Technology July 18, 2020 Last updated July 18th, 2020 1,196 Reads share

5 Tips to Keep Up With Cloud Innovation

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Cloud providers continuously innovate and improve their services. Moreover, the speed with which this happens is only increasing. For example, Amazon Web Services released more than 1,000 new functionalities and customizations last year, meaning developers have an average of three new services at their disposal every day.

While each position will help companies, some organizations do request a series of best practices and processes that help them keep pace with the rapid changes. Their goal, of course, is to embrace the improvements and take advantage of them, but they often opt for a leisurely pace. They are investigating whether the new functionality is safe enough, can be rolled out properly and is not too intensive in terms of management. How can companies properly investigate this and, at the same time, act quickly?

Define the Business Model and Learning Objectives

If a company takes the step to the cloud and employees to get to know about it, IT may be flooded with requests to access the new cloud services. That may sound like a trivial problem, but in companies with hundreds, if not thousands, of applications and teams, it can be a significant problem. To deal with this, executives must ask themselves what their future operation will look like. In other words: what is the new culture, and what are the new learning goals they want to strive for?

For most customers, migration represents a shift from conservative, controlled, and centralized decision making to a decentralized, DevOps- style decision model. There is no right or wrong; in most cases, companies even use multiple models as some workloads and applications require more control, others more freedom, flexibility, and agility.

If an organization wants to give developers more freedom and autonomy, it must allow them to determine themselves which cloud services they need to build the best cloud-based experiences. If, on the other hand, an organization believes in a more centralized model, it will first approve cloud services before they are introduced. These are the two most extreme situations; most organizations are somewhere in the middle.

Limit Risks and Trust, but Verify

One way to introduce more services with more manageability and less risk is to provide one team to the cloud provider for each team. They then have a free hand but within one account. Workloads from other organizations cannot move there, but the account can be connected to services in other accounts. With this approach, one team owns everything in the account, which makes cost management relatively easy. All kinds of tools are available to tackle this properly.

Create a Framework

Organizations can also accelerate requests from within the organization by creating a document of available cloud services. After that, each service can be evaluated in terms of security, management, integration, architectural standards, and compatibility. While collecting all that data is a daunting task, it often turns out to be worth its weight in gold: cloud teams have a scalable way to respond to large numbers of requests and service requests. In this way, requests for new services and exceptions can be answered quickly but thoroughly.

Determine a Service Adoption Lifecycle

Setting up a sandbox environment in which teams can play with any cloud service will undoubtedly help encourage experiments. However, it must not be connected to a production environment, and the services must be able to stop automatically to prevent them from continuing without being used. However, for a team to continue after a successful trial, it must be held responsible for the entire service adoption lifecycle. That may sound bureaucratic, but it can provide a good overview of conservative, centralized companies that are not ready to start new cloud services.

Make Cloud Teams Agile

Companies trying to shift away from a centralized and controlled model will face some significant challenges. As I mentioned above, cloud teams are often inundated with requests from developers, but deploying these services in a business environment requires a situation where security, management, and other processes are correctly configured. That may take a while. If an organization does not manage this well, A private cloud can quickly feel like a local data center with long waiting times.

Another challenge is that the cloud team often consists of people with a focus on infrastructure. That makes sense, but two-thirds of cloud services outside traditional infrastructure issues. That means the cloud team is not yet trained in it, nor is it in a position to help them. To help tackle these challenges, the cloud team and architects (of both infrastructure and applications) need to adapt the way they approach their operations.

For example, the cloud team has more than enough to do: everything from migration to managing and running the cloud platform to handling processes and cost optimization is under their responsibility. Many cloud teams do that with ticketing systems, but that makes it very difficult to complete tasks prioritizing, which in turn can cause frustration. A method such as agile can then be a solution.

DepositPhotos – cloud innovation

Rosie Harman

Rosie Harman

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