2. A Governance Step Keeps Recommendations in Line with Overarching Enterprise Policies
This is a modifier that could override the cost-value analysis. Governance is needed to keep any decision in line with the enterprise policies regarding security, outsourcing, or audit and confidentiality. Thus, while a lower-cost solution such as public cloud computing may be more profitable for some low-volume applications such as personnel files, I&O professionals have to include security and data privacy requirements in their platform selection, clouds or internal.
3. A Global, ITIL-defined Capacity Plan Becomes the End Result
Unlike the old method, the new capacity planning process concerns all technologies across the data center and is cross-referenced with critical business service and technology type. The new capacity planning process still has a network plan, a storage plan, a compute plan, and so on, but it also shows the relationship between these technology silos, facilities, and critical business services on a global scale. As a result, it is now aligned with the notion of business capacity management, service capacity management, and technology capacity management found in ITIL.
IT leaders place a lot of emphasis on the capital-saving benefits of cloud computing -- but they're missing the point. What's important in cloud technologies is that it gives IT a choice of delivery platforms that didn't exist before. Software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, internal clouds, and virtualized infrastructures offer a variety of capabilities and costs. As with all choices, we need a rationale to exercise it -- and this is what capacity planning is all about. Capacity planning will let IT leaders make the most of their cloud investments by understanding how much or how little they need to source to deliver the quality-of-service expected by the business users.
Jean-Pierre Garbani is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research (FORR), where he serves Infrastructure & Operation Professionals in predicting and quantifying IT disruptions.