Cloud Standards Customer Council publishes latest guide to cloud computing

The Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) has published the latest version of its Practical Guide to Cloud Computing, which aims to give organisations a 10-step roadmap from developing business cases to moving to production.

The report, version 3.0, makes several changes to its predecessor, which was published in 2014, including updates to address maintaining cloud services and data residency management. As well as this, the ‘essential characteristics’ of cloud computing, opening the document, have been altered to reflect characteristics defined in the ISO/IEC 17788 standard.

Plenty has changed in the industry over the past three years. The report has been updated to take into account the likes of serverless computing, containers and microservices technology, as well as hybrid cloud, which wasn’t as ubiquitous a term in 2014 as today.

Yet the general good practice around adoption, governance, and integration remain solid. Take integration with existing enterprise systems – point eight in the 10-step agenda – for example. This is naturally important, if you’re a large organisation with significant investments at stake or if there are some assets which are simply not cloud-ready yet.

The report notes how there are a variety of components which can be considered from both the organisational and cloud service provider side, such as data, process integration and management capabilities, while there are several links in place between cloud services and existing applications. If an organisation has already established a process of adopting open standards for data formats, or communication protocols and APIs, then cloud services integration can be built on top of that. If not, then cloud integration can be used as a baseline for when these standards do appear.

The report offers by way of conclusion a summary of critical keys to success for any organisation embarking on a cloud journey. This includes establishing executive support, addressing organisational change management, establishing commitment, carefully evaluating cloud service agreements, addressing federated governance, handling security and privacy, complying with legal and regulatory requirements, and defining metrics and a process for measuring impact.

Naturally, this is only a guide – the ultimate selection of cloud solutions depends on the abilities of IT and business decision makers – yet the importance of making these moves is key. Analysing the top six benefits of cloud computing, the report notes the ability to achieve economies of scale, reduce CapEx by moving to OpEx, improve access, implement agile development, leverage a more global workforce, and gain access to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

You can read the full 45-page document here (pdf).