This book is somewhat ambitious in that it attempts to cover Cloud strategy and it's relevance to business sustainability in substantial breadth and depth. The fifteen chapters and each of their sections are written in a manner that allows both technical as well as non-technical business users to elicit value. The tools and exercises provided at the end of many chapters complement the main material, and can be used “as is” or customized to the reader’s own needs.
Chapter 1, “Things must change around here!” describes the urgency for change and some of its key drivers. It also introduces the role of our organization and the basics of how we're going to turn things around.
Chapter 2, “A reboot can't solve a hardware problem” covers some of the underlying reasons as to why the current IT approach is broken and incapable of addressing the complexities of a modern business environment. It also provides examples of companies that have successfully been able to skyrocket their businesses potential without the constraints that larger corporate environments face.
Chapter 3, “Strategy before Execution” describes the basics of strategy and execution as it relates to a technology organization, the meaning of strategic alignment, and its importance to generating business value. It also talks about some of the core elements behind simplicity, agility and globalization, and whether outsourcing may or may not be a good fit for some of our goals.
Chapter 4, “Storm clouds and silver lining” introduces the Cloud and it’s key impacts on our everyday lives. Cloud pervasiveness and its inter-relationship with new wireless technologies, the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality are discussed. It also delves into social networking and convergence, the future of electronic commerce and how all this co-relates with Cloud intelligence.
Chapter 5, “Service Models explained” describes IaaS, PaaS and SaaS and the differences between public and private Cloud architectures. We look at a few examples along with the pros and cons of each approach. The section also features special business and technical considerations, and watch points when dealing with multiple Cloud providers.
Chapter 6, “A case for Cloudsourcing” describes how a Cloud based technology strategy can be combined with smart outsourcing to derive maximum value. Cost and scalability benefits and other advantages are examined, along with security aspects and globalization.
Chapter 7, “Credibility reinforces Value” describes the cornerstones of a successful partnership with the business, and dives into what really matters to our internal stakeholders. We start to set the stage for future improvements through three fundamental actions that need to take place on our existing organization and financial structure.
Chapter 8, “Selection and Preparation” takes us through the initial qualification and decision-making that needs to happen before embarking on a Cloud strategy. We delve into the choices we need to make on vendor partners, and activities to transition. We look at how we can kick-start effective planning, and touch on typical challenges that are faced when considering a transition to the Cloud. Example worksheets are included at the end of the section to get the reader quickly started.
Chapter 9, “Creating and using a Strategic Technology Plan” emphasizes the importance of creating a business aligned technology strategy, and lists its basic elements. Templates are provided to assist in its creation and delivery, along with suggestions on how the strategic plan can be used within the organization as a multipurpose tool.
Chapter 10, “Inside outside management of our partnerships” provides guidelines for the development of effective, sustainable vendor partnerships. We also review the role of the core-retained team when it comes to demand management, planning and execution, and the art of managing business expectations and partner performance.
Chapter 11, “Culture and Framework” addresses the key success principles around communications & collaboration. We cover process & workflow, change management and sequencing among other topics. It also introduces the basics of seeding innovation and how to instill a transformational mindset as part of a progressive working culture.
Chapter 12, “The Cloudsourced Organization” describes the structure and roles within a Cloudsourced organization. We examine how responsibilities and accountabilities are divided and shared between internal and partner resources. This section also highlights what the key focus areas need to be for this organization early on in the transition. It suggests how a good organizational ratio and balance can be maintained around resources, and cautions against some potential pitfalls related to staff transitions.
Chapter 13, “Personalities in the mix” looks at the qualities that need to be present in leaders, relationship managers and architects. It introduces Bruce's KAAM quadrant as a reference model for successful team building.
Chapter 14, “More disruption on the horizon” looks ahead at some of the technology and industry trends that will further influence consumer habits, the cyber-social ecosystem, and the Cloud business environment in general.
Chapter 15, “Exit the Stone Age” sets the reader up for next steps and summarizes the lessons in the book.
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