Executive Insight: Ajay Budhraja: Enterprise Transformation using the Cloud and Cloud Service Platforms
Ajay Budhraja, CTO, Department of Justice component and leader of large scale programs for big organizations, spoke on Enterprise Transformation using the Cloud and Cloud Service Platforms at Digital Government Institute’s September 22 Cloud-Enabled Government Conference & Expo. Read DGI’s interview with him.
DGI: What does it take to create the right architecture to move to the cloud?
AB: It’s important to assess the existing architecture and determine the target architecture based on assessment of the Cloud solutions. In addition, issues such as availability, performance, scalability, reliability and security have to be assessed. The specification of business processes, interfaces, services, building blocks are part of the architecture definition. The Cloud Architecture should address the Technology, Security, Service Architectures and orchestrate the services to develop the solution. Also, the development of transition plan define the path forward to the adoption of Cloud based solutions. To migrate from conventional capabilities to the cloud service capabilities, effective service aggregation and integration can be leveraged to build an Enterprise solution.
DGI: How do you build an Enterprise Modernization roadmap?
AB: The Enterprise Modernization roadmap specifies the path for modernization across the organization. It is the blueprint to achieve measurable results based on the definition of key objectives for the Cloud, Service-Oriented Architecture and emerging technologies to support core processes and manage business data. The goal is to build business agility, promote reuse and define the migration of applications to the Cloud by specifying the phases for this transition. This roadmap should align the Cloud solution with the business requirements based on input from key stakeholders. The roadmap, coupled with a sound Cloud Migration strategy, can result in long-term benefits for the organization.
DGI: Is it costly and how much time does it take to put it in place?
AB: The Enterprise Modernization roadmap should address the drivers and business requirements. The time to develop the roadmap depends on what currently is in place. I have seen roadmaps being developed in a few weeks to a few months or more, so it depends on what information is available and how quickly the Cloud migration assessment can be developed. The roadmap should take into consideration factors such as migration opportunities to the Cloud, the level of effort, prioritization and identification of interdependencies with other areas.
DGI: Is it important to decide which applications will be moving to the cloud?
AB: It is very important to decide which applications will be moving to the Cloud based on factors such as alignment with business requirements, cost savings, level of effort, benefits of the new solution, risks and a full assessment to determine business and functional benefits. Architecture and Security aspects need to be thoroughly assessed. In addition, factors such as interoperability, reliability and portability have to be evaluated. Many organizations start with small applications such as backup capability or test, development environments to reduce the migration risks. Generally, a phased approach across the Enterprise may be very useful, rather than moving everything to the Cloud at once, so that the risks can be effectively managed. New applications that will be built are good candidates since they can be developed ground up keeping in mind key considerations for interfacing with Cloud services.
DGI: What are your thoughts about cloud integration?
AB: For effective cloud integration, data transfer should occur efficiently across services and applications and the integration architecture should leverage standards and reuse. In addition, end to end integration of business processes should be accomplished across services. For Hybrid Cloud solutions, it is important to develop seamless connections across applications and services. Effective integration across data, interfaces, processes are important aspects for successful Cloud integration.
DGI: Can you give us 5 points to keep in mind when you embark down this path?
AB: The key aspects to keep in mind while moving to the Cloud are:
- Assess applications carefully for migration to the Cloud
- Assess the target Cloud solution to ensure it supports the requirements
- Ensure end to end operability of the Cloud solution as it interfaces with applications
- Develop sound Service Level Agreements with the Cloud service vendors
- Develop a Cloud Migration Strategy and Roadmap to ensure success
Enterprise Cloud Transformation (ECT) is a paradigm shift to utility based computing that orchestrates cloud services and components across the Enterprise to deliver benefits such as rapid provisioning and on demand access.