What is this book about?
Very specifically, this book will help you with cloud adoption by describing the following exactly:
- What you need to know to be able to strategize, plan, govern, manage, and innovate your cloud adoption and your applications and services in the cloud (with examples and focus on Azure while still being applicable to any cloud or any multi-cloud environment).
- Who will be your friends in a constant struggle to stumble forward with agility and confidence, how to manage relationships and activities with your friends, and how to be the evangelist that sees every interaction and every touchpoint with anyone in the organization and outside of it as an opportunity to include them and bring them along on the cloud adoption journey. Repetition is key! Repetition is key!
- How to get things done in an iterative and agile way and with one eye (or ear, or finger) on the business needs and the other on the technical requirements.
- When is the right time to approach each topic, when is the time for compromise, and when is the time for decisive action to achieve the business goals.
- The anti-patterns – things that may make sense initially but have been tried and proven not to work.
This book (if you are still following what we were discussing) will equip you with the tools to use with this practical guide to define and execute your cloud adoption strategy. But every business organization is different, at different stages of maturity and with different ideas about what success looks like.
You will walk away from this book with knowledge, specific insight, and a practical plan (and a mindset as well) that will help you and everyone in your organization define and execute a cloud adoption strategy.
We will explore a wealth of past experiences that have enabled us to deliver smooth execution of cloud migrations. We also want to highlight areas that are ripe for innovation.
Industry-specific considerations such as compliance and data security will be at the forefront. We won’t focus as much on a specific technology or go in-depth on how to use it but try and set broad standards and focus on technology as it enables organizational transformation.
We will also investigate the organization’s transformation and how to achieve it, who you absolutely must bring along for the ride, who will go willingly, and who you will have to drag kicking and screaming into the cloud.
You will learn how to create a compelling strategy that gets buy-in across the organization, and which approaches work to win over and influence those with the most to lose (and how to have them look at the wins that are available to them).
No plan survives the first contact with an enemy on the battlefield, but forming a realistic plan is a must for you to be able to deliver and govern cloud adoption and the cloud itself over the long term (or at least for the next 2-3 years before you change organizations).
You will also learn how to recognize the right time to, and how to, decommission existing practices, processes, and technology, and replace them with those appropriate for the cloud in 2025, 2030, and beyond (of course, being mindful that long-term plans are just a beacon in the fog of uncertainty).
The plans you will make need to be general, broad, and adaptable in order to be able to survive contact with the enemy (that is, market forces). General plans that cover a broad range of circumstances are better than specific, narrow plans. You will also need to understand which services are not going to last (in our opinion), which services are vaporware, and which technology trends are important for cloud adoption and your industry.
Finally, we will also give you some tips and you will learn all about navigating cloud adoption in heavily regulated industries such as finance, insurance, defense, and so on.
By the way, a convention to be on the lookout for…
Throughout this book, you will come across sections such as this next one, where one of us (the authors) will interject with an opinion or an anecdote, asides, and tangents that will briefly, or at length, describe something you might want to investigate after you have read, understood, and started implementing the wonderful things you’ve learned here in this book – so be on the lookout for them.
Here is an example of an aside – one of the many questions we get a lot.
Multi-cloud? Yes or no. Or, when?
Absolutely never, except if you are an organization with thousands of developers and have products that are not all interconnected; if you are an umbrella organization and have acquired companies that are already using different clouds and have customers in production; or if you are in a regulated market or a government entity with mandates for multi-cloud.
Regardless, if you can choose, do not choose multi-cloud. You must double or triple governance and you limit the growth and cross-pollination of services and developers. Also, it’s a huge pain adopting one cloud. Why adopt more than one if you really don’t have to?
If you must go with multi-cloud, then pick one primary cloud, do well with it (that is, adopt the hell out of it), and only then introduce the second one. Stay away from three. There be dragons.
But, but, but… what about vendor lock-in? That is not a thing, in so far that everything you do locks you in, so stop worrying about a future issue that may never come up, stop focusing on the lowest-common-denominator technology, and embrace – adopt – the cloud. If you must do multi-cloud, adopt one well and then introduce another.
And, again – in the next edition of this book, you could see your anecdotes here as well, so contact us if you have something to share. We’d love to learn from your experiences and share them with future readers.
I once had a client…
I just want to make sure that if you have been through this journey and had issues along the way, you understand that these things happen to the best of us.
Cloud adoption is hard on both the technology and business levels. Sustainable, governable, and painless cloud adoption is a rare exception – one that we want to help you replicate here.
So, I once had this client (one of many), a huge global financial institution that had attempted to adopt the cloud as best as they knew how and had unfortunately failed spectacularly.
They failed so spectacularly that the regulator fined them and made the governance processes so stringent and hard that they had to completely scrap their effort. And they had applications, services, and customers – live in production. But the mess was such that only a hard reset and only a change at a VP level could get them out of this crisis. Whole departments were disbanded and the organization had to undergo a re-org, and then another one just for good measure, to be able to start again.
This time, in a much smarter (and a reasonably cautious) way, with buy-in from every level of the organization. And they are just now, after a year and a half, coming back with those applications, services, and customers – to production.
Some failures you accept and shy away from, and some you embrace and you do better – maybe with some outside help.
This is one of those double, good news/bad news types of situations.
The bad news: they wasted a lot of time, their competitors plowed ahead, and they suffered in the process. The good news: they understood the benefits of the cloud and were still very keen to try again, and they are now doing a lot better having understood that cloud adoption is easy to do poorly and hard to do well – but well worth the effort.
If only there was a book they could have referred to in their time of need, or if only they had good people that read such a book and understood the complexities of a complete digital transformation. If only…
We’ve met you now and, hopefully, you now understand that this book was tailor-made for you.