For instance, often pain is caused by the slow rate at which services are provisioned by the IT department. Measuring the time it takes to provision pre- and post-cloud lets a company know how agile they have become and how their cost to provision has been affected. The reduction in operational expenses—along with capital costs—is another popular reason for moving to the cloud. That can be measured. Finally, the number of users to whom new services are deployed or how quickly you are able to deploy to a new territory can also determine the impact of moving to the cloud.
2. Create models to compare different infrastructures
Because metrics are necessary to compare two different types of infrastructure, companies need to figure out how to measure the data in each case. Figuring out the total expense of a specific application or service needs to take into account the capital expenditures and amortization of technology over time—costs that are included in cloud services operational fees.
Any data collection should be baked into the system so that all measurement is done automatically. This makes comparing metrics something that can be done at the push of a button.
3. Analyze the data and discuss with stakeholders
Any technology management function is a feedback cycle—whether it’s the Six Sigma DMAIC Process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) or the simpler PDSA Cycle (plan, do, study, act). Once metrics on the efficacy of the cloud service are collected, they need to be analyzed. Are the metrics correctly measuring aspects of value to the business? Are those aspects improving, not changing or worsening?
Each stakeholder should review the findings to develop a plan for the next cycle in the process. If the right data is not being measured, find a way to develop those metrics. If the move to cloud caused expenses to increase, time to provision to lengthen, or fewer workers to be served, then management needs to find a way to fix the issues.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the benefit of cloud is ongoing. Any move to a cloud infrastructure, platform, or service is not a one-time process, but a journey to improve your business.
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5’s entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app security and encryption-related solutions. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University, and is an O’Reilly author. MacVittie is a member of the Board of Regents for the DevOps Institute, and an Advisory Board Member for CloudNOW.