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When Cloud Adoption becomes too much of a success …

In the ideal world a cloud/transformation journey is a straightforward concept:

  • Step 1: you start to experiment both from a business as from a technology point of view by means of Proof of Concepts
  • Step 2: you take the learnings and start to put a framework around your journey.  Call it a Cloud Center of Excellence.  This consists of nontechnical capabilities (like strategy and governance) and technical capabilities (the cloud platform).
  • Step 3: you start to onboard or transition workloads

Unfortunately, this ideal world doesn’t exist.  The successful Proof of Concepts become “business critical” overnight.  Are they properly architected?  Are they in line with enterprise security standards? Are you capable of providing the operations for the expected service level?  Probably “no” to most of these questions.  Because they were setup as a Proof of Concept.  When they proof to work, the IT division becomes the “victim” of the success.  The business wants more and want it faster.  You need to be flexible and agile, right?

As an IT professional you know this situation is not sustainable.  Onboarding more workloads in this way is a setup for failure, or even disaster.  This type of situation is often referred to as “fixing the plane while it’s in the air”.  The good news is, this is where the “Well Architected Framework” comes into the picture.

This framework is assessing the architecture, workload by workload for 5 pillars:

  • Cost
  • Operational Excellence
  • Performance Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Security

The review process should not be a heavy weight, weeklong engagement.  Bring the required people together by workload and run the assessment along these 5 pillars.  Do it in the same iterative way that cloud projects are done.  No need to check every box in the first run.  What you don’t know will most likely not be optimized.  The outcome of the assessment gives you a view of domains for improvement.  By workload.

While you are running one or more of the reviews, start setting up the basics of a Cloud Center of Excellence.  All output of the architecture reviews is the perfect input for starting up workforces around the capabilities required for solid cloud adoption.

An example:

  • Each workload is assessed for Security.  Security is one of the 6 main capabilities of the 45 Degrees approach to a Cloud Center of Excellence.  You will get an insight in topics like Identity & Access Management, Security Monitoring, Security Architecture, Data Protection and Incident Response.
  • While addressing the findings and implementing the recommendations for each workload, the foundational work related to security gets a kickstart.
  • New workloads can use the outcome of this foundational work

Summary

Setting up a Cloud Center of Excellence is the only way to ensure a long term, healthy transition giving the best user experience and maximizing the benefits.  The way to get there is not a simple journey, with a start and an end point.  The Well Architected Framework is the way to take workloads that have already onboarded in the Cloud and rationalise or optimize the way they run.

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