Approaching the Cloud Strategy Consulting Engagement

 Organizations large and small recognize that cloud computing offers tremendous benefits with regard to increased efficiency of IT departments and greater integration between IT and business stakeholders.  However, with the plethora of emerging cloud vendors and dizzying array of acronyms describing business models such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, ITaaS, vDaaS, and OaaS, knowing where to begin can be intimidating.

Dell strategy cloud consulting offerings are designed to help clients make intelligent and highly practical cloud computing decisions.  We apply a five phase methodology that helps both business and IT leaders effectively meet their cloud program goals and achieve tangible benefits at each step:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Controlling
  5. Closing

During the initiating & planning phases, Dell experts work with the organization’s stakeholders to define a common problem statement which helps align their priorities and develop a sense of shared ownership in finding the solution.  Without this foundational step, project plans can quickly derail as each department’s priorities become competitive rather than collaborative.

This is followed by a comprehensive analysis which captures the business, technical, and operational requirements associated with each application, feeding them into a proprietary cloud decision tree tool, which, along with knowledge gleaned from working on projects within a variety of industries, allows our consultants to provide a comprehensive roadmap listing short, medium, and long term project recommendations, technologies to evaluate, and cloud delivery models to adopt, including their initial total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI).

Spending appropriate time on the Planning phase cannot be stressed enough, as it provides the business case that will fuel the remaining phases, such as the case of a large consumer insurance company that was struggling to develop a strategy around their next generation web applications, and needed help getting the business and technical leaders to agree on a way forward to increase the company’s competitiveness.  The Cloud Decision Tree tool is a great asset in this area as it provides a standard for the customer to apply consistently to its applications.  That was the case with a global manufacturing company, who couldn’t find consensus among its technical teams on how to prepare for cloud.  Dell’s methodology did the trick for them.

After the planning phase is complete, Dell encourages organizations to view the remaining three phases together, with Dell providing design, implementation, migration, application development, and support throughout the duration of the project.  Dell’s experience helping some of the best known public cloud providers architect their environments, coupled with a deep history of successful virtualization projects, enables our customers to quickly receive value out of their cloud engagements.  An added benefit is Dell’s emergence as a public cloud provider, allowing for the optimal blend of both on-premise and off-premise resource allocation, and the ability for customers to experience the same relationship they’ve come to enjoy for their traditional hardware, software, and professional services extended to their hosting provider partner.

Cloud computing provides exciting opportunities for businesses in all sectors and sizes.  By establishing the proper strategy up front and getting all parts of the organization focused on working together towards a common goal, objectives can be met more quickly and confidently, and mistakes avoided.  Dell’s IT consulting for cloud is a great way to begin this journey.

About the Author: Jeremy Greening