Why do computers catch on fire? Why do cloud migrations crash and burn?

First off, I haven’t posted this in a while but just a reminder, computers can be delicate machines. In particular, they do not like fluctuations in the power coming to them from the wall. At the very least have a surge protector between your PC and the wall. I would recommend that if you buy a PC, invest in a UPS. A UPS, or Uninterruptable Power Supply actually creates a delay between your computer and the power in the wall by running it through a battery. While they are expensive (100 dollars or so) it is a lot more expensive to buy a new computer.

UPS its not just a shipping company with Brown Trucks.

One of the things that I often do is investigate new and interesting technology and gadgets. Mostly to follow down a line of thinking that I have started on. I’ve looked at a number of software packages that fit into the cloud broker solution model. I’ve evaluated a number of ITIL service management catalogs for IT organizations. I’ve looked at software designed to speed up migrations, by automating as much of the migration as is possible.

In doing all of that I found have one thing. Just like that simple UPS you plus in and your systems don’t have as many power issues, there is a simple UPS for cloud migrations as well. It acts just the same as the UPS battery, buffering the migration.

What is this magic wand you say?

Well it is not a CTF. I’ve cloud transformation frameworks from the many cloud providers and most of them are missing a critical step. It is not the creation of an organization wide DevOps approach, those end up missing planning and that causes those projects to struggle.

It lies before all of these things. By simply looking at the environment and classifying the applications you use.

1. These are business critical applications

2. These are applications we no longer use

3. These are applications that have one or two features we use but several features we don’t use.

The reality of IT is often that the IT team was forced to accept functionality that was beyond what needed because the business really wanted something, or the vendor had sold the business on the product rather than the features.

One quick answer is a centralized IT team that makes the final call. The creation of a capabilities map for all the software assets of an organization. These don’t exist today in many places, because if people actually took a hard look at their overall software portfolio they would boot software sales people out of the building.

The critical path for this has nothing to do with IT. Instead this is a hard look at the business. How do things get done today? Not, by the way how are things supposed to be done, how they are actually done. What systems are used, what tools are needed and what software is leveraged. You see, if there are not governance rules requiring software solutions and that solution doesn’t make the company money or help it reach its mission, WHY DO YOU HAVE IT?

Let’s go back to those three initial categories. Let’s instead change them to be more productive and better fit a long-term vision.

1. How does software contribute to the organization?

a. HR Functions (employee benefit, hiring, employee retention so on)

b. Training functions (how to use the systems we have)

c. Productivity (meet business goals or mission goals)

2. Does the software have functionality we are not currently using?

Those two simple questions allow you to build an enterprise capability map. That map then allows you to take a very hard look at all the packages you have deployed. It is all about enabling the business and enabling the mission of the organization.

Creating a UPS for business/organizational migrations.

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Migration professional