Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Cloud Myth: It's all the same... or It's all different...

Another round of questions....

1. What is the biggest myth business and IT departments have about the cloud?
The biggest myth organizations have about IT cloud infrastructure is that you can lift and shift your existing workloads into the cloud using the same architecture, methodology, and tools that you have used in the past. This may be true in some cases, but the reality is the architecture radically changes from one cloud to another. They all have different capabilities, and some have features that may drive business decisions from cost savings or an architectural requirement. Moving to the cloud presumes application distribution and potentially shifting trust boundaries. Risk must be managed. Visibility is required in hybrid and multi-cloud deployments along with the ability to uniformly report on and affect change across the different environments.

Planning is critical to safely and effectively migrate workloads to the cloud. The good news is that at this point there is a large body of knowledge from those that have gone before you. There are astounding successes and equally colossal failures. Work with your cloud provider closely.

2. Why is this myth so pervasive?
It's not uncommon to make assumptions based on what you have known before. However, the shift to software defined architecture creates capabilities, and in some cases limitations, that differ from traditional physical infrastructure.

3. In what way/ways does this myth hamper IT and/or business operations?
Assumptions slow the end game because you start with the wrong ideas and end up with misguided plans. A bad result is that your applications don't work as intended. Worse? The applications work, but risk is mismanaged, resulting in ineffective security or compliance controls.

Work with your cloud provider and correct your assumptions. Then create realistic strategies and a working plan. Ensure you have the proper technologies to support your applications – required to run your business – and the appropriate security and compliance controls in place – required to protect your business. Borrowing from the military, "Prior planning prevents poor performance."

4. What can be done to dispel this myth?
Learn. Attend migration workshops of the cloud providers that interest you. Preferably more than one. Build healthy budgets into the migration plans. Plan. Manage your risk.

And specifically, build budget into the plans to ensure you fully understand geographically distributed deployments and can identify risk across the distributed Data-center. The tools and methodology may change, but the end objectives of visibility and control do not change. Those are fundamental to assurance. Again. Manage your risk.

5. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Good business leaders understand and respect risk. Great business leaders learn how to manage and respond effectively to risk. The presumption is visibility. You cannot act on what you cannot see.