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Utility Implementation Guidelines

Let's assume that your organization has decided to look seriously at utility computing, with a specific solution in which utility computing could be applied. A utility computing project team is assembled. One of the first tasks for the team is to review a number of guideline decisions. As with any new technology implementation, utility computing comes with associated decisions for success—for this example, in three specific areas: technical, financial, and managerial issues. The utility computing team should address at least the following questions (and more, if needed).

Technical

  • Does the technology you need currently exist?

  • Does it work for your environment?

  • Has it been tested in prototype version? (Make potential vendors offer technology proofs that fit your model, or work with them to validate a model for your organization.)

  • Are the test results satisfactory?

  • Are there any alternative technologies?

  • Is your organization (business and IT) mature enough to execute this project?

  • How will this project affect IT complexity? Will it make things better or worse?

Financial

  • How will the new systems handle chargeback to users? Will this change?

  • What are your top priorities, both short term and long term, to improve your organization's financial standing?

  • Is senior management willing and prepared to support such a project?

  • Do you already have support and involvement from key stakeholders?

  • Is there a detailed return on investment or defined business case for the project that proves its value?

Managerial

  • Are the critical success factors defined, accepted, and understood?

  • Do you have enough people? Are they the right people with the right skills?

  • What pressures on expected savings, budgets, and costs need to be addressed?

These are just a sample of the more common issues that need to be addressed or reviewed regularly throughout the project until successful implementation, rollout, and handover to production status.

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