Strengthening your Business Case for Using Cloud : Cloud Business Use-Cases

 

Each use-case shows business problems addressed by using Cloud computing. This paper describes the business considerations that influenced the organization to use Cloud computing, but does not describe the technical considerations that determined how the organization used Cloud computing. The use-cases are drawn from real-life experiences. They are representative of the kinds of organization that can benefit from using the Cloud.

The business use-case template is comprised of six main elements:

  1. Category – industry, sector, or environment
  2. Company Background (Optional)
  3. Business Problem/Description of the situation
  4. Actors impacted by this business problem
  5. Key Business Requirements (encompasses quality and/or service-level requirements – where known)
  6. Business Risks experienced by this problem

Category: Cross-Industry

Business Activity Reporting

Company Background

This cross-industry company must address the need to produce different reports for Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Serivce-Level Agreements (SLA) to plan, understand, and optimize operational and financial performance.

Business Problem/Description

The reports/status information for numerous stakeholders is required in varying formats. However, data for creating reports is in disparate locations, and the data needs to be aggregated, filtered, and assembled in order to be more useful and generate value for the target audience.

Actors

Shareholders

Operational Management

Service Providers

Business Requirements

Need to generate management reports for shareholders using the same underlying data, but in a different format, as those used for operational management to report the business performance to shareholders – this can be a powerful way of driving efficiency and complying with exchange listing requirements.

Need Service-Level Agreement/Operational-Level Agreement (SLA/OLA) reports for service providers so that various internal and external service providers can have their performance reports produced from disparate locations and organizational entities.

Business Risks

Inadequate governance due to lack of timely and inefficient reporting

Lost customers if SLAs or OLAs not met

Loss of transparency for stakeholders

Modernization

Company Background

This cross-industry company must address modernization of its business processes and legacy applications. However, they do not have the skills in-house to conduct such activities. Existing business services and assets are out-of-date and need modernization.

Business Problem/Description

Business needs to combat the problem of “legacy-ization” – it needs to change existing assets for new assets and skills rapidly. Business needs access to new technology quickly – the innovator’s dilemma (Christensen 2006). Business does not have the skills in-house to transition via Cloud facilitation to modernize business processes.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

Innovation Management

Portfolio Management

Data Center Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Need to modernize infrastructure

Need to modernize applications

Need to modernize business processes

Improve employee skills

Business Risks

Lost competitiveness

Lost opportunities due to inability to support new business market

Lost skills and resources retention

Excessive investment spends on maintaining legacy applications

Impact on existing contracts for support, licensing, and services

Rapid Business Capacity & Scale

Company Background

This business needs to scale up its operations rapidly, including increased IT capacity – within a short cycle of days to a few months – to meet specific operating workloads.

Business Problem/Description

There is deficiency of resources and capacity to meet business activity demand to support day and night time peak loads. The company is facing issues such as how to balance compute workloads better; how to optimize costs of operations; and how to follow variable demands of service effectively and efficiently at lower cost.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Remote user desktop services

Infinite compute and storage capacity on-demand

Access to temporary computing processing for business simulation and transaction processing

Business process extensions; e.g., Business Process Outsourcing

Access to rapid deployment of existing business process resources including applications and infrastructure

Business Risks

Lost revenue from lack of capacity

Lost customers from under-performance of business delivery

Operational Efficiency

Company Background

This company embarked on a strategic initiative to improve its management of development and test infrastructures.

Business Problem/Description

Business requires better management of development and test infrastructure without increasing IT labor and set-up costs.

Actors

Application Development and Delivery

Test and Quality Assurance

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Provide management (e.g., automatically or self-service) for business activities that scale up and down operations with associated temporary capacity

Provide governance structure and control to manage disparate activities for project-based resources

Business Risks

Opportunities for analysis missed

Products and services are late to market

Lost customers and market share due to failure to create ease of doing business

Excessive complexity in business operations

People Productivity, Workplace Collaboration

Company Background

This company embarked on a strategic initiative to improve its internal and external communications.

Business Problem/Description

The company’s workforce needs to communicate and collaborate more efficiently within the company and with its global network of customers, suppliers, and business partners.

