What is Cloud? The question that everybody out there seems to have an answer for, in one way or another. Public Cloud, Private Cloud are among many terms associated with certain labels that are circulating around in the technology community such AWS, Azure, GCP etc. Nothing new. This seems like a magical potion that if consumed will mysteriously resolve all the daily challenges that Infrastructure Teams and Developers are encountering. A grand misconception about how this should work and what are the contributors to a successful Cloud Migration. By no means this is going to be accomplished by solely choosing AWS or some other Cloud provider. That’s the easy part. You see Cloud is not a provider but it’s a Service Delivery Model, it’s the concept itself that incorporates some of the most crucial components out there, and by no means those are limited to the technical challenges but mainly those of organisational nature, strategy, culture and most of all people.
With the above introduction being made, I am assuming that by now it’s clear that we will be scratching the surface of some of the most important aspects of Cloud Strategy for any company out there.
First question when deciding to migrate your workloads to the Cloud, that any successful manager or architect in charge needs to ask themselves is the “Why?”. The answer might seem pretty obvious for many, but is it really? Many things may come to mind as a potential answer, and I have listed some of them here:
“It is cheaper.”
“It is easy.”
“Everybody is doing it.”
“It is faster.”
And while there is nothing wrong with the above statements, and to a certain extent they are correct, but only if thought through properly. For a startup, definitely a no brainer. But as we know various enterprises are jumping on the bandwagon of Cloud, while maintaining their legacy systems and processes. Sure you can hire a group of consultants and potentially even internal resources, which in turn creates skillset inconsistencies with already existing teams and a fear that Cloud is going to replace everything and they will not be needed anymore. Well, to all those people out there fearing such turn of events, I assure you that you are still needed, probably now even more than before. But before I explain why, I would like to come back to the “Why?”. Businesses are driven by the image, value and potential profit and benefits this may create for them in the long run. Announcing “Cloud First” by a traditional technology company will turn heads in the market and create a positive technological image which can be easily used as a sales bargaining chip and appearing more attractive to potential customers, investors and employees. This is bad for technology because often a side-effect of such a strategy is going to create extreme pressure on teams and stakeholders to do Cloud for whatever the cost (not only financial), and frankly this is not what Cloud is for. Technology needs to be respected. Cloud needs to make sense and some of the aspects you should consider when answering the question “Why?” are listed below:
Total cost of ownership (TCO)
Security & Compliance
Existing Applications and their Maturity
Now I do realise of course, that not every company is as highly regulated to care much about some of the aforementioned points.
We will continue in the Episode 2.