Legacy to Cloud Computing Migration Project

free essayIt will first start with a definition of legacy system and cloud computing. It will provide reasons, which may have encouraged the government agency to necessitate the migration. It also provides an analysis of stakeholders involved in the project. A Procurement Management plan will also be analyzed. This provides a guideline on how skills and material necessary for the project are to be outsourced. At the end of the easy, before the conclusion, risks to the project will be analyzed. Highly probable and high impact risks will then be listed and analyzed with their solutions.

Planning is a prearranged intelligent endeavor to pick the best available substitute for achieving a particular goal. It is the rational appliance of human knowledge in decision-making. Decisions made through this process will serve as the foundation of human activity. Planning helps an individual or an organization avoid risks. It does ensure that every planned project ends up achieving the intended goal or objective. Planning for an effective communication project for migration from a legacy system to cloud computing thus ensures that the ultimate goal of such a project is achieved. It helps project planners and administrators analyze and deal with any internal or external feature that is seen to be a risk to the project (W.H.O, 2006).

A legacy system, which is also known as legacy operating system, is a platform that is no longer in wide use. It is an old technology, method, application, or a computer system that has been replaced by a new version of the previous technology. For example, the introduction of Windows XP, made Windows 9x be a legacy system. Windows 9x had earlier turned Windows 3.x.a into a legacy platform when it was first introduced to the market. It is sometimes complex or impossible to use a new application on a legacy platform. However, in other cases the two applications may work harmoniously. Despite this fact, it should not be taken lightly that this would always be the case. This is because it is common for a new release to function marginally, partially or not function at all with legacy OS. A computer might at times crash when a new application is run on a legacy OS. The possibility of encountering difficulties between a new release and an old application increases with the age difference between the two applications. This fact necessitates migration from an old application to a new one (Ulrich, 2002).

Cloud computing is used in computer networking to mean the act of storing and accessing programs and data over the internet and not computer’s hard drive. Cloud computing differs with local storage. It is not about the use of hard drives. The word cloud is use to mean the internet. Cloud computing started with presentations and flowcharts, which portrayed the server infrastructure of the internet as a white and puffy cumulonimbus cloud. Cloud computing is easy to use. Everything that an organization or individual requires is actually close. Accessibility of data and programs is thus easy and fast. Cloud computing can be done at any time or in any place when there is an online connection. Different “cloud” exists in businesses. Businesses may choose to apply the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) (Blokdijk, 2008). This kind of cloud computing allows businesses to subscribe to applications they access over the internet. Other business may choose to use the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which allows them to create their own custom applications. Companies like Google, Rackspace, use infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). This system allows companies that own it to rent out their cloud computing space to other companies. Cloud computing is a very significant application. In North America alone, 80% of big companies are using or are planning to use cloud services. This is because it has more advantages when compared to the use of hard drives. For example, it allows companies to connect easily with their customers. The use of hard drive has thus become a legacy OS. Individuals and companies are now turning away from the use of hard drives for accessing and storage of programs and data (Jamsa, 2012).

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Cloud computing is viewed as a game-changer. It has a capacity to alter competitive landscapes as it creates a new stage for offering business value. As a pay-per-use utilization and delivery system, cloud computing allows delivery of configurable resources. It also open door for new business methods through infrastructure, standardized application, business processes, and testing environments. By enabling this, cloud computing ensures efficient delivery of services. Despite the advantages, which accompany cloud computing, companies should first choose to be innovators, optimizers, or distributors of cloud computing. This decision depends on risk a company is willing to assume and the current position of a company in the competitive landscape (Laszewski, and Nauduri, 2012).

The introduction of a cloud computing system brought mobile and digital transformation by availing more information in a quick manner and through more mediums. Due this reason, more consumers are now using or are attempting to use this application. One of these consumers is the ActiveVideo, a company that uses cloud technologies to hasten multi-platform television experiences. Among advantages, which ActiveVideo envisioned before it adapted cloud computing technology, there are cost flexibility, business scalability, market adaptability, and context-driven variability.

Cost flexibility is significantly influencing decisions companies make about adoption of cloud computing. Over 31% of executives view the ability of the cloud to reduce the fixed IT cost for a more changeable “pay as you use” as the main reason for their migration to cloud computing. Cloud can enable a company reduce fixed cost of IT by allowing it to move from capital cost to operational expenses. Capital expenses, which include servers, software licenses, and networking tools expenses, are less fluid, difficult to forecast, and more expensive than operating expenses. Application of cloud computing system eliminates the necessity of building hardware. Instead, it demands an installation of software. These changes enable a company to pay what it requires and when it requires. The pay-per-use method enables flexibility in expenditure.

