It is interesting to observe small cloud companies visually represent their products/services in their websites or brochures to win over enterprise customers. They lavishly use stereotyped images of crisscrossed lines through a silhouette of cloud or a spatial blue data center with lots of digits flying across and such. Inherently they all communicate the obvious, i.e., cloud is complex in an enterprise context. This complexity arises from technical breadth of possibilities, terminologies, cloud provider landscape and with lots of commitments shout all over by everyone.
If you consider technical aspects' cloud means different things to different people. An infra director of a utility customer in the UK, when asked to clarify on their server and application portfolio replied confidently that his portfolio should direct his portfolio spaceship to 'public cloud'. For him ‘public cloud’ was just cloud that connects to his datacenter. Most of us now know that what he meant is 'hybrid'. Imagine, the fate of the technical evaluation of his portfolio.
Consider terminologies. Different stakeholders in companies often deal with terms like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, BPaaS. It is true that certain consistencies emerge now-a-days in the industry. However, when it comes to terms like 'Hybrid', 'Orchestration', 'Cloud Security', 'Containers' people get lost. Especially those infrastructure people who gets suddenly thrown in to the ocean of applications. Or application development directors who are in front of big infrastructure discussions.
The cloud providers add to the complexity with their fair share of products and services as well. They try to influence their space in a mixed bag, be it on the cloud scalability, functional cloud or even tools that help in various phases of cloud adoption.
A boilerplate approach to everything in an enterprise for cloud fitment must have a certain set of pre-curated artefacts. It really doesn’t matter a ‘cloud strategy’ first, or an ‘assessment of server/apps’ first to start-off. These boilerplate artefacts can be used across enterprise:
- Benefits Classification Model
- Reference Architectures
- Tools Guidance
- Integrated Consumption Model
- Assessment Methodology
Management of perceptions, technical variations on scoping, diverse methods are important when it comes to arriving at an effective cloud adoption. It is also important that a ‘convergent’ approach to be arrived at early stages, and that is why this set of artefacts is relevant. It would address legacy, new-age or development transformations holistically. Or at minimum, we can save an infrastructure director from shooting a spacecraft directly to the ocean.