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Going Cloud Native – Part 4

Cloud

January 29, 2020

If the foundation does not carry the house – why digital applications face an overhaul #CloudifyEverything

Sometimes I wonder whether stock market information has become a collection of tech bulletins. Every business is pushing digital activities to the frontline of marketing and also pushing the teams to embrace speed and innovation. Messages of digital transformation and digital results drive attention, stock value and shareholder enthusiasm.

Ambitions and promises made, need to be followed by actual results. Management has heard the promises of speed, higher quality and minimum viable products continuously delivered. There is a constant expectation from the joint business and development teams to deliver. So, what happens? No one wants to disappoint the management, the shareholders or the stock market. There is a rush for results.

And we all know what happens if you are in a rush – shortcuts are taken!

Shortcut Sign represent that shortcuts are taken when you are in rush

These shortcuts are sometimes deliberate and backed by management, often even by official management exception from the standard established rules. These rules or guiding principles are the foundation of IT delivery enabling governance, operations and applications to work hand in hand. Pulling the foundation out on a regular basis leads to a house that is patched together but not safe to live in permanently. Very often, we refer to these kinds of shortcuts as “debt”. A little debt can be leverage, but if too much, it crushes under its weight.

Broken house represent that little debt can be leverage, but if too much, it crushes.

This becomes visible once the applications developed under the regime of shortcuts move to mainstream production, access more than dummy data, and fall under regulation. Once the risk becomes too big for an official management exception, management expects the newly developed application to follow the rules and survive under the scrutiny of the regulating bodies.

And this is where the unexpected happens. Newly built applications need to have their application architecture, the use of data and the control and management possibilities inspected and often overhauled. In other words, the speedboats and lighthouses need to be rebuilt for productive use!

How can you avoid such a situation?

  • Stick to the cloud native application architecture principles
  • Set guardrails for cloud native applications early and do not build shortcuts around these
  • Be aware and plan for the need of adjustments prior to mainstream production use
  • Leverage available DevOps tools via the cloud platform of your choice to increase efficiency
  • Recognize that digital transformation is more about changing your culture than changing your tools

Bring a Cultural Change

We’ve had the good fortune to spend decades helping companies manage software development transformation. The most successful initiatives embrace the need to manage the culture along with people, tools and process. There is no magic here. Just good solid, intentional organizational change management. The first step is to be sure everyone in the company recognizes the need for change. For many companies this is truly a matter of survival. Adapt or die. The next step is to define a clear vision. Making sure that the organization can picture a new future where new features are delivered nearly as often as the business desires. Then, pick some low hanging fruit. Demonstrate the reality of the vision. Celebrate success, empower others and enlist solid governance to monitor progress and allocate resources where they will do the most good.

Change Your Work Culture

About the Authors

Matthias Popiolek, Assistant Vice President– Digital Advisor and Senior Cloud expert

Matthias has more than 20 years of IT experience. He is dedicated to Cloud services fulltime since 2007. He has a unique set of experiences in areas including consultancy management through portfolio management, creation of cloud products, and classic data center delivery. Matthias is focused on enterprises adopting “modern delivery” as a standard way of working. In doing so, he works with customers on strategy, organization, processes and technology.

Neil Fox, CTO North America

Neil’s background contains more than 35 years of technology leadership. The first chapter of Neil’s career was spent in commercial product development companies including TRW, MR, Lawson Software, and Red Hat. For the past 15 years, Neil has served as CTO and Chief Innovation officer for several IT services firms. During this time, he has led technology strategy, adoption and culture change for some of the world-leading enterprise organizations. He is seen as a thought leader and partner to Hexaware’s leading clients.

About the Author

Matthias Popiolek

Matthias Popiolek

Matthias has more than 20 years of IT experience. He is dedicated to Cloud services fulltime since 2007. He has a unique set of experiences in areas including consultancy management through portfolio management, creation of cloud products, and classic data center delivery. Matthias is focused on enterprises adopting “modern delivery” as a standard way of working. In doing so, he works with customers on strategy, organization, processes and technology.

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