Most businesses know it’s time to make their move to the cloud. But doing it is easier said than done. Among the many hurdles are IT organizations that simply aren’t ready for the move.
The McKinsey article, “Building a cloud-ready operating model for agility and resiliency” sums up the problem this way: “One of the main reasons for this difficulty is that IT’s operating model remains stuck in a quagmire of legacy processes, methodologies, and technologies.”
However, the article says, there are four specific problems companies can address that will put them on solid, sustainable footing for the move to the cloud.
Problems Holding Companies Back from Cloud Readiness
The first problem, according to the article, are the legacies caused by manual intervention. It explains, “Many companies still function on a manual-intervention-based operating model. Manually performing such tasks as submitting a ticket to make an update or offering multiple service catalogs to different departments hurts application reliability and slows time to market.”
The next problem is a lack of ownership clarity. The article puts it this way: “Fragmented lines of responsibility create confusion about who should be doing which tasks. It’s not uncommon, for example, to find dozens of IT infrastructure specialists on a production-incident resolution call because no one is certain who owns the task.”
Third, is misaligned success metrics. The article notes: “Service-level metrics are traditionally defined by activities or individual team outputs, and funding is based on volume. This creates an incentive to increase the amount of activity, rather than improve performance.”
The final issue is “Too much operations, too little engineering. Typically, in many I&O departments, as many as six in ten people—system administrators, first-level support and monitoring technicians, and second-level infrastructure specialists who fulfill service requests—focus on operations, while fewer than three in ten focus on engineering new capabilities, and the balance provide managerial support.”
Solving Problems for Cloud Readiness
To solve these problems and build a new IT infrastructure operating model for the cloud, the article recommends that companies:
- Adopt a site-reliability-engineer model This requires using site reliability engineers, who are, in the article’s words, “The glue that binds application development and core infrastructure services. They work cross-functionally, partnering with application developers, application operations, and infrastructure teams.”
- Design infrastructure services as products This means organizing “based on the infrastructure products…rather than by roles. To do so, companies must build agile product teams made up of people with relevant areas of expertise, including product owners, solution architects, infrastructure and software engineers, and security specialists.”
- Manage outcomes versus activities The article explains, “Setting objectives and key results (OKRs) at the outset of the transformation helps application development and infrastructure teams align on what they want to achieve with their new, agile, automated IT infrastructure.”
- Build an engineering-focused talent model The article notes, “As companies move away from manual solutions, they will need to build a bench of engineering talent that can develop automated infrastructure solutions, such as an automated, self-healing, virtual machine that can find errors or malfunctions and solve them independently.”
How to Move to the Cloud Now: Alpha Cloud
If you’re looking to move to the cloud, consider the Alpha Cloud app hosting environment. It takes care of installing and maintaining server software needed to run your Alpha Anywhere applications, allowing you to focus on building your business applications.
We know that you may need to move your deployments to the cloud, and that takes one kind of expertise. And we also know you may want to redeploy your applications on a different cloud platform (for example moving from virtual machines to containers or even to Kubernetes), and that takes another set of skills.
Those are good reasons to move to Alpha Cloud. On Alpha Cloud, the deployment is managed for you automatically with self-service dialogs. And Alpha Cloud removes the need to hire or train cloud experts to get there.
Alpha Cloud is elastic, so scales as needed, and automated so no manual work is required to use it. It’s highly reliable, with redundancy and fail-over; its shared resources make it possible to spread out the workload among multiple data centers and servers. It’s self-service as well, so you can get it immediately.
Alpha Cloud, Cloud Readiness Presentations at Alpha DevCon 2021
At this week's Alpha DevCon 2021 event, we'll have several sessions covering the benefits of Alpha Cloud, including:
- Wednesday, 1:15 p.m. - Cloud DevOps
What you need to know for smooth Development Operations on the Alpha Cloud.
- Thursday, 4:00 p..m - Cloud Costs, Usage, and Troubleshooting
What you need to know to control costs and find errors and inefficiencies.