Cloud Consulting Pre-Engagement Questionnaire – A Bookmark

The cloud phenomenon is no more a dream for many, but a reality for several customers I have been working with. Many of my customers are looking for guidance and from time to time I get an opportunity to have some deep constructive discussions. These discussions can range from should I be going to cloud or not, is this app cloud ready, can we do a lift-shift of this application directly to some cloud player etc. Though each of these discussions lead from one point to another, there is a lot of profiling I do with customers. In this blog, I want to talk about a conversation I had with one of my customers who was evaluating cloud for one of his applications. Let us see a Cloud Consulting Pre-Engagement Questionnaire.

You should BOOKMARK this blog post for future reference.

Cloud Consulting Pre-Engagement Questionnaire - A Bookmark cloudconsulting-800x670

Though the engagement was a short call, I had more questions to ask than answers. End of the session of one hour, the customer knew he had a lot of homework to do before coming to me for details. So, what are some of the considerations one needs to be aware when planning to migrate to cloud based deployment.

Understanding User base:

  • Can you define the roles of different users in the organization?
  • What is the number of users and users per role?
  • What is the number of users in the scope of the Solution under question?
  • What is the projected growth of the user base in the next three to five years?

Understanding application functionality:

  • What current applications perform the business functions of the Solution?
  • How do the applications assist in the business processes?
  • What functions are required for the business processes?
  • What functions are required by the different user groups?
  • What is the change management process in place for the messaging environment?
  • Are there documented governance and archiving policies for the organization?

Applications Availability / Backup requirements:

  • What are the current service level agreements (SLAs)?
  • What are the high availability requirements?
  • What are the business continuity or site availability requirements?
  • What is the current recovery point objective (RPO)?
  • What is the current recovery time objective (RTO)?

Double clicked Application Architecture:

  • What is the current state application environment?
  • What is each application’s function in relation to the business processes the Solution supports?
  • What monitoring solution is being used?
  • Does the current monitoring solution support the Solution to be deployed?

Knowing the Migration and Governance needs:

  • What are the specific information requirements?
  • Are there current data transformations?
  • Are there any data sets that need cleansing?
  • What data management systems are in place?

Technology Architecture needs:

  • What is the current server administration model (centralized, decentralized, or other)?
  • Who is currently managing the current infrastructure (internal, outsourced, centralized, decentralized, helpdesk, etc.)?
  • How is administration performed (scripted, fully automated, native tools etc.)?
  • Are there additional administrative tasks for which you require delegation?
  • Are you planning to centralize or consolidate the Solution?
  • In how many locations do you plan to deploy the Solution?
  • What are the hardware needs and existing servers and components?
  • What are the attributes and interactions of the hardware in relation to the business applications?
  • What are the existing hardware components for each application layer?
  • What is the overall topology of your network?
  • Choose an appropriate diagram and delete others.
  • What is the number of geographic sites?
  • What is the user distribution by region or site?
  • Can you provide link speed, utilization, latency, and available bandwidth between central and remote sites (if applicable)?
  • Which sites provide Internet connectivity for external user access?

By this time we were to end of the call. But I said, there are security needs, network needs, Directory understanding, Authentication topology etc. were missed out. All I can say the end of this session, the IT manager was confident on what needs to be done.

Have you done such assessments for your Cloud Consulting engagements? Do you think these are relevant and will help you? What are the questions you will add to the above? I must admit, only some that come to my mind have been listed above.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

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