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Day Two Cloud 024: Why IT Operations Needs A Cloud Strategy And How To Form One

“Strategy” seems like one of those words that executives get all excited about and deliberate over for months, while real work actually gets done every day by technical people.

But when it comes to the cloud, don’t dismiss strategy in favor of “Let’s just build it now and figure it out as we go.” That’s an excellent way to create problems for yourself, and the organization, including technical debt, unexpected costs, security and compliance trouble, and other bedevilments.

IT needs a cloud strategy that aligns high-level business goals with more nitty-gritty operational details

Today on Day Two Cloud we have a frank discussion about developing and refining a cloud strategy with IT operations in mind.

Our guest is Ed Horley. You may recognize his voice from the IPv6 Buzz podcast, which he co-hosts. He’s also co-founder and CEO of HexaBuild, an IT consultancy. Ed is also an author and a recognized expert on IPv6.

We discuss:

  • Why a strategy is important beyond the C-Suite
  • The risks of not having a strategy, including shadow IT, technical debt, the need to refactor later on, and others
  • How to incorporate general goals along with more specific operational requirements and objectives, particularly around identity and access management
  • Using discovery and documentation as you develop the strategy
  • Suggestions for getting the ever-elusive “buy-in” from various stakeholders
  • What happens when strategy runs into what people actually do

Key Takeaways:

  1. Start early and often because someone already deployed something into the cloud from your company – you just don’t know which department, what cloud, and if they did anything with best practices.
  2.  Strategy isn’t hard – consensus is. Use RACI to help move the project and decision making forward.
  3. Learn by doing – it is really hard to do strategy and architecture and never used, deployed or run any cloud infrastructure. Start with things like the AWS Well Architected Framework and other best practices.
  4. Do NOT underestimate how important identity and secrets are in the strategy – it can break your entire strategy and project if you get it wrong!

Show Links:

Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RACI) – Wikipedia

Ed Horley on Twitter – Ed Horley’s blog

IPv6 Buzz Podcast – Packet Pushers

IPv6 Buzz on Twitter

Episode 24