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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cloud Success: Focus on Fundamentals

Courtesy - Bill Peldzus

There are more reasons than ever to make a move to cloud computing. Whether it’s savings, cost avoidance, rapid deployment, agile development, or speeding time-to-market, the cloud has the potential to provide more flexibility, scalability, and elasticity for your developer’s toolbox than ever.

Nevertheless, many customers that I’ve visited lately still think that cloud computing will solve all the issues that plague them; they are still seeing the cloud as a panacea for all IT problems. If getting a server takes too long, if a development platform is unstable, if they lose critical data or code updates can’t be restored – the cloud will fix everything, right?

W.C. Fields once said, “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” Yes, sometimes the obvious is overlooked. If I have a cold, going to a different doctor won’t cure it any faster. I may get a different prescription, may get different advice, but the bottom line is that it’s still a cold and it will still take seven days to go away. The same holds true for IT and infrastructure – if your shop is a mess, moving to the cloud will not cure the fundamental issues.

To use cloud computing successfully, pay attention to the basics, standards, strategic and tactical policies, vetted operating procedures, service catalogues, service level agreements (SLAs), and other fundamentals. A move to the cloud, whether public, private, or hybrid, doesn’t make the IT services weaknesses go away; often it just makes matters worse because you have added another layer of complexity to your IT portfolio. If you can’t successfully backup (and more importantly, restore) data in your own shop, what makes you think it will work in the cloud? It won’t. What makes the cloud so successful is not that it is easier and highly automated, it is the fundamental policies, processes, tools and testing wrapped around the technology that make the approach successful.

Certainly you should be looking to the cloud for your next generation of IT services. However, during this process, you may first want to take a step back, and get some help putting the fundamentals in order before taking that next big leap. Use the breather as a chance to leapfrog current bottlenecks and align processes to your desired future state. If you don’t embrace these changes in a cloud environment, you will be missing out on all those touted cloud benefits. Think of it as a chance to reassess what was done well and what has failed. By taking this slower approach, you will definitely position your organization for a successful cloud deployment.

1 comment:

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