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
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
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 ...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...