How Do You Prove Cloud ROI? IT Performance Systems Help
June 27, 2011

Michael Procopio
Micro Focus

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I saw a survey in an interesting article the other day by ZDNet blogger Joe McKendrick. McKendrick cites a new cloud survey for The Open Group. The survey indicated that many believe cloud will bring favorable ROI to IT shops, but they lack a mechanism to track results.

ROI is a purely financial calculation which is usually expressed as dollar amount or a percentage. The catch is many IT shops don’t know what a project or a service costs. If you don’t know how much you will invest to get to cloud and how much cost you will take out by doing it (return), ROI will stay illusive.

Cloud computing is predicted by many to be a fundamental shift in the way IT works. As more public cloud applications become available, which are nicely prices on a per user per month basis – IT management is going to need to have the same information and more.

Good or bad, the per user per month metric is not the only consideration your company has of you if it matches most of those surveyed. Agility, innovation, business alignment and more are being asked of IT management. All these are hard to measure now. Cloud adds more moving parts which rarely makes things easier.

What to do? Start now creating your own IT Performance system. How, starting thinking about all the KPIs (key performance indicators) you wish you had that can be derived from data that exists somewhere in the organization.
Here are some examples:

*  % of Service Performance Not Met
*  MTBF (mean time between failure)
*  MTTR (mean time to repair)
*  Time-To-Market of New IT Products or Services (from the time there is agreement we will do project zebra to the time IT says the zebra is ready for production)

The way you will prove ROI is seeing improvement in these (and other) measures after moving to cloud.

Michael Procopio is Senior Product Marketing Manager at Micro Focus
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