CeBIT's Cloud Conference panel – Cloud as an enabler of innovation - saw a variety of experts discussing the best way to innovate within Cloud implementations.
As part of the CeBIT 2014 Cloud Conference, Damian Cronan, CTO at Streamco, Andrew Wiles, CIO Vodafone, Matt Chamley, head of infrastructure at Woolworth’s and Alex Nemeth Di Bikal from AWS, all shared their thoughts on how to best innovate with Cloud implementations. Here are 10 of their best tips.
- Don’t buy the hype – Cloud remains just another tool in your arsenal, it is not a silver bullet to solve all your problems. Know your workload characteristics, volatile vs non-volatile data, and what can go public Cloud and what can’t.
- Fail quick, fail cheap - Cloud means you can build solutions very quickly – which also means you can experiment a lot more. If something doesn’t work, it can be discarded just as easily. If it does, you can tinker and make course corrections as you go.
- Avoid waste – Value add models when building solutions means you can invest in non-lights on tech, work with smaller, more agile teams, and respond quicker. Cut down on any excess waste wherever possible.
- Be prepared to scale – innovate rapidly with a solid project management team – once you hit an idea that works, be prepared to scale quickly on demand. Hit the market as hard as you can.
- Governance needs to change – How does your organisation invest in methodology? Are you still setting up laborious business cases, or are you getting busy innovating? You need a collaborative, open environment that encourages discovery, and doesn’t label staff.
- Keep your teams small – “no larger than two pizzas." The skill sets of the team are more important than its size.
- Chicken before the egg – If you don’t have the right culture and process, you won’t get the right people. If you don’t have the right people, you won’t get the right culture and process. This direction instead needs to come from the top of the company.
- Structure – You can’t have segregated dev and operations teams anymore, no silos. You need to build your business structure against firm deliverables.
- Security - Cloud doesn’t remove your risk, it just transfers it to a technical level. Read the fine print on any contracts, and know where your liabilities lie. It may surprise you.
- Watch your budget – while Cloud is great for ‘credit card’ builds, moving from capex to opex means your budgeting structure has changed. If several departments have all done their own ‘credit card Clouds’ you may find your business in a sprawl – and costs can rapidly spiral out of control.