We speak to a lot of customers that are currently in a "Cloud First mindset". “Whatever we can push to the cloud, we want to get into the cloud”. The funny thing is, when you challenge them and ask why, you start to hear answers that are directly stated in cloud vendor’s marketing.
To be clear, I’m not against cloud and believe there are clear use cases for utilizing cloud technologies. However, if you believe that simply pushing your existing technology into the cloud it will magically simplify your environment, reduce your costs, provide scalability and flexibility, then you can stop reading and save yourself the next 3-5 minutes.
If you are serious about cloud and your company’s digital transformation, then we need to spend a few minutes really asking questions. Questions that will help us define, document, and drive proper technology intentions and purpose. When sitting down and figuring out if Cloud is the right solution for you, are you asking the questions that strategically define your actual requirements?
· Have we defined our technology and business unit operating model?
Do we operate in a diversified, unified, coordinated or replicated way?
· What of our business needs are we trying to improve or solve for?
· Do we have a foundational operational backbone (Platform & Data) that supports our business?
· Have we have clearly defined targeted outcomes?
· Have we defined our data and process requirements?
· What are the specific cloud technologies that can enable us to be better at what we need?
· Will we really need access to bleeding edge technology in the next couple of years?
· What is our leverage to negotiate with cloud providers?
· Do you really need global or regional presence?
· How useful are the SaaS services to you?
· What is your culture, and are you willing to shrink your operations team? (This is always a fun question)
Perhaps a better way to ask is, are we ready to push from an operations mindset to a Dev/Ops Mindset? Are our volumes of data doable in cloud, and at what price? What is your culture? Is your organization able to operate in a modern, flat and trusting model or is it more of top-down control, trust only a few?
The good news is that if you don't the answers to these questions, there is always people and vendors out there who are willing to help. Just find the right trusted partner that really has your best interests in mind!