The Doppler Quarterly Fall 2016 - Page 9

tional initiative effectively. The key here is to not take on too much too soon. We recommend a minimal viable cloud (MVC) approach. The MVC strategy targets a small set of workloads and allows an enterprise to iterate through building in the necessary security, controls and operations. This allows the company to quickly deploy services to the cloud that create business value, without having to spend many months or years trying to stand up the perfect cloud. With each new MVC, the customer bolts on additional functionality and over time builds a robust, world-class cloud. Another project killer is the inability to run a true agile project. Many companies run what I call “wagile” efforts: waterfall projects with daily standups. Instead of iterating through sprints and acting on feedback loops, these project teams fall into the sequential path of doom, where they first document all of the potential requirements, go dark on the business while performing months of design, start constructing the cloud and then fall down when it comes time to deploy and run their cloud services. Successful cloud implementations require a fail-fast approach. A true agile approach is required. Teams should iterate through small sprints to learn and adjust along the way. How can anyone gather all of the requirements up front without first experimenting in the cloud? Unrealistic Expectations Many enterprises go into their cloud journey with unrealistic expectations. I can’t count how many companies I have come across who jump into the cloud with hybrid cloud aspirations. They start by performing huge evaluations on hybrid cloud solutions, cloud management platforms (CMP) and other advanced technologies, yet they have no clue on how to build a single application on the cloud. Why not focus on getting good at one cloud endpoint before trying to implement multi-cloud? It will take 2-3 years minimum to become cloud competent on one cloud vendor. Start there and worry about hybrid later. Focus first on a goal that is obtainable. Build cloud competency internally before venturing into the complex world of hybrid cloud. Recommendations Too often, companies try to build the perfect cloud and spend months to years spending tons of money with little or nothing to show for it. Meanwhile, they are still paying for all the infrastructure in the data center. Your cloud ROI is only as good as your ability to execute on your cloud strategy. We recommend you take a minimal viable cloud approach to get to the cloud quickly, one workload at a time. The MVC approach focuses on smaller, manageable projects that show business value sooner, while allowing staff to learn and improve their cloud skills along the way. There are many workload types that are good candidates for the cloud. Web applications, big data and analytics, third party applications, productivity tools and high performance computing are just a small subset of workload categories that are great candidates to migrate to the cloud. Building the perfect cloud to accommodate all these workload types at once is a recipe for failure. A better approach is to perform an application assessment to prioritize the workloads, using a combination of factors such as complexity, speed to market and business value. Once the application portfolio roadmap is in place, a series of MVCs should be scheduled that focus on adding the appropriate level of security, automation and operations in place, to transition those workloads off the current data center and into the cloud. Remember, the sooner the applications can be shut down in the data center, the better the overall ROI should be. Summary Cloud computing offers a huge opportunity to provide substantial returns if your strategy is well executed. If the cloud strategy takes too long or the deliverables are suboptimal, the original ROI projections will not be achieved. If you are betting your career on the ROI that you pitched in front of the CEO and the board, you would be well-advised to address the ROI killers and take an MVC approach to delivering cloud services for your company. FALL 2016 | THE DOPPLER | 7