We have spoken about other cloud dependencies: visibility, upgrades, and networking. Now we need to talk about adoption. Not the techniques, but how you move forward. What is this change in your work life now that you are using a cloud? Why is this a change in dependency? You now have instant responsibility for things outside your control: you have new people working with you, and there is now a new way of doing things.
Just like adopting children, when you adopt the cloud, you adopt an immediate change in your life. In this case, your work life. What is outside your immediate control now controls what IT you do, how you do IT, when you do IT, why you do IT, and where IT gets done. The impact can be far-reaching. The concept of the cloud does not always prepare you for the reality of the cloud.
The day your adoption goes through and the children show up is your new reality. All the thought, planning, and discussion that happens beforehand prepares you for the beginning. It does not prepare you for that moment: the moment when IT changes. Sometimes it is subtle, but that change starts a ripple through your work life. That ripple changes everything in the end. There will be new tasks to perform, and new adaptions to make. There are changes to data protection methods, security technologies, application development, business agility, and how management sees the world.
All these changes are also impacted by the clouds in use. The changes can be small or large. How do you deal with cloud outages? What about the realm of law, such as data jurisdiction? We can plan, plan once more, and plan again—and I hope you do—to prepare for the cloud. However, one of its hidden dependencies is how its adoption impacts all elements of IT. Your preparations allow you to go with the flow and rebound as IT changes: to be agile.
The cloud provider has its own ways of managing its services, and in some cases managing your services as well, depending on the level of the cloud. SaaS providers manage everything about the application and can manage your data as well. It depends on the SaaS provider in use, the support required, and upgrades to be made. The cloud provider has a requirement to document any process that impacts a tenant and to let tenants know when such changes are made. The cloud provider needs to document its security and other practices. These are the tools provided to the cloud tenant to allow the tenant to make plans, revise plans, and smoothly have a cloud adoption.
As cloud tenants, we have the responsibility to read and document the cloud’s security and other practices while preparing a response or procedure to follow. These documents are not static. They should be living components of IT, since they will change as more cloud adoptions take place and as clouds themselves change. Clouds have many parts that we have mentioned (legal, security, data protection, management, resources, documentation, etc.), but there are also quite a few that we have not mentioned. How a tenant responds to the cloud depends on the tenant’s business type. Some want to migrate and forget; others want to be heavily involved. All, however, need to have there and back again data protection schemes in place. Just as when new parents adopt children, when a tenant adopts the cloud, the responsibility for it is in the tenant’s own hands. That responsibility is not the cloud’s, just as the responsibility is not that of the house in which those children live.
Adoption and Adapting to Change
Adopting the cloud will require you to adapt rapidly to change: to be agile in your response to elements outside your control. It also will require you to gain back some of that control by changing how security, data protection, and management happens. There are tools that help with IaaS applications (HotLink, Zerto Cloud Fabric for data protection and management, etc.), others that help with SaaS applications, and still others that help with PaaS. But the most important thing is to document your interactions with the cloud, maintain the relationships, and always know that you are in charge.
In many ways, clouds can provide structure to your environment, as they need that structure to succeed. Changes do not occur often, but when they do happen, they can have far-reaching effects. The tenant needs to be aware of how those changes are going to impact their own policies and procedures. Not just at the beginning of the relationship, but as the cloud continues to grow, tenants need to be the ones calling the shots for their environments.
Perhaps those planning on adopting the cloud need a parenting class or two. How did you prepare to adopt the cloud? How have those preparations changed as you have found out more about the cloud or as the cloud itself has changed and matured?
Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an analyst, author, architect, technologist, and out-of-the-box thinker. As an analyst, Edward looks at all things IoT, big data, cloud, security, and DevOps. As an author, he has written about virtualization and security. As an architect, Edward creates peer-reviewed reference architectures for hybrid cloud, cloud-native applications, and many other aspects of the modern business. As a technologist, Edward creates code prototypes for parts of those architectures. Edward is solving today’s problems in an implementable fashion.