For many, The Cloud adoption process is exciting. The Cloud is a trendy, innovative, solution-crammed opportunity to arm your IT Operations team with the tools necessary to meet the demands of the seemingly never-ending requests from the “Business,” or so you have read.
In reality, your company is likely confronted with a feature set that it does not have the time or talent to take full advantage of. And if they do, the time they will spend calculating and then re-calculating ROI will be immense, and will substantially eat into time that could be spent more productively on training or hiring the necessary skill set. Inevitably, you will reach a point when you must incorporate the cloud into your IT strategy, and it will come sooner than you anticipated. I have personally been in this situation numerous times now; however, my first experience is the most noteworthy.
I was given the task to migrate an entire company’s application stack to AWS starting from scratch. This was their first iteration at cloud anything, and it was a daunting task. I had minimal resources, a highly-scrutinized budget, and 6 months to complete this project or the company would face heavy penalties from its previous co-located service provider. Several all-nighters and ~384 cups of coffee later below are the most important takeaways I gained.
Quick wins. The cloud gives you the ability to tear down and rebuild quickly. Use this to your advantage.
Start Building a DevOps team. These are your cloud ninjas you call upon for solutions. If you haven’t already started looking for them, you should.
Utilize PaaS solutions. PaaS helps to easily scale your IT footprint according to the needs of the business, as well relieve operational burden.
Capture metrics. A key component to baselining your newly built engine is the ability to capture metrics. Put tools in place that will give you instant feedback of your system’s ability to generate revenue. When the business starts complaining, use these hard facts to show value in your transition into the cloud. Better yet, use these metrics proactively to encourage dialog with the business (a key topic that we will cover in future blogs surrounding digital transformation).
Testing is important. Double, triple, and quadruple check that you are not arming the business to discredit your teams hard work as a failure. Empower key business application users to work with your new systems and have them note any issues along the way. Frequent and continued input from the end user is absolutely critical to success.
Start Now. Before you are given a 6-month ultimatum to research, learn, procure, deploy and support this major endeavor.