The journey to Cloud is a journey to business results. While every organisation takes its own path, there are common patterns, approaches and best solutions.
Telstra infrastructure and Cloud solutions director, Craig Fulton, was at one of the sessions at the AWS Summit 2016, where he spoke about the company’s journey to the Cloud and how it had to modernise its IT operations.
Fulton spoke about how Telstra went Cloud first, encouraging businesses to do the same.
“No two Clouds are the same so we were faced with the issue of categorising our workloads. So we transitioned from legacy to Cloud optimised to Cloud native.
“That means it was a move from a classic enterprise, monolithic and bespoke model to one that was built for Cloud, automated and scalable; then to one that is elastic, API driven and born in the Cloud model,” he said.
According to Fulton, as a multi-Cloud provider using multiple Clouds, the alignment of business and Cloud was important, as was understanding who utilises it, its licensing model, the automation of it, and how secure it is.
“That is absolutely key in us having control over multiple Clouds. This is when we came up with a digitally enabled business model, Cloud migration program, and built technology resilience,” he said.
Fulton also addressed the issue of having a skilled shortage. He said Telstra faced a shortage of skilled staff that had Cloud technology expertise, even with its partners.
“Some of the new skills, we didn’t have. We had to bring in people straight out of university and then train them in Cloud. So we had to build that eco-system that is changing the culture and legacy of today.”
Another challenge he highlighted was security. Fulton said security is a big aspect of it and the company invested heavily in monitoring, tools and capabilities.
“The intelligent part is, how do you utilise them and architect it well, as well as make sure you use those capabilities well. We need to do things in a way that is better, cheaper, and faster,” he mentioned.
Licensing was also a challenge as the company had big vendor partners and suppliers had licensing agreements that weren’t applicable to the Cloud.
“We had to change our licensing model because there were legal requirements that didn’t make sense anymore with a Cloud model. That also led to the large businesses changing the ways they do things. So, moving to an OPEX model actually took a lot of work.”
Fulton suggested in keeping up with the changing times, businesses should embrace grey IT.
“What you really need to do is educate people about security and make sure they understand why it’s important. Grey IT is the same – we don’t want to stop people from developing things but also make sure that we enable them to do this.
“Cloud powered partnerships within the business itself is also important – business leadership, customer experience, product marketing and sales, operations and support, and IT solutions departments all need to work together,” he added.