You are going to encounter the concept of Cloud enablement regardless of your industry. Because project managers are so often drafted into project design and implementation in many different departments don’t want to look silly in front of the developers, you owe it to yourself to have a basic understanding of what the Cloud is and how you can take advantage of the efficiencies it represents. If you ever make the transition into product development, You. Must. Understand. The. Cloud.
Funny side story about a developer — I jumped in the elevator at an office complex yesterday on the fifth floor and pushed the button for the ground floor. The company I was interviewing at houses most of their developers on the fourth floor where the elevator made a stop. Two developers got on the elevator and one who was more friendly that the other said, “Hello suit-guy”. I sent a friendly greeting his way and we got engaged in a great conversation about the perceived rivalries between development and project management at the company. It made me laugh. I hope to track him back down if I go to work for this company. I like to work with characters. He had a ton of personality.
One of the blogs I frequent is called Program Success and is written by Tom Tsongas of Florida. He has a long track record of project management in tech and software development and is happy to share his insights and lessons learned on his blog. He has created a fantastic slide show related to Cloud Enablement that I thought would share. I have tried to embed it so it would be easier to find, but the code isn’t working. As a result, click here to check it out.
With the increasing popularity of SaaS, you may be called on to help migrate any type of software package from a local edition to a web-based subscription or SaaS version. The different between the two is local software is installed on your hard drive and uses your processor and memory to run. SaaS on the other hand is run typically on the web and your computer does not store the actual program files. There are lots of advantages to migrating to a SaaS solution for your company which we will go into another day.
Cloud enablement is, “the process of converting and modernizing existing infrastructures and software resources to conform to a Cloud deliverable set of services.” For most of us, that will mean you will being using SaaS and this process will help you migrate your company to utilizing SaaS instead of software run through your local machines. I spoke with a company recently that is looking for a project manager who is experienced in Cloud Enablement because they will be replacing the ERP software they use for human resource management and their accounting software. They expect to move both packages to Cloud based SaaS. While this skill set is in demand, it is highly in demand.
Converting to the Cloud and using a SaaS solution requires a total commitment from key stakeholders within your company. Tom notes in his slides, “Full Cloud enablement will require resources from several realms of expertise as well as a commitment from the stakeholders endorsing a long term strategy to move to a cloud-based infrastructure and deployment model”. Tom goes into detail on what your project plan related to migration to the Cloud should entail. If your company is considering some type of migration project, take some time to review his slide show and the supporting article on his blog. I would actually suggest you have all key stakeholders in your migration project read and study his article before your first meeting related to the project so they can understand the work that will be required to support this shift.
Cloud enablement doesn’t need to be a difficult process and the template that Tom provides is fantastic. While you will need to create your own WBS and deliverables, his template does provide a great overview of the work that will be required. Because the technology is beginning to gain more acceptance there are more resources available — like the slides from Tom — to help you with your project planning and implementation.