Your organization recently launched its cloud adoption journey. Executives are supportive, and grassroots enthusiasts add energy to your effort. The whole initiative launched with proper planning and focus, and your task force is working well together.
Despite the strong start, many days feel like a slog. Progress is slow, and teams regularly surface new hurdles that they must overcome before the organization can bring its first critical workloads online in the public cloud. Pressure is mounting for a quick win.
The transition to the cloud can be difficult, and one major hindrance is that organizations are trying to bite off too much complexity as they initiate their cloud adoption journey. Right by default cloud solutions can accelerate your progress.
Reinventing the wheel
Organizations understand their unique needs and vulnerabilities, but at times they forget their commonalities with others. As a result, many embrace a notion that their cloud adoption journey must start from scratch procedurally and technically. There is some truth in this narrative — cloud adoption involves significant change, and organizations may feel at times like they are rebuilding core IT operations from scratch. However, they should not actually start from scratch on the cloud adoption journey — teams will lose the time and energy to transform and innovate as they focus on rebuilding basic IT processes and foundational technology components. In fact, starting from scratch works against the most common objectives of cloud adoption — it delays operational excellence, return on investment, and innovation.
Instead of starting from scratch, organizations should focus on their commonalities with others and accelerate their cloud adoption journey with proven processes and tools. Today, many cloud adoption tool kits contain repeatable patterns, templates, and processes that can be leveraged to accelerate cloud adoption. These tool kits reduce the burden and complexity of cloud adoption and start organizations down a path deploying solutions that are right by default.
Right by default cloud solutions are tool kits that allow companies to adopt proven processes, technology components, and security best practices. These solutions cover the basics — they establish a cloud footprint with connectivity, keep the lights on with monitoring and availability, secure the perimeter, and provide run books for standard cloud operations. Organizations can customize these “default” solutions as teams become familiar with operating in a cloud landscape and are aware of what differentiates their needs from other cloud adopters.
By deploying right by default solutions, organizations are free to rethink team structures and processes, retrain teams, explore new capabilities, and embrace new norms. Right by default solutions reduce complexity and frustration by focusing team energy on differentiators and allowing organizations to customize full-featured offerings for their needs. They reduce risk and focus teams on adopting new cloud services and delivering innovative business solutions.
So why not start from scratch, deploy a few workloads, and evolve incrementally? Deferring security, governance, and operational run books leave organizations vulnerable to delayed value and increased risk. Instead, available cloud tool kits can provide tools and processes that install a footprint, establish effective cloud operations, safeguard data, and accelerate employee learning.
Getting started with right by default
Right by default solutions take many forms. How can you evaluate your options? Here are three tactics to evaluate available solutions against your organizational needs:
- Be skeptically inquisitive about your cloud adoption journey: Keep differentiated needs in mind, but also be open to seeking and evaluating standard cloud patterns and practices. Challenge each internal assumption that a unique solution is required. Find peer organizations that are nearer the middle or end of their cloud adoption journey and ask whether they believe their cloud adoption experience and needs are unique or common to others. Most organizations discover that they face similar challenges and can apply common (right by default) solutions
- Inquire about the gaps in any cloud solution: Be clear about the capabilities and gaps of any advertised cloud tool kit. Ask for proof of value, expect some hype, and listen for those who share shortcomings readily. Understand what help can be offered and be clear about how to customize or extend these right by default solutions at a future date
- Experiment: Experimentation is critical when adopting emerging technology. Look beyond traditional cloud proofs-of-concept (e.g., tactical workloads, service demonstrations) to experiment with the tool kits that will accelerate cloud adoption. Dive into code templates, process flows, and run books. Explore the resulting cloud footprints. How is the network configured? How are security policies codified? How would IT team members deploy production workloads into this environment? If the answers aren’t satisfactory, challenge the tool kit community or find a better solution. Be hands-on to learn what could accelerate progress.
You can find right by default solutions in the open source community, organizations specializing in making and selling software (known as independent software vendors or ISVs), and the cloud partner ecosystem. Open source and ISV solutions are low friction to evaluate — they often jump-start adoption with examples and community support, though outcomes vary significantly by vendor and solution. Partner offerings are typically proprietary tool kits that follow cloud vendor best practices and include run books and operational guidance. Ask questions and experiment to find the best fit for your organization.
As you return to the office to lead your organization’s cloud adoption journey, ask your team: Are we achieving our cloud goals for operational excellence, ROI, and innovation?
Are we reinventing the wheel, or are we adopting right by default cloud solutions?
Deliver the promise of your cloud adoption journey with right by default.
“The article ‘If you’re adopting the cloud in your organization, you don’t have to start from scratch’ originally appeared in CloudTech.”
Authored by Jeff Townes and Sean Beard