On Ramp To The Clouds

Posted on August 18, 2009


In a recent article by Treff LaPlante, CEO at WorkXpress, a Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider, Treff points out the rising importance of the business analyst in the cloud computing paradigm.

“Using a 5GL PaaS an entire company can be automated from scratch in just a matter of weeks, but ONLY if there is an effective identification of the desired process, a description of the specific needs of that process and finally an aggressive review and testing of the completed functionality with the actual users.”

I agree and would expand upon the business analyst skill sets to ensure we include business process re-engineering (BPR), and IT project, program, and portfolio management (PPM).  While business analysts often come from business consulting or IT project management functions, higher level abstraction skills in business, process, and enterprise architecture will likely be in demand to migrate enterprises to the Cloud.

Whether it’s business, government, education, or healthcare, the underlying question is, “How do we get from today’s organizational [enterprise] infrastructure (and processes) to that of a Cloud computing business model?”  And by Cloud computing business model I am referring to an “IP enabled, scalable, virtualized, multi-tenant, subscription based (or “pay as you”), B2B, service delivery method for business software applications, platform development, and adaptive infrastructure“. i.e. (SaaS based applications, PaaS based development, IaaS based infrastructure)

In my view, the business analyst must be able to understand the Component Business Model of the organization to scope, and reconstruct those business components and processes in the cloud. They must also be able to understand how best to streamline and re-engineer that business process with a full view of all interdependent processes that may or may not migrate to the Cloud, thus creating hybrid enterprises on the path to becoming virtual corporations.

Once that business component scope, is identified, streamlined, standardized, and re-engineered (BPMS) with a cloud operational view in mind, it must then be migrated (PPMS).  To facilitate that migration, one may virtualize all of the CBM component’s business processes, decoupling the underlying physical resources that support those processes.  Then the Cloudification of the enterprise would continue by identifying, streamlining, standardizing, re-engineering and virtualizing the next business component.  I may state it briefly as:

Enterprise Component Business Model (CBM)

Business Component 1

  • Identify BC1 and scope (BA)
  • Streamline / Consolidate
  • Standardize / Simplify
  • Re-engineer for Cloud (BPMS)
  • Virtualize and test (PPMS)
  • Migrate and test / user acceptance (PPMS)

Business Component n

SaaS based PPMS tools such as Daptiv and AtTask support the necessary deployment speed, support requirements, and cost effectiveness for smaller to medium organizational deployments which have less organizational complexity than large enterprise.  Coupled with SaaS based BPMS modeling, simulation and testing in the Cloud for business process forecasting and requirements discovery to migrate an existing product or service business process component, the acceleration path to the Cloud is there.  Are you ready to get off legacy highway and take the on ramp to the Cloud?

-Tune The Future-