Actors

Operations Management

CIO

CTO

Business Requirements

Remote user desktop services

Improve the internal collaboration requirements (e.g., communication methods) for the business

Improve the external collaboration requirements (e.g., customer meetings) for the business

Improvements must be easy to implement

Improvements must provide secure connections

Business Risks

Improvement implementations costly and time consuming

Improvement connections not secure

Development and Test Services

Company Background

This company embarked on a strategic initiative to establish development and test environments for functionality and performance of applications so that businesses can achieve faster time-to-market for their products.

Business Problem/Description

The development and test environments need to be provisioned at short notice and then mothballed or redeployed elsewhere once the development or tests have been conducted. This represents a significant cost in effort and capital expenditures (CAPEX). Virtualization can be used to address this but there is often a demarcation along physical lines across business units, and so the take-up rate is not as large as it should be due to the localized nature of using virtualization.

Actors

Development Teams

Test Teams

Product SMEs

Business Requirements

Development and test environments need to be provisioned at short notice.

Development and test environments need to be mothballed or redeployed elsewhere once tests have been conducted.

Time-to-market for products needs to be maintained or decreased.

Business Risks

Time-to-market increases

CAPEX costs increase as individual projects or business units need to provision test environments that are segregated

Category: Financial Services

Business Transaction Assurance and Continuity

Company Background

This financial services company is seeking rapid continuity services that assure business operations and associated transactions, particularly during mergers and acquisitions.

Business Problem/Description

This company lacks the necessary in-house skills and resources to support the high degree of sensitive assets and data that is required to support its key business processes. Business Transaction Assurance, Disaster Recovery Planning, and Testing of vital business processes for the same are required to comply with enterprise and regulatory guidelines.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Provide necessary disaster and recovery backup processes

Ensure that business activities can be carried out during times of additional complexity, such as mergers and acquisitions

Access to rapid deployment of compatible and simple end user services through browser or end-user device

Business Risks

Current business operation is exposed to disaster and recovery backup processes either being insufficient or not in place

Lost information contributing to poor business decisions

Loss of business continuity across processes and new ventures

Significant loss of assets or revenue flow

Business Market Launch

Company Background

This financial services company needs to rapidly introduce new products and/or services into a new or existing marketplace.

Business Problem/Description

There are insufficient resources and capacity for this company to rapidly respond to marketplace needs including seasonal events, although new entrant opportunities have been identified.

Actors

Marketing Management

New Product Development

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

New products and/or services require new applications

Rapid development and launch of new product and/or service specification

Reliable and responsive service provision to support product and service launch

Need more capacity for storage of information and to support service delivery

Business Risks

Lost opportunity cost

Lost customers from under-performance of business delivery

Secure Business Assurance Services

Company Background

This financial services company is seeking transaction verification and hosting security assurance services.

Business Problem/Description

Security assurance is paramount to business operations, yet there is increased concern over the external service provider’s services. This business lacks internal skills and resources to develop security services.

This business seeks to gain Cloud computing elasticity benefits but they are unable to support public service access due to security restrictions.

Business legislation requires the company to use its own private secure services to control access to secure business services.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

Security and Compliance

Data Center Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Private Cloud capability

Access, authentication, repudiation

Audit and eDiscovery compliance

Securely partitioned and isolated

Disaster recovery

Web security authentication

Business continuity

Business Risks

Security and compliance breach

Lost business continuity

Sovereignty compromise

Category: Government

Research

Company Background

This US Department of Energy research and engineering facility decided to replace the Cray XMP accessed via the Internet with a cluster of UNIX® servers. This decision was made both on the basis of cost (upgrade versus replace), and a goal of advancing clustering technology.

Business Problem/Description

Researchers and their collaborators were demanding more compute capacity than was available on the existing Cray XMP. The business problem was to equitably allocate compute resources across a mixture of batch and interactive workloads, and to bill each project for the resources used. “Controlled anarchy” was the researchers’ term for the acceptable level of systems management.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

Mobile End User

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Equitably allocate the compute resources across a mixture of batch and interactive workloads:

·  Bill each project for their use of compute resources

From a functional standpoint:

·  Support the then common programming languages to achieve minimum processing performance for typical high-performance computing workloads

·  Allow users to submit distributed workloads

From a non-functional standpoint:

·  Optimize resource utilization

·  Keep each project’s usage within its budget

·  Scale capacity quickly and cheaply

Business Risks

Systems’ management tools and programming models were not sufficiently mature to keep the IT costs within budget.

