Cloud Adoption Success in 7 Easy Steps
The recent OpenStack Summit Panel in Atlanta hosted some influential cloud folks to discuss the peaks and pitfalls of successfully rolling out a cloud adoption strategy. Among the experts were Mark Williams, CTO of Redapt, Ariel Tseitlin, Venture Partner of Scale VP, Sebastian Stadil, Founder of Scalr, Mariano Cunietti, CTO of Enter.it and Ian Rae, Founder and CEO of CloudOps.
Here are 7 key areas to be sure to address as you make the journey.
Keep It Simple (,Stupid!)
Any successful cloud adoption understands the value of simplicity – the freedoms of an open, scalable, dynamic environment. Companies that go into the cloud with highly customized, highly complex applications right out of the gate not only increase the risks of failure, but reduce the potential benefits that cloud can offer for performance and reliability.
Know how it DOESN’T work
Cloud technology is pretty easy and quick to implement – on paper. However changing the entire process models of how applications and services work on cloud infrastructure is exactly the opposite. For example, for an organization developing 200 different software packages, are all of them cloud friendly? If you go into a cloud architecture without reviewing processes and evaluating existing applications and usage, you are in for a major (and preventable) headache.
Would the real Process Owners please stand up?
Right along those lines, especially in larger enterprises, processes can either partially or completely be owned or operated by different divisions, different departments or third parties. That reality doesn’t change the fact that in order for cloud to have a seamless and successful introduction, existing legacy processes need to be reviewed and adjusted. Bring process owners into the mix early.
Paint a Picture
Remember the old days? So does everyone else in the organization. Cloud adoption will fundamentally change the way the organization functions, and the scariest change for most people is the change that is unknown. Paint a picture of the day-to-day benefits of moving from a monolithic, resource oriented, local model to a service oriented distributed and scalable one. How will each department benefit? How will customers be happier? The ‘good’ old days won’t seem so ‘good’ for long.
Refocus the Roles
You might be familiar with the fact that change isn’t something most IT types are big fans of. This is true. Fears about being made obsolete and having to acquire completely new skillsets abound. However development teams and the IT crew don’t need to remain at odds, one trying to control and supervise while the other demands flexibility – blending the skillsets of these two groups into one allows for a better understanding of needs, better communication, and ultimately building a team based on trust rather than fear.
Find thy Evangelist
Working on cloud adoption in a silo makes its successful completion an uncertain outcome. The more process owners from more departments involved in designing and implementing the project, the better. Finding an internal champion that sees the future benefits of the adoption (see point 4) and who has high visibility and a solid network across the organization will work to convince the doubters, rally the naysayers and give the project the internal buy-in needed to make the change not only accepted, but embraced.
Sharing is caring
Yes, it is a cliche. Make the cloud adoption journey just that – a journey – and not an isolated project given to a third party or a secret team working in a corner on something no one is aware of. Share the project goals, share the project obstacles, find and publicize solutions. It might be tempting to keep the big launch behind closed doors, but openness and transparency builds trust, and when you are a trusted resource, mistakes aren’t as bad as they could be.