When I talk to central government leaders who are starting to build national clouds, three questions come up again and again.
1. How can I fund a national cloud?
Internal funds are hard to find in today’s budget-cutting climate, but take heart. Outside funding is always available if you know where to look. I usually point people to three international organizations that are good financing sources:
These organizations offer inexpensive funding so it’s easier to get a national cloud off the ground, even in developing countries. Microsoft can help you know what to ask for—to increase your chances of getting the funding you need. Or we can introduce you to Microsoft’s financing team if you decide you want our platform to be part of your solution.
2. Who should be on my national cloud development team?
While the job titles may vary, there are two roles that I think are essential:
- Cloud architect—This person will be in charge of bringing together all pieces of this large project, including the operating system, network, rotors, balancers, software, and so on. You need someone who understands the unique challenges posed by hybrid cloud implementations and has experience integrating your data centers with public cloud services.
- Service delivery manager—As part of the customer experience team, this person will help you decide which services to include, identify which services will go first based on your infrastructure, and design what the end user experience will be.
3. Which workloads should I move to the cloud first?
There are simple workloads, such as messaging, collaboration, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which can include servers, network equipment, and data storage. And there are complex workloads, such as ERP and CRM. To get started, I recommend moving basic workloads. A Microsoft worldwide survey showed that more than three quarters of constituents request simple workloads, so it makes the most sense to provide those first. Think of the cost savings and political support you’d gain, for example, by first consolidating all your email systems into one modern, consistent, world-class experience. Whatever you choose to move first, the most critical factor is that you’re confident you can do it successfully, because if the first project fails, you won’t get a second chance.
Three questions down, 997 to go. What questions do you have? Leave a comment here and I’ll try to get you some answers.
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Dan Mannion, Director, National Cloud Sales, Microsoft | 6 November 2013