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A Methodology for Assessing Cloud Adoption Dangers

The transfer to a cloud surroundings gives vital advantages. For instance, cloud assets will be scaled rapidly, up to date incessantly, and extensively accessed with out geographic limitations. Realizing these advantages, nevertheless, requires organizations to handle related organizational and technical dangers successfully. This weblog publish presents a prototype set of cloud adoption danger elements and describes a technique that managers can make use of to evaluate their cloud initiatives towards these danger elements. This publish is customized and excerpted from a just lately printed white paper. It additionally builds on foundational work that’s introduced in an SEI weblog publish on cloud migration dangers, threats, and vulnerabilities and an SEI technical report on cloud safety greatest practices.

Downside Area

Cloud adoption impacts many enterprise models throughout a company and may change how these enterprise models function. Senior leaders should stability quite a lot of stakeholder pursuits, alternatives, dangers, and points. Know-how builders may need rapid entry to new applied sciences or companies. On the similar time, finance managers may favor initiatives that cut back prices and supply a excessive return on funding. If left unchecked, these competing targets can forestall a company from optimizing its funding in cloud computing.

In some organizations, managers of enterprise models have the authority to constitution cloud initiatives primarily based on the wants of their models. In such instances, a cloud initiative may align with a enterprise unit’s parochial targets. If these native advantages don’t align with the group’s enterprise technique and targets the general group won’t obtain the advantages that senior administration needs. This misalignment of group and business-unit targets, and the dearth of a coordinated governance, can put cloud adoption in danger.

Quite a lot of organizational and technical elements can adversely have an effect on a company’s cloud initiative. Organizational elements embody an inadequate organizational cloud technique, ill-defined organizational roles and tasks, inadequate technical ability set, and poor change administration practices. Technical elements embody insufficient structure and design; poor integration of on-premises and cloud applied sciences; and cloud service that lacks wanted agility, availability, and safety properties. Managers want an efficient method to assess dangers that may have an effect on a profitable adoption of cloud companies.

Mission Danger Diagnostic (MRD) Methodology

For the reason that early Nineties, the SEI has carried out analysis and growth in danger administration and has utilized danger administration strategies, instruments, and strategies throughout the software program lifecycle (together with acquisition, growth, and operations) and provide chain. As well as, previous SEI analysis examined numerous varieties of danger, together with software program growth danger, system acquisition danger, operational danger, mission danger, cybersecurity engineering danger, incident administration danger, and info safety danger. A key results of our analysis into the observe of danger administration was the event of the Mission Danger Diagnostic (MRD) methodology, which is a mission-oriented method for assessing danger in mission threads, enterprise processes, and organizational initiatives.

The overarching objective of the MRD methodology is to find out the extent to which a mission thread, enterprise course of, or organizational initiative is positioned to attain its mission goal(s). Thus far, we now have piloted the MRD in software program acquisition and growth, cybersecurity incident administration, software program safety, software program supply-chain, and enterprise portfolio administration, amongst others. This weblog publish describes how we’re proposing to use the MRD to the adoption of cloud companies.

An MRD evaluation sometimes requires an evaluation staff to judge 15-25 danger elements for a given set of goals. A query for every danger issue is documented in a format prescribed in the MRD methodology description. Every danger query is a sure/no query that’s phrased from the success perspective. For instance, one of many MRD questions for cloud adoption is: Does the group’s enterprise case justify the choice to maneuver to the cloud?

Respondents can choose one of many following decisions for an MRD query:

  • Sure— The reply is sort of actually “sure.” Virtually no uncertainty exists. There may be little or no chance that the reply might be “no.” (~ > 95% chance of sure)
  • Probably sure—The reply is most certainly “sure.” There may be some probability that the reply might be “no.” (~ 75% chance of sure)
  • Equally seemingly—The reply is simply as prone to be “sure” or “no.” (~ 50% chance of sure)
  • Probably no—The reply is most certainly “no.” There may be some probability that the reply might be “sure.” (~ 25% chance of sure)
  • No—The reply is most certainly “no.” There may be some probability that the reply might be “sure.” (~ < 5% chance of sure)

The rationale for the response to every driver query must also be documented because it captures the explanation why the response was chosen. Any proof supporting the rationale, such because the outcomes of interviews with system stakeholders and knowledge cited from system documentation, must also be cited. Recording the rationale and proof is vital for validating the info and related info merchandise, for historic functions, and for growing classes realized.