Productivity

Company Background

This government agency wants to improve employee productivity and reduce end-user costs by leveraging mobile and social communities to improve the quality of business information and knowledge exchange.

Business Problem/Description

This entity must take advantage of lower-cost IT options including rapid delivery of productivity tools to its workforce. The organization contains many mobile workers who regularly need access to services; however, they are unable to invest in dedicated (in-house) mobile services and support. They are also experiencing huge desktop costs and support due to a large user base with many locations and disparate business operations.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

Mobile End User

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Business mobility services and support

Business productivity requirements to improve community and knowledge development in the organization

Reduce end-user costs/charge-back to customers

Business Risks

Inefficiencies in business productivity

Technology incompatibility contributing to poor systems performance and downtimes

Security issues introduced with remote workforce

Dissatisfied customers

Business Utility/Agility

Company Background

This government agency is prone to expanded operations, mergers, and/or acquisitions, and activities that are shrinking the capacity of its information technology (IT).

Business Problem/Description

Current business unit activity has opportunities to create common utility services to better support merger and acquisition activities.

Actors

Program Managers

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Use commodity services to reduce operating costs

Rationalize business assets through alternative sourcing of assets

Use external transition services to assist consolidation and rationalization of merger and acquisition activity

Need more elasticity – access to and rapid deployment of end-user services

Business Risks

Over and under-provisioned capacity

Failure to leverage assets to better serve common business services across business agency units

Complex asset dependencies remain unresolved

Lost customers from underperforming business

Excessive costs of infrastructure assets

IT Cost Optimization

Company Background

This agency is conducting activities that are affecting IT capacity. These activities may include operations’ expansion, divestment, or significant mergers and/or acquisitions. The business needs to manage the cost of business operations and seek alternative ways to optimize investments.

Business Problem/Description

Current costs of IT are too expensive – in addition, productivity tools for the workforce are not delivered fast enough to keep up with market demands.

Actors

CTO, CIO, COO

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

Order Fulfilment, including Storage

System Administrators

IT Delivery

Business Requirements

Current investments in business are high and need to be rationalized

The business seeks supply cost reductions through alternative methods of service supply on common services

Current business unit activity has opportunities to create common utility services to support merger and acquisition activities

Accurate, consumption-based charges for services

Business Risks

Complex asset dependencies remain unresolved

Excessive costs of infrastructure assets including storage

Failure to leverage assets efficiently in order to provide common business services across business partners and enterprise domains

End-User Cost Optimization

Company Background

This business needs to facilitate delivery of new business services to users to improve productivity. It wants to reduce costs of services with rapid deployment of mobile and create better social community experiences to improve access and quality of business information along with improved knowledge exchange.

Business Problem/Description

Current business operation is looking to maximize low-cost IT options to reduce costs and rapidly deliver business productivity tools to its workforce. There are many mobile workers who regularly need access to services on-the-move, but lack the scale to invest in dedicated mobile services and support. In addition, there are huge costs in desktop and support due to a large user base, diverse locations, and disparate business operations.

Actors

CTO, CIO, COO

Mobile Users

Delivery Teams, including web and application hosting

Business Partners

Business Requirements

Provide services and support on-demand to mobile workers

Improve the community and knowledge development in the organization

Need for large-scale investments in end-user services with high costs and complexity

Business Risks

Business productivity and efficiency decreases

Business loses customers from under-performance of business delivery

Security issues due to workforce working remotely

Incompatible business processes due to IT technology insertion

IT complexity increases due to additions to new business process capabilities

Business Growth, Development, Test, and Validation Support

Company Background

This business unit has very elastic processes that require rapid test, validation, and quick solution deployments.

