Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash, Lori MacVittie, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Release Management

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Eleven Tips for Successful Cloud Computing Adoption

Cloud offers a ‘fresh start’ to overcome a lot of IT problems, but it doesn’t mean everything we knew is suddenly wrong

Key issues can make or break an organization's strategic cloud adoption. The intersection of cloud computing with business strategy, Big Data, vendor lock-in, globalization, collaboration, security, licensing, virtualization, confidence, and the ‘new normal' can act as huge points of concern. So I put down some thoughts on this, and ended up - in no particular order - with the following 11 tips for the successful adoption of cloud computing:

1. The ‘new normal' makes cloud mandatory, not optional - the growing gap between flat (or down) IT budgets and the increasing business demand for innovation, new services, and growth is not sustainable. Any CIO who does nothing about this gap will be out of work - because they failed to deliver to business need, or because the business simply did it themselves. Cloud fills the gap by using time, money, and resources far more efficiently than legacy IT can, so IT can deliver business needs despite the ‘new normal'.

2. Business and IT need to get together to approach cloud strategically - this is not the time to stick your finger in the air and go whichever way the wind is blowing, or choose a cloud service just because a vocal staff member has tried it and likes it. You may get away with guesswork for dev/test, or for applications that don't really matter, but not for mission-critical business services. Take a strategic view, focus on business goals, make intentional decisions on which clouds you will use, where, when, and why.

3. Budget reduction is not the best reason to use cloud - indeed, it may not even be a good reason. Various studies have shown that cloud does not always reduce overall IT costs, and in many or even most cases it actually costs more over the long term. However, cloud makes it possible to pursue a vast range of new revenue-generating activities, plus it makes businesses faster and more agile in responding to market demands, competitive pressures, and new business opportunities. This is why most CIOs say they are investing in cloud for mobility, agility, and flexibility more than for simple cost reduction.

4. Cloud is not an outcome, it is an enabler - it lets you capitalize on new business opportunities like rapid innovation, social media, workforce mobility, BYOD, new market penetration, and more by providing essential technology features that underpin these efforts - like agility, scalability, geographic mobility, accessibility, availability and cost efficiency. But cloud doesn't make these opportunities happen by itself. Cloud is not a silver bullet - it still takes work to deliver business outcomes, and without the right roadmap for business service innovation, cloud is just another technology for IT to toy with (and for business to pay for).

5. Cloud is not a monolith - there is a wide range of cloud services, a veritable ‘cloud of clouds' available to fill business needs, delivered by multiple service providers (and your own IT department), and you do not need to just choose one. You may use SaaS applications like Salesforce.com or Intuit; infrastructure from Amazon or Rackspace; and cloud platforms from Microsoft or Google or VMware. You may build your own cloud using Citrix, VMware, Oracle, and more. You may even subscribe to a ‘community cloud' that is shared just by your peers. Most importantly, based on most current data on cloud adoption, you will probably do all of the above. Be prepared to adopt, manage, and secure this ‘cloud of clouds' - a ‘one-cloud' policy will never be realistic.

6. Cloud will not replace traditional IT - at least not for mid to large enterprises with a legacy investment - nor should it. The key will be choosing the right cloud(s) for each business need, and ensuring smooth integration with other cloud services and existing technology investments. In most cases integrating cloud with existing business assets provides better return on investment than a new cloud silo, and opens up more opportunities for leverage.

7. The idea that cloud is not secure is a myth - but like many great myths, there is a grain of truth behind it. Cloud can absolutely be as secure as an in-house data center, and in many cases it can be *more* secure. But this does not happen by accident, and does not happen just because you trust a third-party vendor to be ‘safe.' You need to work at it, and provide your own security layer on top of any cloud application. If you don't - and if you simply trust your provider to do it for you - don't be surprised when your company is the newest target of hacking attacks, data leaks, or identity loss.

8. The business service is still your responsibility - regardless of how you source a cloud computing service - from the in-house IT department, from a niche cloud provider, or from one of the big players. In all cases, you still need to maintain accountability for the full user experience. Cloud providers don't know your business, don't prioritize your applications, and are not the face of your business to the customer - they are commodity merchants. The quality of experience - and the interface to your customer - is still up to you.

9. SLAs are no substitute for preparation and contingency - in fact, many (most?) public cloud SLAs are toothless. Providers rarely volunteer to admit their breaches, and even when they do there is little to no recourse or restitution. While some exceptional cloud providers do provide solid SLAs, do not assume your provider will handle problems for you. Have your own a backup and recovery plan, monitor your own service performance, actively ensure your own data and identity protection. Most commodity cloud providers don't do this for you, at any price.

10. Be careful of cloud vendor lock-in - because while part of the beauty of cloud is new-found mobility and agility, if you get locked into a proprietary platform you will forgo a lot of that business benefit. Look for cloud options that allow you to get in and out relatively easily - or find management capabilities that make the underlying infrastructure irrelevant, by allowing you to focus on business services instead, regardless of where they are hosted.

11. Cloud does not mean we should forget all we knew - because even with cloud computing - or perhaps especially - IT still needs to apply many tried-and-true disciplines, like financial management, asset management, security and compliance, problem management, and more. You still need to deal with skills and resourcing. You still need to care about service levels, response times, and availability. The IT industry has grown into a lot of solid discipline for very good reasons. Cloud offers a ‘fresh start' to overcome a lot of IT problems, but it doesn't mean everything we knew is suddenly wrong.

So what do you reckon? Are these tips useful for you? What tips did I miss? I would love to see your comments either below or on Twitter.

More Stories By Andi Mann

Andi Mann is vice president of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies. With more than 20 years’ experience across four continents, he has deep expertise of enterprise software on cloud, mainframe, midrange, server and desktop systems. He has worked within IT departments for governments and corporations, from small businesses to global multi-nationals; with several large enterprise software vendors; and as a leading industry analyst advising enterprises, governments, and IT vendors – from startups to the worlds’ largest companies. Andi is a co-author of the popular handbook, ‘Visible Ops – Private Cloud’; he blogs at ‘Andi Mann – Übergeek’ (http://pleasediscuss.com/andimann), and tweets as @AndiMann.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.