A THREE-PART SERIES ON CLOUD COMPUTING - PART IIIa: Cloud Migration & Adoption

by Todd J. Fisher, Thursday, February 3, 2022

A Forecast of Cloud Computing Strategies

Cloud computing strategies will likely land on a much more focused and optimized adoption of Public Cloud deployment models with a combination of SaaS and PaaS service offerings, all bundled to deliver most computing needs. More on that coming soon. 

But First, Cloud Migration & Adoption: The journey matters 

Designing a sound business strategy in today’s fast paced digital universe requires hyper-adaptive thinking and a willingness to listen, learn, and challenge assumptions. 

More so now than ever, business leaders and strategists are challenged by a new reality – an exponential acceleration in the rate of change.  Today, the future is twice as close as it was yesterday and half as close as it will be tomorrow. 

If you have been traveling along with us as we continue to share information and insights on our Knowledge Exchange, you have likely wondered, “where is Cloud Part III?” What happened to the myriad combinations and considerations to analyze and ultimately assemble the optimal combination of “Legos”? 

Simply put, the accelerating rate of change and the nature of that change is outpacing much of the “thought leadership” offered by perfectly well-meaning and very capable professionals. And I am not immune to the same challenge.  

I am also humble and rabidly curious, and that drives me to challenge what I assume to be true – a form of diligence. When preparing the third part of this series, I challenged many assumptions, including my own. Much of what I realized while performing that review over the past few months is anchored to assumptions and opinions that are really the exhaust of tradition, inflexible thinking, and certain innate biases we all have. Those assumptions often shape opinions that, over time, become etched in stone with the help of confirmation bias.

My plans were big and when I started the series, my expectations for Part III were predicated on assumptions and opinions I held at the time I conceived of the series. 

Spending a bit of time focusing on my journey to better understand The Cloud deserves attention, because the lessons and insights learned are valid; they could improve your perspective, enhance awareness of hidden biases, and result in a more adaptable, dare I say, “future proof” approach to cloud computing, and ultimately digital transformation.  

Our identity should be tied to our values and not our opinions. -  Adam Grant

Intraprise has been guided for 25 years by four core values: curiosity, humility, perseverance, and empathy.  Those values have served us well. When I started working on this three-part Cloud series, I saw a path paved by each of the three parts.  Part I established basic definitions. Part II established the myriad cloud deployment and service model combinations from which leaders must choose to build a cloud strategy optimized for a particular company.  I drove on along this path and used Legos as metaphorical building blocks, implying that the sheer number of combinations from which to choose makes for a highly complicated process when designing a cloud computing strategy.  I ended Part II, in fact, with the following paragraph highlighting what was to follow: 

Part III will focus on ways to evaluate the myriad alternative cloud migration strategies available… You’ve got the foundation, and now you’ve got the Legos. Stay tuned to learn more about how to put them together.

Industry Knowledge – Trust but Verify

I was ready to discuss the myriad ways in which cloud deployment and service models could be combined in different ways to optimize an organization’s cloud computing strategy and design. I approached this final piece in our series prepared to create various diagrams and multi-dimensional matrices to deliver a prescriptive type of post intended to explain which Lego pieces are best connected in what order to tailor a strategy unique to and optimized for any given organization. The final part of the series would bring it all together in a manner that I hoped would be useful across all types of organizations. I thought of it as a guide to the mass customization of cloud migration strategies in quantities of one uniquely optimized plan per organization. I needed to tie something complex up, nice and neat – my Legos metaphor would dull the sharp edges of the topic’s complexity.   

“Keep things as simple as possible and no simpler.” – Albert Einstein

I refreshed my combinatorial math skills, which is to say I asked my brother/business partner (who happens to be a skilled mathematician and formally trained math teacher) to remind me which rules applied when calculating the number of possible combinations of multiple items that can be formed from multiple sets of varying numbers of items and constrained by a diverse array of criteria. Regardless of that number, in my research I consistently found legitimate evidence and compelling rational arguments that challenged what I had learned previously about the state of the art in cloud computing.

I took a step back, hit the pause button, and challenged my thinking. Was I trying to serve the purpose of our Knowledge Exchange with helpful information and insights? Or was I so invested in what I thought was the right path to follow when I first conceived of the three-part series that I was driven by a confirmation bias that left me with a blind spot I needed to address.  

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

At the outset, my vision for the series gave rise to an approach that I genuinely believe served our visitors well. Part I and Part II of this series offered meaningful and relevant information that remains valid.  

Finding The Joy in Adapting to the Inevitable

In his recent book, Think Again, Adam Grant recalls a discussion with Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman; they discuss the idea that it is possible to find joy in the moments when you are proven wrong, because you have learned something new in those moments. You’re immediately less wrong than you were the moment before. Call it flexibility, adaptability, or plasticity. It’s where I have found myself in publishing this series on The Cloud. 

Humility and curiosity, in these moments of being wrong and accepting new insights, conspire to create organizations that are well-equipped to develop a sound cloud computing strategy and design approach best able to thrive during disruptive periods of rapid change.

 

Grant, Adam. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. Viking, 2021.

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