Next Steps on the Journey to the Cloud


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Next Steps on the Journey to the Cloud

  1. 1. Part the Clouds:Take Next Steps on the Journey Step One: Investigation Is your organization gathering information to determine ifAt Dell™, we believe and how to get started with cloud? If you are a data centerthat moving to a cloud manager, your executive team may have asked you toenvironment is not a find out more about cloud and bring them up to speed. If you are C-level executive, you may be wondering if cloudsingle decision. Instead computing might fit with your business strategy or solve ait is a process, a journey problem that is holding back your progress. You may just want to know what all the hoopla is about.if you will, with as manypossible paths as there are Dell offers a primer, Cloud 101 [link to doc], which explains the basic aspects of cloud andcompanies that embark defines terms that are frequently used.on the journey. At each If you need a more in-depth understanding of cloud computing, a shared learningstep on the road there are experience for the executive staff and IT team is a useful beginning. Why shared? Because moving to a cloud environment is a strategic decision that requires matching theimportant questions to ask business needs to the technological possibilities. The business brains and the tech brainsand critical decisions to need to start from the same set of made. Which path you For qualified companies, Dell offers a free half-day workshop that will allow your teamtake will depend on the to explore the basics of cloud, along with the benefits, risks, and opportunities it offers.needs and goals of your We’ll also guide your team in an exploration of your company-specific problems and opportunities related to, the expectationsof your customers, and the To find out if your company qualifies, contact your Dell representative.demands of your industry. Step Two: Experimentation Has your company investigated cloud computing andDell has identified three decided to test cloud computing with a pilot project? Manymajor steps in the journey, companies start with a pilot project in a public cloud, to help them explore the benefits without making a capitaland provides support for investment.customers at each step. For instance, you might use a public cloud to temporarily expand computing capacity during a seasonal rush. This lets you meet a short-term demand without adding servers that might sit idle when the rush is over. An example of this is a university that needs extra server power during registration. If your data center is running out of storage, you might use a public cloud for increased storage capacity. If you have enterprise applications that are accessed from many locations, migrating to a public cloud and using integration software can unify your applications and allow users access to the applications from any location. For example, a salesperson might need to access the CRM while on a trip away from the office. If the application is in a public
  2. 2. Part the Clouds: Take Next Steps on the Journeycloud, the salesperson can log on from a smart phone while waiting for a flight and get the information needed. Or human resources oraccounting staff could access cloud-based applications from various regional offices.Whatever project you choose, your first step should be to create a strategic plan for using cloud computing. Because the options are sovaried, you need to make sure that your project will work with you current IT infrastructure and that it will be useful for future businessneeds. Careful planning at the front end can pay off in cost savings and efficiency down the road.A good place to start for creating a strategic plan is a thorough assessment of your current environment. What does your IT infrastructurelook like? How well does it serve your business needs? Where is your marketplace headed and what do you need to do to be competitive?These questions may sound too global for a simple pilot project, but for any project to be successful it has to work within the context ofboth your company’s business needs and the demands of your industry. You also need to take a realistic look at the costs and benefits of aproject. Take the time at the front end to choose a project that will be relevant to your business but which will not cause major disruption.Dell Technology Consultants can help guide you through the process, starting with a comprehensive assessment of your IT environment.They can work with you to create a strategy that will best serve your business needs and financial position. They can bring to your planningprocess the experience of working with hundreds of large and small enterprises.Our consultants work from a vendor-neutral perspective. They aren’t there to sell you Dell products and services. Their job is to help youunderstand where you are, where you want to go, and the various paths you can take to reach your destination. They can also help youdesign and implement your pilot project, and help you avoid missteps and wasted effort. For more information about a comprehensiveassessment, contact your Dell representative. Step Three: Adoption Has your company assessed its needs, experimented successfully with a cloud project and decided to move toward a larger use of cloud? If your company is a large enterprise, this is no small undertaking. It can affect every aspect of your business operation, so careful planning and precise execution is critical. Some companies choose to evolve their current IT infrastructure to a cloud environment. Others choose a more revolutionary, green field approach, building a new cloud-based infrastructure from scratch. Either way, there are important questions that need to be asked before you start.Should you invest in your own private cloud data center? Should you outsource the cloud environment to a service provider? Areyou willing to share space on a public cloud for some functions, but keep other functions separate? Should you move to an all-cloudinfrastructure, or should you maintain some functions in your legacy technology? How do you ensure the security of your data? Whichfunctions should be accessible anywhere, and which should be held within your four walls? What new business opportunities could acloud environment enable?These are just of few of the business – not technology – decisions that have to be made before you can adopt a cloud environment. Thetechnology comes into play only after the critical business decisions are made. Once you decide how you want to run your business andwhat opportunities you want to enable, you can begin to match the technology to your specific business needs.Dell Technology Consultants can help you navigate the wide open skies of cloud to find solutions that make the best use of your resourcesand offer the greatest opportunities for business success. Because our consultants are vendor-neutral, they won’t come to you with anagenda or a ready-made plan. Instead they will work by your side to provide guidance and expertise to help you find the plan that fits yourneeds.Dell has invested in acquisitions and partnerships that give it an end-to-end cloud offering. All of our technology is based on openstandards, because we believe it is in our customers’ best interests to provide solutions that offer interoperability with other vendors’products. This your-business-needs-first approach makes Dell consultants valuable guides on the journey to the cloud.To learn more about how Dell can help your company at any point on your journey to thecloud, contact your Dell representative.For more information about any of our service offerings, please contact your Dell representative or visit and the Dell logo are trademarks of Dell Inc. Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marksand names or their products. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. © 2011 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.May 2011 | Cloud_TakeNextStepsonJourney_MiniWhitepaper.indd | Rev. 1.0 20110518HVAT