The technology to move to cloud computing is pretty rock solid. I spend a lot of time evaluating, reviewing and testing the various tools. They have improved over the past four years to the point where the actual management, deployment and use of cloud solutions is pretty straight forward. What remains is the business reality.
Cross the river to the cloud isn’t easy. The cloud FUD is deep. Most of it is int3eresting in the sense of understanding the business reality. It doesn’t matter today if you are delivering mission value or driving corporate profits. The business reality of cloud is you have to consider it.
What can the business do? Well strategically for most organizations the reality of cloud is the reality of maturity. Mature organizations with processes and automation can embrace the transition to cloud and move quickly. They will end up in Hybrid solutions for time. I’ve analyst’s posts that suggest Hybrid cloud will be around for the next few years. I suspect Hybrid cloud will remain as long as organizations have physical sites. Why tie the hybrid cloud revolution to physical sites? Because if you are building something you will have a physical site. In order to maintain that physical site, you will have security, and computers at that site. You will be hybrid long into the future. You may automate the functions of the physical site to the point where it is fully run by cloud solutions but you will remain in a hybrid cloud state.
There will also be security situations that require air gapped (disconnected from the Internet in any form) networks. These networks will require physical security, backups and monitoring that are physically in the same facility. A true private cloud. Not the private cloud that floats around now in the industry. Private cloud in the sense that the only people that can access the cloud’s data are those with physical access to the cloud facility itself.
So hybrid is here to stay. To a degree that is part of the business reality that slows cloud migrations. The other part goes back again to the concept of organizational maturity. There have been maturity scales for technology implementations published in the past. There are many, pick one it doesn’t matter. The reality here isn’t someone evaluating your business. Maturity, just like in people, is evaluating yourself. I can sit in your organization and tell you what the potential information and potential automation you need to have to be “cloud ready” but the reality is your organization needs to take a hard look at itself.
I’ve built scales based on the many different maturity models available. I’ve looked at organizations from top to bottom to determine if they were ready for the move. I’ve moved organizations. Reality and frankly experience tell me that organizations willing to take a hard look at themselves are more successful in the cloud than those that are not.
That hard look, is something I have built tools for. I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating various organizations and various tools and have come up with a set of tools that will get your organization through the self-assessment. You just have to be ready to take a hard look at your organization.
By the way to end today’s discussion, a hard look means picking up the rocks and sacred cows, moving the bookcases and the couch, figuring out what your organization does to make money. But most importantly the why of your organization. Understanding why your organization does things, helps you with the what and how of your organization going forward. If you get the why, document the what and how then the where is a lot smaller. Where? Why that is the cloud of course!
It is not how fast you move. It is how well you do when you get there.