Business scalability is another reason for its application. By enabling a quick supply of resources without limitation of scale, cloud capacitates an organization to take advantage of economies of scales. It facilitates efficient growth as it does not force a company to increase its volume on its own. For instant, Netflix, a company that uses internet subscription to offer TV shows and movies has been able to increase the level of its customers without increasing its volume. The decision to move to cloud computing enabled the company to expand and grow without any need for development of more centers for storage of data to meet the growing demands.

Market adaptability is the capacity for a company to respond to the highly changing customers’ needs. Cloud computing is thus a significant competitive differentiator. It allows companies to quickly adjust their processes, services, and products in order to meet the demands of their customers. By doing this, cloud facilitates quick innovation and prototyping, which lead to reduction in the cost of advertisements.

Cloud also proffers the benefit of hiding complexity that is, masking complexity. Due to the ability for masking complexities, a company is enabled to increase its services and/or products sophistication without a need to increase the knowledge levels of customers. Complexities are veiled from the customers. For instance, maintenance and upgrading can be done without including the end user of a service and/or service.

Every project aims to achieve a particular goal. However, the achievement of project’s goal depends on how the project was planned and how it is later managed. Project planners and administrators should thus ensure that the project is planned and managed in the most effective way. Planners and administrators of a project should be having similar values that guide their view of the goal of the project. In this project, the guiding values can be the need to enable the citizen to access information and to reduce the cost of accessing such information. The achievement of these values can be measured by use of research methods like questioners and interviews. For instance, questioners can rate the number of informed persons.

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Stakeholder Analysis

A stakeholder is a member of a group or organization. Various stakeholders are involved in migration to cloud computing system. Every stakeholder is important for the success of the project. Every member should thus play his/her part in order to ensure smooth running of the project either in planning or in administration. However, stakeholders are not usually equal. Everyone has unique expectation and needs. Stakeholders should thus be handled uniquely. Knowing the needs, requirements, and needs of the stakeholders heightens the probability for achieving of the project goal. If an important stakeholder is not recognized, it will later breed difficulties for the project administrators. Stakeholders can be grouped into external and internal stakeholders. The government that acts as the sponsor, project team, higher management, sub-contractor, monitoring and evaluation team and end user comprises of some of the stakeholders of this project. The government is the sponsor and the owner of the project. It is thus required to provide enough financial support for the project. After the project is analyzed and budgeted, the government is expected to provide financial support based on the stated cost of the project (MacArthur, 1997).

Higher management is a group of people who oversee the planning and administration of the project. They ensure that every detail is adhered to in order that the project goal is achieved. They are thus the one to ensure that the project is moving towards the required direction at the expected speed or pace. For example, in cases that the project is lacking financial support or capital, the management has a duty to ensure that the project does not end up failing. The higher management should attempt its best to avail the required resources.

A sub-contractor is a business or individual who performs a section of contract belonging to another business or individual after signing a contract. The general contractor usually hires a subcontractor. This may be due the lack of resources, knowledge or because of the need for reduction of the cost of the project. This project is new to the government agency. There are thus no enough professionals. A sub-contractor will be thus required to provide this highly needed knowledge. The hired sub-contractor will be the one to install the software for the agency.

Monitoring and evaluation is an important feature of project management. A group of professional will thus be hired to undertake the evaluation and monitoring of the project. Even though it is cheap to use project planners and administrators as an evaluation team, help form a hired team is more effective as they are more objective in their activities. The hired team will conduct regular evaluation of the progress of the project. Evaluation ensures that the project goal is achieved in the set period. This is because it brings out the points the project administrators have failed. The mistakes, which are done at the course of the project, are thus corrected.

The consumer or the end user is another important stakeholder for the project. A consumer is the person who will benefit after the project is completed. He/she is to be considered as his/her level of interest on the result of the project is significant. It determines the rate a consumer uses the resource that is developed. The goal should thus be made in a way that it is attractive to the end user.

Type of Organization

The organization involved in the execution of this project is a functional organization. This is because it is based on specialization. Decisions are decentralized to allow innovation as issues are delegated to the specialized persons. Every person in the project is thus given a responsibility to evaluated, control, and implement a given procedures. For example, the sub-contract team is delegated the ability to evaluated, control and implement any issue touching on the software. This type of organization is associated with risks like misuse of power, lack of united direction, and lack of communication among different parts of the project. To eliminate these risks, the higher management is given the power of controlling every part of the project. The manager thus overseers the implementation of decisions reached.

