Identifying Your Starting Points

With all the discussions around the value of cloud computing, it sometimes can seem overwhelming about how to get started. Do you simply get rid of your data center and turn your future over to a selected cloud provider? Do you do a few small projects leveraging a public cloud just to see what the cloud might be like? Do you simply hire a big consulting firm to create a private cloud? Unfortunately, none of these approaches would get you to the right place.

An overall cloud computing strategy is like any other business strategy — it must be planned within the context of your business goals and objectives. So, before you begin your journey to the hybrid cloud, we suggest that you take the five steps, outlined as stages, described in the following sections.

Stage One: Assess your current IT strategy

Your first step is to assess the current state of your IT strategy and how well it serves the business. IT organizations have typically grown in a relatively unplanned fashion. Although they likely began as well-orchestrated sets of hardware and software, over time they have grown into a collection of various computing silos.

You might think of them as being like a typical two-car garage. In the beginning, the garage held two cars and a few necessities such as yard tools. Over the years, the homeowner began to store lots of different paraphernalia in the garage, ranging from unused pots and pans to an array of old furniture. Suddenly, that well-planned, ...

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