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Cloud Objectives - Living your "why" in 2019

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Let me start by saying that at this point I believe all businesses small, medium, and large should be leveraging some aspect of public cloud for IT compute and storage services.  With that said, one of the challenges I continue to find with many clients is they haven’t determined their “Why.”  Why are they moving to the cloud?

Until your “Why” is established, you and your organization are literally taking the lemming approach; following the hype from the news cycles, potentially adopting cloud in a way that may not meet your longer term objectives, taking longer than necessary, and spending much more to do it than needed.  

Based on a study completed by Logic Monitor (Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud Study), and reported on by Forbes, it is projected that 83% of Enterprise Workloads will be run on cloud based technologies by 2020, with >40% of those being run on one of the public cloud platforms like Google GCP, Amazon AWS, or Microsoft’s Azure.  The message here is that if you aren’t yet adopting cloud, you need to be… And if you are, it’s time to find your “Why”!

Finding your “Why” and measuring success - 

Of the many reasons to move to public cloud, the key ones include: 

  • Agility - Accelerating innovation 

  • Cost - Moving from CapEx to OpEx infrastructure; paying only for what you need, when you need it

  • Reach -  Ability drive global access at the edge without increased latency

For most organizations it’s going to be a blend of the above with more weighting on one of the reasons than others.  Once the key reasons are determined and weighted, it’s important to take it down one or two more levels of specifics that tie to these higher level reasons.  

An example organizational “Why” (including some specific “Hows”) might be:

“By using infrastructure as code through a public cloud provider, we will accelerate our programming team’s ability to build, test, and deploy new applications critical to our company’s push into new markets.  Along with this increased agility, we will see a decrease in related infrastructure costs by shutting down development and test resources during off hours, and using auto-scaling groups to minimize the size of the utilized virtual compute machines.”

Using a specific organizational or team “Why” we can now set up metrics to measure our progress towards adoption:

“We will measure our success at cloud adoption by measuring the % of development completed in the cloud vs. traditional infrastructure, the number of compute resources in our cloud development and test environments that are shut down on off hours, and the % activation of autoscaling vs. VM size.”

Finding your “Why” and establishing metrics of success enables you to move to setting organizational cloud goals with set time lines.  A critical next step in the Cloud Journey is doing a full inventory of your existing and planned applications, establishing unique IDs for tracking, and then determining their specific migration journey (Re-host via lift & shift, refactor, replatform, or rewrite) based on its business value to the organization and the lifecycle state of the application itself.

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Make 2019 the year your organization accelerates the journey to the cloud! 

We are here to help… Simply reach out:  scale@bigcosmallco.com

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Thomas Martin, Founder of BigCo. SmallCo., is a former CIO and technology leader of the General Electric Company.  Prior to leaving GE,  Thomas was the Executive Vice President of Application Transformation tasked with moving 9000 legacy workloads to public and private cloud infrastructure.  He has been a leading evaluator, adopter, and advocate of innovative tools and emerging technology that drive effective operation of cloud infrastructure at scale.

Thomas Martin