Before I get busy being all thought provoking, I’d like to re-visit a few themes and comments from a previous article written by Jim Fagan.
In his second article “Cloud is designed to fail…so fail” I noticed a few comments of concern which I thought I would address. The point of concern – why would I put my business on a cloud that is designed to fail?
I agree with the point. Running a business critical piece of software in a cloud that could fail at any moment would be like trying to ski down a slope with your eyes closed. You’ll eventually crash. But that’s not the point Jim was trying to make. As business owners its important we’re able to differentiate what I call the two fundamental use cases for cloud.
Use Case 1: Optimising your core ICT Business. Without these systems up and running you wouldn’t have your name on the door when you walk into the office each day. They are the reason you exist. These systems cannot fail and you should do everything in your power to make sure they don’t.
For legacy style businesses like Telstra, these systems are generally the hardest and most stubborn to move to the cloud. It takes a lot of planning to do it properly. It can be done, but isn’t a quick win. Which was the theme behind Jim’s last article “Don’t say can’t if you’re a legacy”. There are plenty of reasons why you would do it anyway, but I won’t cover them off in this article.
Use Case 2: Attacking new growth segments. This use case is your future! Its up there with your fancy sports car which you drive into work to appreciate your name on the door. These are brand new ideas, things which may have absolutely nothing to do with your existing core business but you think that it may be something the market is after.
The trick is you don’t really know for sure and you won’t know if you don’t try. The benefit of cloud is it enables you to try something like this quickly and be able to FAIL quickly, then move onto something else because you never know where your next big thing will come from.
So as promised, back to my point! Jim’s article focused on the old saying, “fail fast” a reworded version of the older ‘if you get knocked down, get straight back on your horse and keep going.
You need to look at how cloud can be used for your business. I can’t tell you what that is – every business is different. This is why consultancy is a critical step and a necessary cost in most businesses today.
Cloud has infinite options to choose from and you can architect it in any way you need it to, whether your application needs twelve nines of availability or just host a small website with an old product you put a clock in to sell off as a new idea.
Design the cloud your way and if you aren’t sure ask someone who can help you.