Cloud Crunch
Cloud Crunch

Episode · 6 months ago

S2E09: You’re on the Cloud. Now What? 5 Strategies to Maximize Your Cloud’s Value


You migrated your applications to the cloud for a reason. Now that you're there, what’s next? How do you take advantage of your applications and data that reside in the cloud? What should you be thinking about in terms of security and compliance? In this first episode of a 5-part series, we discuss 5 strategies you should consider to maximize the value of being on the cloud.

...involve Solve, evolve. Welcome to cloudCrunch The podcast for any large enterprise planning on moving to or isin the midst of moving to the cloud hosted by the cloud computing expertsfrom Second Watch, Ian will be chief architect Cloud Solutions and Skip Veryexecutive director of Cloud Enablement. And now, here are your hosts of CloudCrunch. Welcome back to cloud crunch. On thisepisode, we're gonna be talking about what you do when you're in the cloud.Now what? So let's set the stage. But before I do that, I want to introducemy co host once again. Skipped. Barry Skip, How you doing today? Hey, goodand good. Great to be with you again. Yes, yes. And today we once again haveMichael Elliott from a second watch. One of our great colleagues and whodoes a lot of great research out the field. Michael, how you doing today?Doing well. It's a pleasure joining. Thank you. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.So let me set the stage here for a little bit for our our listeners here.What we're gonna be discussing. So you've migrated your applications tothe cloud for a reason? Maybe it was for the unlimited scalability, powerfulcomputing capability, ease and flexibility of employment or movementfrom Capex topics. It could even maybe because your boss told you to. And wehear that quite a bit around here to be with way, too. Hopefully you're askingthe wise behind that one. However you got there, you're there. So what's next?How do you take advantage of your applications and data that reside inthe cloud? What should you be thinking about in terms of security andcompliance? So with that, Michael, hopefully you could tell us the fivethings you should be considering in order to maximize the value of being onthe cloud. Well, thank you, Anne. And some of this information comes from astudy that we contracted externally thio to kind of pull this informationin. And really, the five things that really resounded within that study wereone and not really in order, but number one create competitive advantage fromyour AWS data or from your Microsoft data or from your Google data. But howdo you create competitive advantage now that that data exists within theirsecond one? Now, how can you use that movement to cloud to really accelerateyour application development. The third one, how can you increase the security?And we've talked about this in previous podcast. But you know how you managesecurity in the cloud is very different or has some very different componentsthan how you manage in a cloud environment. Fourth is now that youhave data there, what about cloud compliance? What about data compliance?What about data security? And then finally, you know, we you probably haveheard this somewhat cloud spend. And how do we reduce cloud spend and inturn, use that savings to accelerate application development and deployment?Yeah, like these air some good topics here. Let's let's take it a little bitfrom your interpretation on really that create a competitive advantage partfrom the data. We're definitely seeing this more and more. And and it's what?What are you seeing? Well, I mean, first of all, you've you've loaded allthis data over there or you're in the process of migrating some of that dataor whether it's coyote and edge computing is pulling in data orstreaming data starting to come in. But all of a sudden you have this wealthoff information for you to take advantage off. Great. Now what? How do I take makecompetitive advantage with all that data and how doe I incorporate externaldata into that. So it's all the data that I've created and collected aboutwhether it's my consumers or my manufacturing operations wherever mightbe. But how do I also insert external data within that? And there's that'snot an easy skill. And it's probably not a skill that you have in house. Soyou know, I'm gonna put it back to you...

