Nowadays it is not possible to sustain business competitiveness without going digital. Whether it is Lean or Six-sigma method based technology, digital is the keyword. Process transformation is a new approach. It imbibes DevOps practices, goes Agile or even migrates to Cloud. And this is where project and program management comes in. These two corporate strategies can get us desirable outputs. All this occurs in constrained environment under the watchful eyes of various stakeholders.
Let us focus on project management with an example of a cloud migration project. In this scenario, we will consider the shifting of n-premise IT infrastructure services to a cloud vendor with all systems and applications. Except for a few business-critical systems and applications. Such a project is a complex project with a huge risk. We know that there are several cloud vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.
But what is Cloud computing?
A cloud is a remote virtual pool of on-demand resources offering compute and storage. These can be deployable at scale using virtualization. Several deployment models are available like a public, private, hybrid and community clouds. Several service models are also available like Saas, PaaS, IaaS, Xaas. Before any project , it is prudent to perform a feasibility study. To assess whether it is possible to deliver the outputs. Also justify a profitable business case which will include reasons or justification.
Let us assume that a business case turned out to be positive. The project approval was on the basis of on-foreseen benefits and objectives. Benefits reduces capital expense as the IT infrastructure need not be procurable. In this project, they would be relating to internet connection speeds. Ths may be compared to in-premise access, cloud security, a cost of pulling data from the cloud, etc. A project has more to do than doing tasks. It is about organisational transformation. Significant changes in roles & responsibilities, processes, etc., would occur . There would also be risks associated with business service and HR morale reduction
As in any project, time management will be necessary. A detailed schedule will prepared based on the work done. In particular, due to the nature of this project, a phased approach will be necessary. Activities like security configuration and cloud configuration testing will there. The project manager has to understand and integrate project aspects. The technical aspects are necessary to create a practical schedule.
Another key area is procurement. A decision on cloud vendor selection being one can done on considerations. Like data retention capabilities, pricing, support, future capability plans and more. Being a complex IT project, it is advisable to first establish a proof of concept. This is one of the formal project management techniques for project scoping . Wherein a scaled down version of the solution is to provide and show. This builds confidence for delivering the bigger project.
In cloud migration projects, technical risks make up a major part of the project risks. For example, cloud disaster recovery planning will be necessary.
Now think about going live in such a project and closing the project. It is going to be a complex method. Because remember switching from the in-premise to cloud environment must happen now. The movement of services from in-premise to cloud be gradual (called canary deployment). Project management is a science and an art. Some domain knowledge is essential for this course. For example, a project manager who understands cloud migration.
Here set of slides which for better insights of the cloud migration projects:
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