- Paperback: 334 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (August 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1536813117
- ISBN-13: 978-1536813111
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cloud Service Evaluation Handbook: How to Choose the Right Service Paperback – August 6, 2016
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About the Author
Scott Feuless is a single father of two living in Pearland, Texas and is one of the world’s foremost experts on the measurement and evaluation of cloud services. Thus far there has only been one major effort to create a standard for measurement and evaluation of cloud services targeted at service buyer organizations. This was the Cloud Services Measurement Initiative Consortium (CSMIC), and Scott was the primary author of the metrics for that standard. Though the consortium eventually dissolved before the standard could be completed, he has leveraged his experience to build a new, complete, user-friendly metrics framework, complete with the templates and guidance required to put it to use in real-world decision-making. Organizations making business-critical cloud sourcing decisions can now rest assured that their decisions are leveraging reliable, comprehensive metrics and leading practices. As cloud services rapidly become more critical to organizations across the world, reliable metrics are key to optimizing the benefits those services will deliver. Scott currently sits on the Cloud Metrics Subgroup of the NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture Working Group and occasionally blogs on cloud computing topics. He spent 15 years at ISG, the world’s leading sourcing advisory firm, where he advised many of the world’s largest organizations on cloud service adoption, sourcing, benchmarking and performance improvement. During this time Scott was ISG’s leading expert on cloud service measurement, inventing key tools for cloud service evaluation and cloud service pricing analytics. His extensive work with sophisticated benchmarking models, combined with input from clients beginning their journey into cloud computing, gave him just the background he needed to design effective, usable metrics for evaluating cloud services. Scott’s work with cloud computing began in 1999 when he helped transform a small Value Added Reseller into a publicly traded startup Application Service Provider (ASP) named ebaseOne. As the firm’s Chief Technology Officer, he managed the business plan, hired the technical staff, developed customer agreements, worked with initial customers to design the services and much more. That ASP model is now more commonly known as Software as a Service (SaaS), one of the most popular forms of cloud computing.
Top customer reviews
The book is well organized and easy to use as both an overview and reference. Basically, the intro and first two chapters help us understand the reasoning behind the model and why cloud is so different, and then the rest of the chapters are each a self-contained reference for performing the evaluation for each area of measurement. For me, this made it an exercise of only a couple hours to understand the idea and approach and then skim each chapter to understand each area of measurement better and begin working with stakeholders on the plan, followed by reference back to the detailed chapters as I move along with the work and need to refresh.
Thanks to the helpful advice the book provides, I am focused on early buy-in to the critical need for stakeholder engagement in developing objectives and criteria, as well as early management of expectations, especially regarding the need to SELECT a service that best meets our needs, not attempt the usual customization that really is not possible, or at least not advisable, with cloud. For myself and those of us in either the entrenched corporate IT or government/public IT worlds, this is the greatest challenge, IMHO. I'm really glad to know this going in. We all know managers and execs who will want to think this is just another project like any other, and many of us have seen the failures this hubris leads to. Knowing up-front that I am getting into something that requires resetting stakeholder expectations early is crucial and, I feel, the most important factor in setting a successful course early in the process.
I was also very impressed with the author's responsiveness via the website (see Ch. 10). I asked whether I could get electronic copies of the templates used in the book, which would help me form up both my presentations and the workbook I will use to consolidate the entire evaluation process and results. He's already put these up for everyone, which saves me a lot of time. The only other idea that comes to mind is how nice it would be for him to put up a schedule template, so that, as we plan out the selection phase of the work, we have a head start.
That said, I hope the author now delves into some of the surrounding topics. For instance, when is cloud right for our business? How does that vary for small, medium, large, and even global companies? What should we be trying to achieve and where does the business value lie?
Cloud, especially when applications are hosted a la Google or iCloud, treminds me of the mainframe and time-sharing models. They seem to offer us easy scalability, but on an immediate and global basis to any location with reliable internet. But, there are limits to that, for instance, in terms of large-scale and bespoke applications that may not migrate smoothly or at all. I'm sure there are many more considerations, and it would be great to be able to benefit from the experiences of others, especially regarding the limits and areas that require more up-front decisions, expectations-setting, and strategic direction choices.
Another topic I would like to see explored, once selection and transition is complete, would be how we manage desktop services and perform vendor management, including re-evaluation and assessment against new options. As the book points out, cloud is now a commodity, not a customized service, so managing this is going to be vastly different than either the in or out-sourced models that most of us are using today. We all know that, despite our best efforts, sometimes (if not often...) vendors just pull the wool over our eyes and fail to deliver. So, what are the metrics that will surface that early, and how do we react quickly, before user productivity is impacted?
These two topics are also key, in my own mind, to having a successful transition, one that is being done for the right reasons,where the right service and vendor are then selected, and then managed effectively long-term. I hope the author or one of his cohorts will look into these areas next.
It’s clear the author has thought deeply about issues like security, governance, provider support, interoperability, and ease of use. I found the metrics clearly explained and with helpful examples provided (crucial). The best part is the framework is so comprehensive you have confidence that there are no hidden concerns(!) that will pop up after you’ve made you decision, or worse after the switch is complete. I’m confident that once through the process, my team will have a defensible document with real data to give management confidence in our decision.
While the detail that he goes into in the book may seem daunting at first, let me assure you, as someone who has been there, the exercise will pay off many times over down the road. The transition from traditional datacenters to the cloud will cost you in many ways that you won't anticipate, all of which are enumerated in this book.
If you're thinking of moving in the the cloud, you absolutely need this book.