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If you’ve ever taken a long road trip with children, you may have heard the following question every 30 minutes or so, “Are we there yet?” Even if you answered with a resounding, “No, not yet,” I’ll bet that question still kept popping up far more frequently than you desired. Did you know that it is possible to avoid that unrelenting inquiry? You just need to carefully plan and examine the potential stops along the way and communicate the trip status to the kids ahead of time, at periodic points throughout the trip. This can make the difference between having a pleasant adventure instead of one that could remind you of the classic movie, Vacation.

 

What does this have to do with the cloud? Well, think of reaching the cloud as a journey. With careful planning and design, your trek can be a pleasant one. It’s important to map your requirements to business priorities to ensure that the cloud services meet business objectives and help your company grow.

 

You also have to communicate that “map” to stakeholders so that they know what to expect. The map includes three key steps: cloud services design, cloud operations definition, and cloud process business planning.

Just as many people prepare a detailed checklist before going on a road trip, be sure to have a checklist for cloud planning. This includes figuring out why you want to build a cloud, identifying your long-term operating strategy, understanding the service transitioning model, identifying what success looks like, and a few other key items.

 

Cloud lifecycle management technology and consulting services can help you create your own road map that will get you where you want to go. So, before you fasten your seat belts, be sure to read, “Cloud Planning and Design: Your Road Map to Success." This thought leadership article provides information that can help you get started on your journey to the cloud. You’ll be there before you know it!

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On those rare occasions when I succumb to the urge to buy a big hamburger, I am always asked the same question by the server, “Do you want fries with that?” Of course, if I wanted fries I would have ordered the combo, as long as I wasn’t aware of the calorie count. Then there’s the super-duper combo, which includes a burger, fries, and soda. It’s all about choice. I get to make the decisions, and I pay based on what I order. Of course, if I were really particular about what I ate, I could cook the burger and fries myself. But then I’d have to drive to the store, pick up the ingredients, cook the food, and then, after eating it, clean up. The cost to do this, along with the time involved, just isn’t worth the effort. I’d rather outsource my burger.

 

In many ways, this scenario reminds me of Software as a Service (SaaS). Maybe your IT organization doesn’t have the time or resources to provide all of its IT service management functions in-house. Perhaps you’re thinking about taking a SaaS-first approach so that you can deliver some services faster, easier, and cheaper and keep other services in-house. For example, you may want to outsource your help desk and get a basic implementation up and running in days, instead of months. The costs you pay are based on the extent of the services you require. Maybe all you need is a basic help desk. Or perhaps you require the super-combo of SaaS, with more built-in capabilities, like managing enterprise software licenses. In other words, you may actually want more SaaS with that.

 

Either way, when you take a SaaS approach, you have less hardware and software to maintain because someone else is doing that for you. This can equate to significant savings in support, resources, and other areas.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about why SaaS is here to stay, be sure to check out this thought leadership article by Mark Settle, the CIO for BMC Software: A SaaS-First Approach to Application Portfolio Management.

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