Gartner’s Enterprise Architecture Summit affords a great opportunity to meet with fellow architects and discuss a wide range of current topics., This year a number of Senior Architects from Long View were able to attend and exchange ideas, hear the latest research in this growing field and meet with others who are working to deliver great architecture at all levels and provide valuable business driven outcomes within their organizations.

Cloud was a hot discussion topic and as we all know, cloud services are bringing a whole new dynamic to. However, in many organizations cloud services are typically being evaluated in a piece meal fashion which is often tactical, and hence, a hap hazard method. With each review being a new effort, often being done in isolation, with no strategy, and without a common reference or a consistent and correct audience, the overall value of this activity is very much reduced.

So how does Architecture help answer the common question above? By creating the missing common references, forming the right teams and process to evaluate business benefit, and leading strategy development. Today Long View Architects are doing just that, adding value and driving the right outcomes and behaviors within this rapidly changing landscape.

Firstly, every organization requires a very clear and agreed definition of what cloud is and what cloud services are. A key underlying principle is identifying that cloud is just part of a spectrum of service delivery models, which includes on premises, hosting and outsourcing, etc.

So, what is cloud?

  • It is in essence another form of outsourcing.
  • It is  service, not just a technology,
  • It is described by SLA’s, SLO’s, and KPI’s etc. within a contract
  • It is something that is consumed.

Within Cloud Delivery Services Models there are also a clear and unique subset of Attributes, Service Types and Delivery Models.

Cloud Services attributes and characteristics are:

  • Elastic, scalable, delivered as a service, has a self-service interface, it is charged by consumption etc.
    • Our action is to clearly define these within your organizations strategy.

There are many different service types?

  •  Iaas, Paas, SaaS, Infaas, BPaaS, etc.
    • Here we describe and understand each service offering and what they deliver.

And several differing delivery models:

  • Public, Private, Hybrid, Communal, and Virtual Private Cloud
    • We outline all delivery frameworks understanding the impacts and benefits of each.

Secondly, a cross functional team from around the organization should be assembled to give input for the strategy and draw reviewers from the evaluation of cloud services.

It should consist of representatives from several key areas:

  • For example Legal, Procurement, Finance, Business Representatives, Marketing and IS.

In defining common references, and a core team, early in the cloud strategy, all stakeholders are brought on board with a common understanding of cloud services, thus helping an organization see through the cloud washing and marketing that exists today.

The Long View Architecture Practice is having the right conversations today, we bring the thought leadership required to help organizations understand, and benefit from, these new service offerings. By assisting and supporting the development of aligned cloud strategies with evaluation processes, we are enabling IS to become the trusted advisors for their business in this evolving space.