application and lines-of-business (LOB) owners affected by the cloud deployment and obtain their buy-in for the endeavor prior to implementation. You will also draft an updated service-level agreement (SLA) for these applications/workloads.

Review

For a review of implementation information for the various service models:

Review BallotOnline’s application and LOB data to analyze and identify the application/workload tiering/classification for cloud suitability based on the capacity, performance, and availability needs of each application/workload provided. You will also update the acceptable SLAs (RTOs and RPOs) in the cloud infrastructure for the top three business-critical applications identified in Step 1.

Before moving on to the next step, where you will consider issues of information security and compliance, discuss your criteria for “cloud readiness,” such as the acceptable latency range, amount of data storage capacity needed, Ethernet-based protocols, application topology, etc. with your BallotOnline colleagues in the Discussion: “Cloud Ready” Applications and Workload Classifications.

Step 5: Create Cloud Vendor Governance Strategy

This comic book panel shows an email from the student to Sophia. The subject of the email is “Quick update on cloud policy project. The body of the email reads, “I've finished going over the information security and compliance issues. I'm going to work on the cloud vendor governance strategy this week. I'm planning on making it vendor-neutral to give us the most flexibility to choose any existing or future cloud vendors.”

Review

There are numerous options available in the marketplace for cloud vendors, each with a unique set of offerings and services, including market leaders such as:

Since you considered information security and compliance issues in the previous step, it’s time to create a cloud vendor governance strategy document using the cloud vendor governance strategy template. Your one- to two-page policy should include your strategy for evaluating cloud vendors, creating a cloud governance strategy, and detailing how to incorporate this strategy into BallotOnline’s overall IT policies. Submit your work to the dropbox below for feedback.

Step 6: Perform an Impact Analysis

This Comic book panel shows three coworkers standing in the hallway. The student says to them, “Hey guys, I want to get your input. What are your top concerns about how moving to the cloud will affect your line of business?”

Cloud computing has an enormous impact on the way organizations conduct their business. Working in the cloud can bring business as well as IT operational efficiencies to an organization. While cloud promises these efficiencies, there can be hidden trade-offs associated as well. For example, some of those trade-offs could be control over the underlying infrastructure components (servers, switches, storage, etc.) or dependencies on the services offered by a specific cloud provider. Performing an impact analysis helps ensure that the requirements are completely understood.

A logical follow-up to consideration of your cloud vendor governance in the previous step will be to examine how the adoption of cloud may affect the existing business and technical practices of BallotOnline with a business and technical impact analysis.

You will use this impact analysis in your final Cloud Adoption Policy Addendum, but you also need to consider a potential exit strategy should things not work out with the vendor. You’ll look at that in the next step.

Step 7: Develop an Exit Strategy

In this comic book panel, Sophia says “The CIO mentioned that she is concerned about committing to a specific vendor without knowing if that vendor will be able to meet our needs over time.” The student responds with “I understand that concern. I'm working on the exit strategy for the policy document now.”

It also makes sense to consider what might happen to the organization if the cloud provider doesn’t work out. This is covered in the policies and SLAs via the cloud exit strategy.

The exit strategy should list possible business circumstances that may necessitate ending the relationship with the cloud service provider or vendor. Those circumstances could include the failure of the cloud service provider to meet performance requirements, possible security breaches, and matters concerning the cloud service provider’s business viability. Geographic-specific compliance issues should also be considered, especially since BallotOnline is an international organization.

Document your impact analysis and overall exit strategy, which should be between two and three pages. This impact analysis will be used for your final Cloud Adoption Addendum in the next step.

Step 8: Write the Final Policy Document Addendum

It is time to put everything together for the Cloud Adoption Policy Addendum. The addendum is designed to provide BallotOnline with a comprehensive IT policy that encompasses existing IT systems as well as their growth in the cloud infrastructure. The final document should be between eight and 10 pages.

At this point, you should have a better understanding of the cloud adoption strategy and how cloud adoption strategy differs from traditional IT adoption strategy. This knowledge differentiates you from a traditional IT professional and solidifies your standing in the ranks of cloud computing professionals. The accompanying Cloud Adoption Policy Addendum Template can serve as a guide to make sure you have included all the elements. Complete your Cloud Adoption Policy Addendum and submit it via the dropbox below.

The Cloud Adoption Policy Addendum will enable you to consolidate the work that you have completed in the steps along with some additional elements (scope, executive summary, etc.) to create a comprehensive policy addendum. Sophia will present your work for approval at the executive meeting.

BallotOnline’s updated IT policy, which includes your cloud addendum, is important. You will reuse it in subsequent CCA courses, so save it where you can find it.