COVID-19 has disrupted most businesses in an unprecedented manner. And, it’s highly unlikely that this pandemic will be the last crisis global businesses face. However, this crisis has magnified cracks in business strategies that perhaps went unnoticed before.
For instance, we are seeing an accelerated push for flexible and secure cloud-based computing architecture that will empower businesses with much desired resilience and responsiveness.
But, research shows - up to a third of companies see few to zero organizational improvements as a result of cloud adoption. In some cases, it may create more problems than it solves - 74% of enterprises reported moving an application into the cloud and then back into their own infrastructure.
ThoughtWorks has helped several businesses build and sustain formidable cloud blueprints. Our experience has helped us put together the elements you need to run a successful cloud strategy.
Don’t just outsource it
Cloud adoption is a key enabler for speed in delivery, elasticity and resilience.It requires more ownership and demands you to grow internal capabilities within development teams to understand networking, security and infrastructure and to use software engineering practices to code and maintain infrastructure.
Moving to the cloud is not just a change in infrastructure. It is a strategic enabler for a modern digital business and requires cultural and technical change in your organization.
Principal at ThoughtWorks
Going beyond infrastructure thinking
There is a common misconception following cloud tech, of limitless storage and processing power. Organizations assume cloud is a straightforward replacement for in-house hardware and,Such thinking leads to the ‘lift and shift’ antipattern where cloud is viewed as a simple hosting solution, resulting in the replication of existing architectures, security practices and IT operational models in the cloud. This tends to elevate existing problems, leading to disappointment.
There’s a tendency to say it’s the infrastructure team’s responsibility and to leave them to it.
ThoughtWorks Cloud Practice Lead and author of Infrastructure as Code
Need for a different organization
Cloud-first leadership should embrace the principles of DevOps, autonomous cross-functional teams and loosely coupled architecture. However, most organizations find this challenging because of rigid communication structures like the ticketing system used for infrastructure provisioning. But the benefits of following the above listed principles far outweigh the effort. For example, faster time to market requires flexibility and this is enabled by nimble architecture that works well with autonomous cross functional teams.
Needless to say, any attempt to embrace these principles requires a C-level buy-in that drives the benefits within the organization.
Speed and resilience trump cost benefits
Many enterprises will see rising costs unless their cloud strategies are carefully managed. The costs could be due to lack of oversight or delivery acceleration that require more resources than available. But, given that cloud provides such a wide range of utility services, a discussion on ROI for a cloud investment could be like trying to calculate ROI on your electricity investment.
Cloud delivers primary value as an accelerator, not as a cost savings engine.
Director of Digital Platform Strategy, ThoughtWorks
View ‘security’ differently
Enterprise security in the cloud is fundamentally different from traditional perimeter-based security that use firewalls and zoning. The former demands zero trust architecture. The recommended response is organizational education and structure that leverages regularly updated operating models.
In the cloud-native world, the faster you can move, the more secure you are.
Director of Technology at ThoughtWorks Australia
Full version of the above whitepaper - Avoiding a new legacy "ball of mud": Recipes for a successful cloud strategyis available for download.