Procurement Management Plan

A Procurement Management Plan provides a channel for management of procurement during the life span of a project. It defines and identifies the materials to be procured. The project manager manages and oversees procurement under the project. He/she works with project members to identify the needed items. A Project Management Office (PMO) reviews the list of items to be procured before sending it to the purchasing and contracts departments (Fleming, 2003). The following table provides the needed items, skills, labor and materials.

Item/service/skill/contract Type of contract Justification Needed By
Financial skills Permanent There is a need for evaluation of the cost adopting and supporting the cloud. It is needed before the start of the project.
Compliance and Security Permanent There is a need to ensure that the project is legal. It is needed before the project is started.
Software installation knowledge and skills Temporary There is a lack of software installation skills and knowledge. It is needed before the start of the project.
New computers Temporary There is a need for acquisitions of modern computers as they are more improved than the previous once. There are needed before the start of the project.

These items and skills have different cost. However, financial skills and skills for compliance and security are rated together because there are forms of permanent contracts. They are thus recognized as part of the salaries. As entry level job, each individual providing these skills is expected to be paid $ 30,000 each. The problem with the acquisition of these skills may be complicated with the hiring of incompetent personnel. Care should thus be applied in order to avoid such a risk. A new computer is valued at a cost of 450 US dollars. For fifth computers that are needed, the expected cost is 22500 US dollars. There is also a problem in the acquisition of these new computers. For example, a contracted body might supply low quality computers. Cloud computing reduce management. However, it might be slightly costly to install the system. For example in 2005, a company used 7536 US dollars to install it.

Scope Control

Managing and controlling a project is important for the success of a project. Any scope change may affect a project in a significant manner. It may affect the schedule, risks, cost, entire efforts, and the quality of a project. Although estimation and planning of a project is done early, there are some instances, which may necessitate a change. For instance, a project member may gain a new insight into a particular problem. Again, external factors like government regulations and market conditions may influence the change. Communication and reconciliation of emerging issues with the project ensure a successful scope control. Lack of scope control in the management of a project turns it into a scope creep. A scope creep is a project, which has experienced expansion of the original goal as it progress. This may be caused by different factors like lack of understanding of the intended project, changing conditions in the market and competition within the company. Examples of scope creeps are vague business requirements, inadequate managements of expectations and underestimation of problems facing a project (Jones, 2007).

Risk Analysis

Management of risk is a significant function within an organization. The management needs to be well aware of the risks that are likely to face its institution or project. For a successful implementation of a project, middle level and high-priority risks should be understood. This helps to cushion an organization from spreading itself too thinly. High-probability/high-impact risk is the most critical risk requiring careful management (Raftery, 2003).

Risks Impact of a risk under the range of 0 to 5 Probability of risk under the range of 0 to 5 Percentage of probability
Heighten dependency on an external party 3 4 80%
Decline of service quality and customer care 4 4 80%
Dissatisfaction of work 3 3 60%
Downsizing of the department 2 3 60
Insecurity with the new technology 2 3 60%
High installation cost 2 2 40%
Lack of resources 2 2 40%
An extended wasted period for the government agency due to transfer of information 2 2 40%
Deficiency of knowledge on cloud 1 1 20%
Lack of financial support 1 1 20%

Heighten dependency on an external party, decline of service quality, dissatisfaction of work, downsizing of department, and insecurity with the new technology are risks, which are likely to be faced. The tendency to depend highly on external parties has a high possibility to occur because the organization has no qualified persons with skills and knowledge on cloud computing. Qualified personnel will be thus hired. To eliminate and increase dependency, the current organization members will receive training on the new technology. Decline of quality of service is another expected risk. This would be due to the fact of boredom due to the use of machines. Dissatisfaction of work can lead worker to producing low quality work. However, cloud computing itself is a solution to the risk. Workers would be allowed to work from home as cloud computing makes it possible. Downsizing of the government is also an expected result of this migration. People working with department concern with hard drives will be the most affected people. To solve this problem, these workers will be taken back to the other departments. They will be trained to be relevant to the new technology. There are also a number of insecurities associated with this new technology. This is because this technology is new to the agency and there is no guarantee that it will work as expected. To ensure, an elimination of these insecurities, thorough examination would be done in order to prepare the agency for the new technology.

Planning and administration of a project is a highly involving activity. Organization leadership should thus ensure that the project is going as expected. This requires an enhanced evaluation of both the external and internal factors of a project. Through an evaluation, risks are understood, and preparations for their solution are made. For instance, it helps an organization to rate the impact levels and probabilities of risks. High-impact and high probable risks are then listed and their solution organized.

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