Important truths about the importance of planning have trickled through time in sayings like ‘look before you leap’ and ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. Is there any place for these old adages on the new road to cloud? The experts tell us there had better be.
With so many exciting developments, such as software-defined scale, software-defined networks, automation, containerization and Kubernetes, it has never been more important to have a roadmap that guides product and project investments,” says Christopher Taylor, TeraGo VP for Product Development. “The last thing you want is to spend money and start an implementation, only to discover a misalignment with your business objectives.”
Taylor joined his colleague, Anil Kanwar, Solution Architect for TeraGo, and ITWC CIO and Chief Digital Officer Jim Love in a November 6, 2018 webinar entitled Future-Proof Your Cloud Map. The general consensus was that cloud, something Gartner describes as the new normal, is more of a journey than a destination, and like any complicated journey, it requires planning, organization and purpose.
According to Taylor, capitalizing on this new normal begins with a comprehensive plan that aligns IT capabilities with organizational goals and objectives. “It’s important to have a macro view of the organization,” he said.
In order to understand the needs of a business and arrive at a rationale for going, or not going with cloud, Kanwar works with TeraGo’s customers to analyze expenditures related to servers, storage, networks, data centres, and personnel. “There are definitely costs to this kind of analysis,” he said, “but there are far greater costs in not doing it.”
Taylor enumerated the stumbling blocks in arriving at a comprehensive cloud strategy, beginning with a misperception of multi-cloud.
“People will tell me that they are multi-cloud, but the truth of it is that they are multi-cloud because they are using a number of clouds and leveraging them on an ad hoc basis. One department may be leveraging Google for one thing and another may be using AWS for something else. There’s no real strategy with regard to a multi-cloud approach.”
Defining cloud strategy
Another difficulty is that many businesses use product demos to define their cloud adoption strategy – a situation exemplified in old sayings about putting the cart in front of the horse and letting the tail wag the dog. “The dealers come in and their products look awesome, but it’s problematic to let these products define your strategy,” said Taylor. “It’s really important to get out ahead of the RFP before you issue it and nail down your business and technical requirements.”
A third obstacle, from Kanwar’s perspective, is a failure by many organizations to adopt an enterprise architecture view at the infrastructure or application level. “Without a roadmap or plan, everyone is using a different infrastructure solution to meet business requirements,” he said.
Taylor offered the following words from Abraham Lincoln as a way of crystallizing his thoughts on the optimum path to cloud: Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. “That’s one of the big takeaways here,” he said. “At TeraGo, we do cloud assessments to help our clients understand cloud, and understand some of the values of cloud. It’s worth spending the time up front to gather your priorities.”
Webinar on demand
View the webinar Future-Proof Your Cloud Map on demand for more information on developing a roadmap that takes your cloud program to the next level and sets you up for the future.