Cloud Transformation through ‘Future First’ Architecture

The backbone to the consulting services from the CBPN is the CTM best practice – Cloud Transformation Management, and the primary outputs from these engagements will be CTM Roadmaps.

CTM Roadmaps enable migration to Cloud Computing through Shared Service-based models.

Shared Service Roadmaps

The fundamental role of the CBPN is to catalogue Cloud Best Practices, especially those from the USA Government, where NIST and CIO.gov regularly produce the thought leadership materials defining Cloud designs.

Forbes.com recently reported that the USA Government has so far saved $5 billion from their ‘Cloud First’ initiative to drive uptake of Cloud Computing in the American public sector, with a full $12 billion still to come.

As well as reporting these savings they have also continued publishing their best practices underlying these advances, most notably defining Shared Services as a core ‘target architecture’ to direct these Cloud migrations towards.

In this White house paper ‘Federal IT Shared Services strategy‘ (16 page PDF) it explains how Shared Services is one of the key design foundations of the 25-point Cloud First plan that is achieving these massive cost savings.

It also explains that agencies are expected to produce Roadmaps for how they will migrate to shared service models as part of embracing Cloud:

Develop Roadmaps for Modernization & Improvement of Existing Services – Each Managing Partner will develop a roadmap for improvement of existing services. Agencies and OMB will work together to monitor progress toward these goals throughout the year.

Helping agencies produce these roadmaps quantifies how the Cloud channel ecosystem will evolve, involving consulting firms and systems integrators, as well as Cloud providers, where this group acts to:

  • Conduct Readiness Assessment – Analyze the existing IT estate, produce inventory reports of IT components.
  • Cloud PfM – Cloud Portfolio Management, using PPM techniques to financially manage the migrations to Cloud providers
  • Cloud Service Brokerage – Leveraging SaaS options for service brokerage to plan, cost up and manage the migrations.

Future First target architecture

This guide also provides a high level vision for a single ‘target architecture’, the end goal intended from this business transformation exercise, what they describe as a ‘Future First’ architecture.

This is a a new common model that encourages agencies to embrace and drive business benefit through shared service transformations as well as IT ones: including:

Each shared IT service offering must have a business and technology architecture that fits the operating model and supports new Future First Federal EA methods. There are a number of general design principles that apply to Future First architectural designs for shared IT services, including:

  • Multiple consumers for each service, with minimal customization;
  • Process standardization (commercial product/workflow adoption);
  • Web-based solutions with standardized application interfaces;
  • Object reuse, machine-readable data, and XML data formats;
  • Cloud-based application hosting and virtualization of servers;
  • Security controls and continuous monitoring of service operations;
  • Configuration management and version control.
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