Cloud critical success factors...no Cloud is an island.
Editor's note: this articles is number two of two in the series. The prceeeding piece was Death by Cloud, the Explosion of Instances and Mitigation
The Tail Wags the Dog- Part 2
I was not planning on writing a missive on planning. But as I poured through the lessons learned I frequently hear, I realized that it is not just about having solutions in place but also about planning for them.
In a traditional development process it is the development teams that dictate the development/test environments that operations delivers.
In the commoditized cloud world, operations is the tail that wags the development dog.
This is a massive cultural and process change. Because many developers have gone out and provisioned their own clouds on AWS or elsewhere they think they are still in command and do not realize that they have bought into standardization of platforms.
This has to be driven home so that development and operations can work together to improve productivity.
For many, this will result in the shift to a DevOps environment. Small business owners and IT executives should plan on this shift being a major multi-year initiative, requiring new processes, skills and tools and fewer staff.
No Cloud is an Island
For some reason many executives seem to think that they are creating a greenfield environment when they develop new applications in a cloud.
But in today's world no application or instance is an island and therefore no cloud is an island. Applications tend to be tied together, including cloud applications with those in traditional non-cloud environments.
Hence, IT executives need to make sure their cloud plan includes integration with other cloud and non-cloud instances and databases.
Small business owners and IT executives should not blindly leap into the cloud.
The impacts from shifting to the cloud are reminiscent of the impacts felt when moving to distributed processing from mainframes and small business owners must be prepared to meet the challenges. This requires a significant amount of planning to ensure that the initial "proof of concept" project does not fail.
Furthermore, these projects need to be thought of strategically and not tactically.
Otherwise, enterprises will end up with a patchwork quilt of hybrid cloud environments that are no easier to manage than the patchwork quilt of applications and systems they are running today.
Cloud Critical Success Factors: Part 2
Clouds are the latest wave of platform computing
Clouds are the latest wave of platform computing and like all waves before it, detailed planning is required if one is to succeed in the transformation.
There are a number of knowns and unknowns that will be encountered in the move and the better prepared one is, the more likely one will succeed in delivering the initiatives on time and under budget. This preparation includes a long-term strategic view of clouds within the organization so that one does not end up with a myriad of one-of-a-kind cloud solutions.
Small business and IT executives should develop strategic and tactical plans, create guiding principles for clouds and IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) for staff to make them aware of the vision, and start with a small project so that the odds are favorable.
About the author
Mr. Braunstein serves as Chairman/CEO and Executive Director of Research at the Robert Frances Group (RFG). In addition to his corporate role, he helps his clients wrestle with a range of business, management, regulatory, and technology issues.
He has deep and broad experience in business strategy management, business process management, enterprise systems architecture, financing, mission-critical systems, project and portfolio management, procurement, risk management, sustainability, and vendor management. Cal also chaired a Business Operational Risk Council whose membership consisted of a number of top global financial institutions.