Business Problem/Description

The business has rapid introduction of new products and services with seasonal variation and on-demand needs for assets and resources, yet it faces budget constraints and shortages in IT capacity.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

IT Operations Management

Test Management

Data Center Management

Development Management

Business Requirements

On-demand test service

On-demand business change validation

Access to development and test services

Business Risks

Over budget on development and test activities

Failure to deliver business products and services

Lost customers and market share due to failure to deliver customer promises and needs

Category: Telco

Service Delivery

Company Background

This business is seeking to move services to new markets and channels through network-based services, but managed network service enablement is currently not available.

Business Problem/Description

Current business is seeking online shopping and consumer services to sell products and services through mobile, cell, and other network-based services.

The communications network is seen as a challenge for extending products and services to a wider range of customers and markets that access network-based channels.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

Internet Service Provider (ISP)/Network Service Provider (NSP)

Data Center Management

IT Operations Management

Business Requirements

Development of self-service and consumer market services to support product delivery and development

Transport as a service

Network as a service

Access to rapid deployment of compatible and simple end-user services through browser or end-user device

Business Risks

Lost market opportunities due to inefficient communications and delivery

Network performance issues

Lack of experience in managing network-based services

Partner Collaboration

Company Background

This agency needs to facilitate collaboration with a range of partners and customers with no or limited IT resources or funding. There is a large marketplace of individual customers and participants all with common service needs to access business offerings.

Business Problem/Description

High manual workload tasks make each business transaction increasingly less cost-effective with increasing volumes. The business needs to offer common services to a large market that involve interaction of participants.

Actors

Business Procurement

Data Warehouse Management

Data Center Operations

Business Requirements

The business needs to manage the cost of business operations and seek alternative ways to offer common services

Provide social collaboration tools and skills within the business to meet demand

Information and services need sharing between participants’ collaboration using a common collaboration process and tool set

Control transaction costs

Business Risks

Transaction costs increase

Collaboration is not efficient

Customers’ and participants’ business is lost

Category: Media & Entertainment

Test Assurance Services

Company Background

This company has rapid introduction of new products and services with seasonal variation on-demand for assets and resources, yet they are often constrained in capacity.

Business Problem/Description

This company has many test and validation procedures to ensure business operations. Test assurance services of business processes need accessing to ensure validation and continuity of services and changes to services. The business introduces many new products and services – continually updating the business portfolio.

Actors

Media Outlets

Online Shoppers

Data Center Operations

Business Requirements

Business has very elastic processes that need rapid test and validation

Business needs to improve costs of complex development and test overhead

Business Risks

Development and test budgets exceeded

Business products, services, and delivery are constantly changing

Delivery of business products and services fail

Lost customers and market share due to failure to deliver customer needs

Category: Health Services

Rapid Deployment

Company Background

This business needs to facilitate new business services to business users to improve productivity experience. It wants to reduce costs of services with rapid deployment to mobile devices. It wants to create social communities to improve access and quality of business information and knowledge exchange.

Business Problem/Description

Current costs of IT options too expensive and productivity tools for workforce not delivered fast enough.

Actors

Healthcare Providers

Healthcare Administrators

HealthCare Payor/Payee

Patients

IT Operations

Business Requirements

Operations looking to maximize low-cost IT options to reduce costs and rapidly deliver business productivity tools to its workforce

Current business has many mobile workers who regularly need access to services on the move, but lack the scale to invest in dedicated mobile services and support

Huge costs in desktop costs and support due to large user base with many locations and disparate business operations

Business Risks

Lost business productivity and efficiency

Lost customers from under-performance of business delivery

Security issues of workforce working remotely

Risk of compatibility of IT technology insertion

Increased complexity of IT with additions to new business process capabilities

Category: Pharmaceuticals

Rapid Business Process Extension

Company Background

This business needs to introduce a new business process. The solution can be an extension to the existing applications through use of rapid business process management or a sourced solution from a Cloud supplier or service source forge inventory. Need to rapidly access IT capability not available in current business operations. The solution seeks to source a business process function available from the open market.

Business Problem/Description

The company is currently operating in silos which are causing disconnection between how business and IT resources are shared and coordinated. This is negatively impacting manufacturing and other key business processes. Development and test resources appear to have a deficit in skills to support quality delivery of the new business process.

