Green energy company Mainstream Renewable Power is about to embark on a phased project that should see it become datacentre free in less than five years.
Mainstream Renewable Power CIO John Shaw said the firm's current infrastructure – a single virtualised datacentre, no customised code and standard Wintel systems – meant the company was ripe for moving to the public cloud.
Shaw said: "There's simply no way of moving to a public cloud unless an infrastructure meets certain maturity requirements."
Mainstream Renewable Power currently uses 31 Microsoft products, including database and virtualisation technology.
The company aims to put its email in a public cloud within the next 12 months and to move its HR, finance and CRM systems after this.
Shaw said security was a major requirement, adding that he will only consider using a cloud provider if it complies with the ISO27001 security management framework.
Eventually the firm's entire IT infrastructure will be moved to one cloud provider, Shaw said.
"We would look to develop a strategic partnership with our cloud provider, in the same way that Ryanair's business model depends on a really strong inter-relationship with Boeing – the businesses are totally co-dependent. We would be looking for that sort of set up," he said.
Shaw said one of his main aims is to save money, pointing to recent research by US analyst firm McKinsey that suggests a company can expect to cut costs by about 15 per cent by outsourcing its entire IT infrastructure to the cloud.
"We will definitely have completed the move within five years, but we want to see examples of other businesses that have done it. We consider ourselves to be leading edge not bleeding edge," he said.
To assess whether his company's IT infrastructure was mature enough to move to the cloud, Shaw used the Innovation Value Institute's IT Capability Maturity Framework, which provides four strategies and associated maturity curves to help IT professionals to better manage and deliver more value from IT.
IVI's framework is the result of the synthesis of leading academic research and industry best practice, and consists of four integrated strategies, looking at cost, capability, value and management.