Cloud Adoption Danger Components

We now have developed a prototype set of 24 danger elements for cloud adoption. They have been developed utilizing printed cloud-adoption stories and frameworks, in addition to enter from folks with experience in cloud adoption. Take into account these danger elements to be a starter set that may be tailor-made to distinctive environments. Danger elements that share widespread organizational and administration attributes are assigned to a typical space. We established the next areas for the MRD cloud adoption danger elements:

  • planning and preparation
  • governance and administration
  • organizational functionality
  • surroundings
  • engineering lifecycle
  • high quality of service

Assigning danger elements to areas facilitates leveraging widespread danger mitigation actions primarily based on shared danger traits. The rest of this weblog publish describes the chance elements and related MRD questions for every space.

Planning and Preparation

The profitable adoption of cloud applied sciences begins with a company’s planning and preparation actions. Efficient planning and preparation present a strong basis for a cloud initiative by making certain that the group has ample funding and assets in place to assist the cloud initiative. The Planning and Preparation space consists of the next danger elements and related MRD questions:


Governance and Administration

Governance focuses on the alignment of the group’s IT technique and targets with its enterprise technique and targets. An efficient governance program is designed to maximise the enterprise worth of IT investments whereas minimizing the related dangers. Administration is the coordination and administration of duties to attain enterprise targets. A corporation’s administration actions should be applied in accordance with the group’s system of governance guidelines, practices, and processes. The Governance and Administration space consists of the next danger elements and related MRD questions:


Organizational Functionality

Organizational functionality is the distinctive mixture of individuals, processes, and applied sciences that differentiates a company and allows it to execute its technique. A corporation’s capabilities allow it to carry out a coordinated set of duties, using organizational assets, for the aim of attaining a selected set of enterprise goals. For cloud adoption, the capabilities of curiosity allow the event and implementation of a scientific framework for adopting cloud companies. The Organizational Functionality space consists of the next danger elements and related MRD questions:



A corporation’s surroundings consists of inside and exterior circumstances that affect a company’s efficiency, operations, and assets. Inside circumstances embody the group’s construction, tradition, and politics, in addition to its communication infrastructure. Exterior circumstances embody any constraints {that a} program inherits from its mother or father group(s) or from the broader enterprise surroundings. Constraints can embody restrictions imposed by legal guidelines and rules, in addition to limitations with companies supplied by third events. The Atmosphere space include the next danger elements and related MRD questions:


Engineering Lifecycle

Danger elements for a cloud initiative want to handle each organizational and technical points that may have an effect on the initiative’s potential for fulfillment. Till this level, we now have centered on organizational danger elements associated to preparation and planning, governance and administration, group functionality, and surroundings. We now flip our consideration towards the technical points, starting with the engineering lifecycle danger elements. The engineering lifecycle addresses the phases of a system’s growth, together with idea growth, necessities, structure, implementation, check and analysis, deployment, operations, and disposal. Technical points associated to the lifecycle embody lacking or incomplete necessities, insufficient structure, poor integration of on-premises and cloud applied sciences, and insufficient operational assist for cloud applied sciences. The Engineering Lifecycle space consists of the next danger elements and related MRD questions:


High quality-of-Service

High quality-of-service (QoS) describes or measures how properly cloud companies are anticipated to satisfy the wants and necessities of customers throughout operations. This space examines dangers which are inherent within the technical resolution supplied by a undertaking or initiative. The QoS service danger elements deal with the correctness and completeness of the applied technical resolution. For a cloud initiative, QoS addresses the efficiency and performance supplied by a cloud surroundings, in addition to high quality attributes, reminiscent of availability and safety. The High quality-of-Service space consists of the next danger elements and related MRD questions:


Piloting the MRD for Cloud Adoption

The cloud adoption danger elements described above are a protype set that have been developed utilizing printed info on cloud adoption frameworks and enter from SEI technical employees who’ve expertise with each cloud computing and know-how adoption initiatives. Thus far, these danger elements haven’t been piloted within the area. Those that intend to use the chance elements on this publish must be aware that the elements haven’t been vetted within the area by SEI builders. Nevertheless, the chance elements do incorporate info from dependable sources, together with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

We view the publication of this weblog and related white paper as an preliminary step within the growth of cloud adoption danger elements somewhat than the fruits of our work on this space. A possible subsequent step is to pilot the present model of the MRD for cloud adoption with organizations that plan to undertake cloud companies. Future growth and transition actions will in the end be decided by the suggestions that we obtain from folks all through the group. Irrespective of which transition actions are applied, we consider that the content material introduced on this weblog will assist organizations to handle their dangers extra successfully as they plan and handle the adoption of cloud applied sciences.


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