...and and skip no, from what you've seenat a high level, how are people taking and making creative competitiveadvantage from this? I think from my experience of recent, it's aconvergence point of, you know, you have your data scientists meeting withyour Data Analytics, people that are mawr on the they know how to set up thewill, say the constructive side of infrastructure and what have you tosupport it. And now it's starting to matriculate upward into the businessand working with data scientists and marketeers, if you will, on then theaother lines of business to actually learn what they can gain from this so Ithink, where it's not nascent, it's beyond nascent. But I think it's anevolving space 2021 will bring on, ah, lot more maturity in the space. And doyou think the enterprises that you talked to have the experience have theskill set or is there a huge gap there? I think two gaps you have that the puretactical of skill being there. But you also don't have the mind share thereyet, right of that congealing thought of Hey, this is something that we coulddo to make the company more performance, be more competitive. And what have you,Um, you see it a lot. I think hotel industry, travel industry broadly orwhat have you write? Using all those competitive advantages with all theuser data and what have you. But now I think if you look at brick and mortarbusinesses, you know they're trying to emulate your Amazons, your big shoppingplaces of what have you and it's all back direct to customer experience,right At the end of the day, so and one thing you know, beyond just vertical,it's different departments that have a more vested interest in the data versusjust your traditional i T department. So it's the department's its marketing,its finance. They're kind of leading some of these initiatives, is whatwe've seen. Yeah, absolutely. And what we're also seeing is kind of thegreatest success when when it actually does get executed correctly. And it'skind of add on to what Skip said there. And we talk about this all the time.It's creating that business case and what the outcomes are on the front end.But it's not just doing it in a vacuum. Its's doing it with it could be thesales organization, the finance people, the operation. You know all thedifferent aspects of the company that this may touch so that they trulyunderstand. You know which way they're growing, and they're all trying to rowtogether, because if you create a great competitive advantage but your salespeople aren't bought in, you know it could be done in vain as well. So it'snot just practical problems to business problem. I was going to say this isthis is interesting. It's an abstract of this, but it is a contract to that.Fail fast, learn and go do it again as well right now you have that data inthe hand. The whole business can learn really quick. Are we doing the rightthing back to a sales campaign back to, ah, product that I put out there orwhat have you all that kind of stuff? You could look at it really at the atthat tangible level and the business mindset evolves to Hey, that didn'twork out. Let's go back to the drawing board and you're getting back in, like,a 30 day cycle, as opposed Thio. What used to take six months a year, twoyears to understand what was selling what wasn't etcetera. So but gettingall the way tactical back to have a platform in the cloud. Now that you'rethere, that's a great place to go on. Leverage it. Yeah, and it's working. Imean, this is the other thing. I'm talking about that fast intuitive cycle.The cloud technologies that continue to get launched are really closing thatloop timeframe down. Really? I mean, it's unbelievable how fast these thingsgonna be done with the right people, making sure you have good data, youknow, validating all those types of things We're talking about weeks, notmonths anymore. Let's talk about accelerate application developmentbecause that seems to fit hand in glove with what we were just talking about.But it that's really maturing. It really came up 2020 2019, obviously,but definitely definitely this year for certain. And I don't see it slowingdown for 2021 with a lot of the customers were actively working with,Well, I What I've seen is, at first...

...there was such a huge movement of thatkind of lift and shift mentality of Let's just get it to the cloud andfigure it out later. So I think you're seeing some application modernizationthat's going on with the data that's in the cloud. But I also think it'sopening up some space, both within data centers and within the cloud to startlooking at Well, is this application what it needs to be or to takeadvantage of that data? What do I need to do from a developmental perspectiveto modernize around that and look at application modernization? So I thinkthat's one of the next steps that you're in the cloud now. How do I takeadvantage whether it's whether it's around, you know, Lambda Functions ormicro services. But I think there's a big movement to start looking at. Howdoe I modernize my applications for sure we see it in the trenches here.There's a lot of back in the, you know, the five ours and what have you. I mean,people are just looking to just say, Retire that mess right and and just goto something new, right? So just it's not even modernize what they used tohave, it's just, let's start a fresh let's look at something. We could do ita lot faster than even re factoring, and we could do it a lot faster than weever did before, and and the cloud provides them that opportunity. But howdo you make that determination of whether I should throw the baby outwith the bathwater and start over versus now, putting a big kubernetescontainer around it and go in that round? How do you start to look at that?At least at the highest level? I think it's a you have to have the mindset ofa total TCO, really, and and the TCO has to be inclusive of what you havefor talent as well. And it's not to say that you're discarding or or any kindof attrition or what have you. But can you retool your workforce, right? Canyou bring someone in like like a second watch? Come in and work side by side.Teach, learn, grow and get there faster than you could by even hiring new folksof what have you if that's where you went. But it all starts with having thecompetency and really the confidence to go out and start to execute. And canyou even go out and get the resource? Is Can you hire? The resource is Well,you're speaking my language. It's a tough game out there, but But yes, youcan. And it's not slim pickings. But you have Thio. Yeah, you have to have aprocess. We should probably have a podcast on that, but I might be givenaway some secrets, you know? Yeah, the labor markets, too constrained already.Don't tell people how to win at this. No, I think it's it all valid pointsthere, and we're seeing more people starting to look at these applicationsand saying, Well, it is time it is time. And I think one of the importantaspects to with that TCO is what is the customer value? What? How is thecustomer gonna benefit from this? And it could be an internal customer, butin the business or particularly, of course, revenue producing customers aswell. It's not just often if the application is not have a lot ofchallenges, very monolithic, potentially, and you can't reallyfigure out how to make it any better. Just leave that one alone and justallow it to continue to operate. But there's, of course, better modelsaround how toe take care of those applications than there were before us.Well, I think the big key driver to here has been the proliferation or theor the advancement in databases and database platforms in the cloud hasbeen probably undercovered story of just accelerating applicationdevelopment, what we have today and what's out there in the cloud asopposed to what you have to do on Prem and what you had, you know, for justdatabases toe work with that scale, that that little nugget there ofhistory, that we're where we have evolved over the last 5 to 10 years hasreally accelerated application development itself so well. And thatkind of brings in. You know, we've looked at application applicationdevelopment. We've looked at taking advantage of your data. What aboutsecurity and all this? Because that was one of the third things that came upwithin. This is cloud is different, and you need to look at security probably alittle bit differently in the cloud.

