Cloud System Builders: 12 Habits That Aid Successful Deployment Projects
Invest in Training
Too often, cloud transformations are executed without the authority and expertise that yields early wins and creates the organizational support necessary to sustain conviction in your project over time. Successful cloud builders invest in training early and often.
Develop a Tradesman Culture
While you may count on vendors and other third parties to help you along, it's important to establish a hands-on culture within your own organization by ensuring your internal teams play an active role in building your cloud. This helps build technical expertise and self-sufficiency, and leads to deeper engagement and ownership in project outcomes.
Understand the Organizational Impact
Don't forget to consider the human side of cloud development projects and how it will impact existing roles and processes. The reality is that some roles will go away, some will be modified and others will have to be created. Managing this change is essential for the transition to cloud.
Deputize a General Contractor
The best-led cloud projects follow the important truth that no more than one person should be ultimately accountable for an outcome. Deputize a leader to own responsibility for all the moving parts, resources and dependencies involved in your cloud transformation and then give them the legitimate responsibility to move the ball forward.
Identify a Cloud Architect
General contractors aren't particularly effective without a technical counterpart to define the detail of the plan they're tasked to implement. Assign an architect as the technical leader who sets the vision for a cloud that delivers customer value and differentiation.
Hire a Service Designer
Clouds aren't just about the infrastructure; they require new thinking about how IT services are built, provisioned and managed. IT teams that haven't made this leap need a service designer to turn traditional infrastructure, platforms and applications into reusable, standardized and abstracted services that are used profitably by the business.
Assign a Workflow Author
Automation is crucial for operating at cloud speed and scale. Much of what you once did manually will have to be automated as part of your cloud transformation. Name a workflow author who can drill into your existing IT processes, codify them as a set of detailed process workflows and encode them as policies that drive your automation tools.
Name a Lead Engineer
The speed and scale of cloud computing means that technical errors can cascade exponentially. That's why it's important to name a lead engineer who is responsible for integrations, installations, upgrades and overall administration of your run-time environments.
Identify an Executive Sponsor
Moving to the cloud is a continuous journey that will need active, engaged and committed executive sponsorship to ensure funding and support over the long haul. Find a "pragmatic visionary," who has a combination of credible authority and a willingness to put their reputation behind a large-scale bet on a better future that they believe in.
Get Some Quick Wins on the Board
Find a fast path to production to achieve some early wins, which you can use to engender confidence and conviction in your project. Prove to your advocates and naysayers that this isn't a science project. Develop a culture of achieving and promoting a continuous series of wins to build momentum for your cloud transformation.
Define a Rollout Plan
Plan orderly transitions during the initial pilot, adoption and subsequent upgrades of your cloud. As with any application, you'll need to manage development, testing, staging and production, and explicit handoffs between these phases. You'll need this sort of industrial control to meet the speed and scale requirements for cloud computing.
Create a Road Map
The best plan starts with the end in mind. This is how you to bring a consistent vision and purpose to your project, reminding stakeholders where they're headed and ensuring that each phase is a foundation for the next. Your road map defines the endpoint of your vision and creates the guideposts that direct you through a graduated progression to cloud.