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20 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Growing Cloud Investment

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“Measure the time it takes to procure new servers. Measure the time from idea inception [product requirement] to production deployment. These will all give a good proxy for velocity,” adds Tseitlin. “Measuring the number of new features deployed can give an indication of agility, but that is often a very coarse measure.”

17: Quantify the reputation of the IT group

CloudBolt Software’s Sanders jokingly suggests that “this all important KPI can be calculated by subtracting the number of curse words people use when talking about their IT department from the number of positive adjectives they use.”

On a more serious note, “cloud success is no different than all IT success,” adds Heinan Landa (@OptimalNetworks), CEO of Optimal Networks. “Measure the number and severity of issues that your people have with the service.”

18: Determine the security metrics that measure exposure

“The essential proactive security question is, how easily could someone break in? Building this as a security KPI involves understanding the assets and their networked relationships,” says Dr. Mike Lloyd (@dr_mike_lloyd), CTO of RedSeal. “The ideal outcome and measurement benchmark is risk – the probability of a bad thing happening, times the downside of that event. Reducing risk is a complex business, but for purposes of cloud infrastructure, the essential point is that you must have enough visibility to answer a question like ‘How easily could a bad guy break in and steal assets?’ or ‘How easily could a compromise of one cloud server [or service] spread to damage the rest of my organization?’”

19: Calculate availability

“The cloud should ‘always be there’ – even if part of it is broken, it should look there,” says Sean Molloy (@TenableSecurity), VP, cloud services at Tenable Network Security.

“If you have hardware or system failures in one environment, then you can move those users to another environment without impact to the customer,” says Oildex’s Weiss regarding the benefit of cloud availability.

Availability measurement works best “for cases where cloud consumers leverage the geographic diversity and redundancy options that the cloud offers,” adds Craig McElroy (@contegix), co-founder and CTO at Contegix.

20: Enforce KPIs to determine the success of your SLAs

“KPIs should naturally feed into the service level agreements (SLAs) you have with your cloud provider. KPIs are what will define success or failure in your SLA,” says Setu Shah (@setushah2), business solutions manager at Orange Business Services.

Steve Falkin (@HBR_Consulting), managing director at HBR Consulting, suggests that your performance-based and financially-oriented KPIs should be part of a contractual SLA with the service provider. Such KPIs to measure and back up with an SLA could include availability, recoverability from a disaster, turnaround time for applications and compute resources, plus actual costs and resource utilization versus what was projected.

Conclusion: What’s your KPI for not moving to the cloud?

Even though the cloud seems like such a logical move for so many, that doesn’t mean one can completely ignore all the questions that need to be asked.

“Too often leaders fail to probe deeply enough to uncover the true motivations behind a move to cloud. Probe,” advises Shlomo Swidler (@ShlomoSwidler), CEO of Orchestratus. “Ask ‘why’ repeatedly, until the answers can be measured in terms of cash flow. Along the way, you will have uncovered the KPIs that indicate cloud success.”

DISCLOSURE: David Spark and Spark Media Solutions work with Tenable Network Security.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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