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Five Steps To Becoming A Cloud-Native Organisation

The purpose of being cloud-naive is to gain the ability of speed, quality and automation. The old ways did work, and to some extent, it still works now. The adage goes as follow: slow progress is better than no progress. Or is it slow progress is still progress? In the age of internet democratisation and cheap utility services such as cloud computing, the proverbs as mentioned earlier are no longer valid. Is it fair to say that businesses move at the speed of DevOps? Cloud-native is more than technology as it is intertwined with an organisation’s digital strategy. Based on clients interviews, Kiktronik defined five steps to a significant cloud-native transformation:

  • Digital culture
  • Operating model
  • Automation is everything
  • DevOps culture
  • Microservices architecture

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Digital culture

It is no secret that digital organisation move faster than traditional ones, and their flatter hierarchy helps speed decision making. A digital culture serves as a code of conduct that gives employees the latitude to make judgement calls and on-the-spot decisions. Organisations have to realise that there is no digital transformation without a digital culture. CIOs and other tech leaders have embraced digital transformation. Frictions start to appear when organisations with no digital culture try to move from pilot programmes to wide-scale adoption: culture clash.

According to research from Boston Consulting Group, companies who focused on culture are likely to report breakthroughs or strong financial performance five times greater than those who neglected culture. Here are some key takeaways:

  • A digital culture empowers people to deliver results faster.
  • A digital culture attracts talent.
  • A digital culture promotes an external, rather than an internal, orientation.
  • A digital culture prizes delegation over control.
  • A digital culture encourages boldness over caution.
  • A digital culture emphasises more action and less planning.
  • A digital culture values collaboration more than individual effort.

Operating model

Traditionally, organisations have a central IT command centre which dictates all activities related to technology. The command centre is the governing body for hardware, software and operations. There is no decision taken without their approval—that way of governing worked for a while but not without fissure. The fissures led to departments creating shadow IT practices. Central IT introduces issues such as a high barrier to entry, cost to change, scaling limitation and closed to innovation. Traditional organisations have to transform themselves into agile organisations to be able to design and build features quickly, test them with customers, and refine and refresh them in rapid iterations.

According to research from McKinsey, organisations deploying agile at scale have accelerated their innovation by up to 80 per cent. As previously mentioned, there are many reasons traditional organisations have not been able to successfully scale up their agile programs due to their existing operating models and organisational structures. Here is how organisations can change their operating model:

Adopt a product-oriented organisational structure
Improve interactions between the business and IT
Redefine managerial roles and responsibilities
Reconsider budgeting and planning models

Automation is Everything

Slow progress is better than no progress, or is it slow progress is better than no progress? None of the above. In the age of modern technology, speed is everything. Organisations move slowly to ensure that they deliver high-quality products and or services. As they moved to make slow progress, disruptors enter the market with innovative products and or services. Automation is a way to accelerate the delivery of new products and services while meeting the high-quality standards your company is accustomed to. The benefits of automated operations are higher productivity, reliability, availability, increased performance, and reduced operating costs. Cloud-Native empowers organisations to automate everything, everything as code.

The benefits of automation are summarised as:

  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Time-Saving
  • Enhanced Workflow Efficiencies
  • Accuracy and Consistency in Operation
  • Reduced Employee Turnover

DevOps Culture

A quote from Atlassian; DevOps culture is all about a shared understanding between developers and operations, and sharing responsibility for the software they build. That means increasing transparency, communication, and collaboration across development, IT/operations, and the business. DevOps culture stresses small, multidisciplinary teams, who work autonomously and take collective accountability for how actual users experience their software. Unlike in the past, when lengthy processes were designed to prevent changes that might lead to problems in the field, DevOps teams stress being able to move fast, understand the impact and react quickly. In 2003, DevOps was defined as; a set of cultural principles centred on the concepts of cross-fertilising expertise between software development and infrastructure operations.

Here are seven principles to an effective DevOps culture as per Kaya Ismail:

  • Foster a collaborative environment
  • Impose End-to-End Responsibility
  • Encourage Continuous Improvement
  • Automate (Almost) Everything
  • Focus on the Customer’s Needs
  • Embrace Failure, and Learn From it
  • Unite Teams – and Expertise

Microservices Architecture

There is nothing wrong with monolithic architecture is there’s such a thing. The question is not how big is your application or deployment. The real question is; how adaptable is your organisation to the market? How long does it take your organisation to respond to market changes, disruptors, downtime and demand? Microservices architecture allows organisations to develop new application faster, thus reducing their time-to-market. In today’s competitive world, it is paramount that teams work more quickly while reducing waste. The old big bang approach required software to delivered as a whole before the end-users could carry out any real-world tests. The market needs would have changed by the time the software is produced. Therefore, the microservices architecture allows an application to be broken up in loosely couple smaller services owned by autonomous teams.

Some of the clear benefits of microservices are:

  • Increase productivity
  • Faster time-to-market
  • Autonomous cross-functional teams
  • Ease of maintenances

Conclusion

To be cloud-native is to embark on an organisational transformation journey. It is much to do with culture as technology. A cloud-native organisation is one who reduces waste, increases productivity, empowers its people to achieve one single vision. They cannot be a digital transformation without a digital culture. So before embarking on your agile transformation, your new shiny integration strategy or your digital strategy, take a good look at your organisation culture.

Here is a natural order of steps to becoming a cloud-native organisation:

  • Digital culture
  • Operating model
  • Automation is everything
  • DevOps culture
  • Microservices architecture

We are conducting online workshops for organisations who wants to be more competitive and efficient is a fast-changing environment.

Think at the speed of the cloud.

Contact us for a free chat.

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