Cloud Computing is a tool, not a strategy. Implementing it in your organisation means you need to get ready, leaders/managers must manage any fears and control risk. The entire organisation does not need to be migrated into the Cloud immediately, it should be planned in stages.
In planning a pathway to moving to the Cloud leaders should assess how Cloud Computing can fit into the overall IT strategy for their organisation and support its mission and overall strategy. Following a six-step process is recommended.
Step One: Learning About The Cloud
Your strategy starts with learning about what the Cloud can do for your organisation and the challenges that might be faced.
Step Two: Complete An Organisational Assessment
Managers should conduct an assessment of present and near-future IT needs, in terms of the structure and capacity and what is the IT baseline. This should identify what resources are needed all the time and are necessary for day-to-day operations. Then a review of any seasonal, cyclical, or event-based demand for computing resources should be completed.
Some questions to consider are:
- What sensitive data needs to remain private and protected?
- What level of protection is required?
- Who needs access to the data?
- What laws and jurisdiction that govern information apply to their organisation and are they likely to change over time?
Step Three: Cloud Pilot
Leaders and managers should then pick one area or one project to pilot the Cloud and assess its outcomes. The successes and issues should be shared in terms of “best practices” and “lessons learned”.
Step Four: Cloud-Readiness Assessment
Based on the outcomes of the pilot, IT managers should then conduct an overall IT Cloud-readiness assessment to determine which data and applications can be moved to a Cloud environment and ranked in order of importance.
A decision on the ttype of Cloud (public, private or hybrid) suitable or usable for these purposes. This confirms which data and applications can - and cannot - be housed in a Cloud environment.
Be sure to look for a solution that allows the Cloud system to be configured with the appropriate data protection protocols that overcome where the data is stored and security obstacles.
Step Five: Rollout Cloud Strategy
The Cloud Computing implementation is where the Cloud goes from being a test effort to being more mainstream in terms of data management, its use and operations. The Cloud becomes part of regular operations.
Step Six: Continuous Cloud Improvement
Appropriate data and applications are moved to the Cloud and if necessary also back to internally hosted operations. This is based on a continuous assessment of the appropriate use of Cloud technologies for particular purposes.
There is growing use of Cloud services by education departments and organisations. Centralised IT behavior is shifting to better match the needs of the learners and the agility and productivity Cloud services can provide,
Leaders in education also need to focus their efforts on strengthened ties to teaching and learning and to the needs of academic subject areas. This imples creating a culture of Cloud Computing among teaching staff.
Such a transition cannot occur overnight. Many activities should take place related to promoting a culture of cloud computing such as workshops, seminars, participating in conferences, training courses and contacting with experts.
The psychological and technical readiness to dealing with the Cloud needs to be reached.
Some possible techniques for overcoming staff resistance are: aligning use with the needs and goals of users; regualr communication and training opportunities; creating a safe learning and teaching environment; ensuring the participation and involvement of all colleagues and forcing and coercion