Actors

Business Operations Controller

Business Procurement Management

Market Sourcing and Procurement

IT Operations Management

End Users/Patients/Healthcare Administrators

Business Requirements

Business needs to introduce a workflow to connect different business processes and applications

Business needs to introduce a workflow to connect different business applications to improve information quality flow

Need to introduce a temporary project administration

Need to introduce a temporary development and test environment to develop and deliver a new functional requirement

Need to introduce quality management tracking and reporting of business processes cutting across a number of business areas and applications and database sources

Business Risks

Lost customers due to under-performance of business delivery

Risk of compatibility of technology insertions

Increased complexity of IT

Poor quality products and services

Increased complexity of IT with additions to new business process capabilities

Category: Distribution

Brand Unification

Company Background

This retail distributor embarked on a strategic initiative to unify its brands worldwide under the company’s name for competitive advantage, and to increase business results by “helping its multiple business units work together more efficiently”.

Business Problem/Description

The company’s workforce needs to communicate and collaborate more efficiently with its global network of customers, suppliers, and business partners in support of a strategic brand unification initiative.

Actors

Suppliers

Line of Business (LoB) Leaders

Distribution Centers

Business Requirements

Reduce total costs of ownership by:

·  Transforming the workforce into a globally integrated team

·  Looking to partners for solutions that may have better capabilities

·  Leveraging existing IT infrastructure without burdening IT resources

Be innovative without compromising security, reliability, or privacy

Business Risks

Unmet business performance objectives

Poor partner selection and product service offerings

Delayed order fulfilment cycles

Inconsistent service offerings

Security, reliability, and privacy compromised

Innovation – New Ventures

Company Background

This distribution company is small to medium-sized with a broad and diverse customer base. This was a new, innovative undertaking.

Business Problem/Description

The company needed a business model that was responsive and flexible to diverse customer demands. Current processes were reported as co-location with personal management of purchasing, configuring, and ongoing maintenance of hardware, software, and operating systems. The process was time-consuming, costly, and appears labor-intensive. The company needed provisioning and de-provisioning of servers in minutes, instead of its current turnaround rate of days.

Actors

Internet/Web Users

COO & Operations Staff

Data Center Staff & Management

Business Requirements

The company was challenged to scale their business in a cost-effective and timely manner in order to achieve customer satisfaction targets that optimized costs to the customer and the company as a whole.

Two business performance indicators were to:

·  Provide spam filtering at a low price to consumers with little or no venture capital funding

·  Achieve 99% spam blocking rates with continued operations as a cost-effective company

Business Risks

Data center requirements were reported as “in flux” and at risk in manageability and implementation. This caused concern regarding the company’s overall support capabilities of this new undertaking.

Category: Energy & Utilities

Green Footprint

Company Background

Business needs to facilitate all options to improve green footprint emissions of its operations. Currently, business has expectations for rapid growth in IT services demand causing “drift” in its workloads and emissions from increased power consumption.

Business Problem/Description

Current business operation investments internally have reached limits in green cost reductions and are looking for other options and sources.

Actors

Data Center Management and Operations

LoB Leaders

Sustainability SMEs

Business Requirements

The use of shared services to maximize utilization is exploring virtualization and other options for reducing the carbon footprint.

Business Risks

Lack of carbon reduction compliance

Lost image in marketplace over green credentials

Lost business due to inability to offer green services

Category: Higher Education

Virtual Learning

Company Background

Distance learning is an essential component of public community colleges that are engines for workforce development for local economy. In recent years, public community colleges are adversely affected by state budget cuts. These college campuses are looking for opportunities to cut cost without affecting delivery channels and student enrollment.

Business Problem/Description

Virtual learning environment is one of the common delivery methods in higher education. Each of the community colleges in a state maintains its own set of applications and infrastructure for virtual learning environment duplicating IT cost for each of the campuses and college systems.

Actors

Faculty

Student

Instructional Technology Specialists

Business Requirements

The use of shared environments by different community college campuses in a state for delivery of virtual education to certain population in the community as an alternative to classroom teaching.

Business Risks

Lack of insufficient state funding will lead to elimination of distant learning programs

Shutting down a delivery method often times which is the only viable learning delivery method to a part of the population who are engines for the local workforce

Loss of student enrollment to online schools that specialize and are pure players in distant learning and virtual education delivery

 

 

 

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