And I have no expertise around this. SoI'm gonna push back to you and say, how is it different? What do you need to bethinking at? From the highest level perspective? Yeah, absolutely. You know,security is not going anywhere, right? I mean, we're only continue to see moreand more vectors of threats out there. So you got to take it very seriouslythat, you know, one of the blessings and the curses of the cloud is youcould go fast. So that means you can also make a lot of mistakes veryquickly if you don't put the proper guardrails in. So really establishingthat that foundational component of what your compliance and securityposture is going to be and building it into the whole framework of automationand how you deploy thing self service. So it's almost done automatically. Butyou also have to use all the cloud native tools that you can most of them,you know, some of them are free that they're specific to those cloudproviders. You know, we're getting mawr into DLP or data loss protection typetooling I. D. S. I. P s intrusion detection and prevention, of course.And you know, USA's much you can you may have an existing relationship withexisting vendor. That's okay, you know, keep doing that. But really looking athow to use the cloud essentially long and analyze that data is very, verycritical for the, uh, audit aspect, because you could make it immutable andunbelievable is, well, which is another key component. But, you know, go outthere and talk to people. Find out what they're doing. There's a lot of greatpatterns out there. We're seeing Mawr instances where people are hybrid andwhat's getting attacked is really there on Prem things because it's more legacybased, and it's not because they stopped investing in it, but it's justdone in a different way. Where the cloud native there's a lot of on, and Iwould never say, Oh, it's automatic, you know? And you gotta work at it. Butthere are a lot of schools that are built into it to really kind ofsimplify it. Yeah, inherent. That's right. That's where I was going to gois well, uh, not to cut you off. But I think if you're still holding on tothat argument that the cloud is not secure in 2021 then it has some niceparting gifts for you at the end of the show. Come on. Right and look atnothing. Secure and I to throw it. Another acronym to my dear colleagueIan, you know, K I s s keep it simple. I think all of us have a responsibilityto not build these. You know, Labyrinth, whatever applications, if you will.What have you write? Solve the problem. Do it as simply as you can. You know,there's eloquence and simplicity, right? And you have to follow that model andyou go to any kind of length of extravagance. Beyond that, you'reyou're exposing yourself even further. And that's never changed. And and backThio Ian's point there. That you left off on, you know, inherently the cloudand cloud native is secure by design, not foolproof, but But by and large,we're a lot further along than we were, you know, 10, 15 years ago, right? Soabsolutely, absolutely. There's a lot more warnings that that creep in whenyou try to do something that may not be the best fit. But, you know, it allcomes down to in a lot of cases. Still, people problem. And, you know, that'swhy proper Claude training, I think, is essential. And also just in a reallyreiterating from the culture that security is everybody's job as well.But not just saying that training them what? How is it that you can takeadvantage of the cloud Native technologies to help so again training,training, training and awareness and then just really following the bestbenchmarks and best practices out there If you're confused of where to startand you don't really have ah industry compliance that's driving somethingspecific. Look at the CS benchmarks, you know, also notice stands top 20.Great, great starting point. You follow those types of things. You know, youryour your way ahead of most people already so kind of the the sister tosecurity is governance and compliance. And how do you How do you satisfy socksaudits with your data in the cloud? And I think, you know, going back to justthe amount of data that's going in there. I think there's a huge gap thatpeople are missing around just managing...

...the data from a compliance andgovernance perspective. And what have you seen as far as how do you ensurethat you're managing compliance that you're managing? That was moderate, Ithink so, for for me, from my vantage point, you know, Ian has probably not adifferent perspective, but a little bit different experience because he's atthe different end of it. But from a delivery aspect. And when we're doingthis, the talk track really is that you're all the CSP is the major CSpiece that you're that you're potentially in already or going to. Youknow, it's in their vested interest to actually make it really easy for acompany, especially in enterprise, to go in there right, so they're going todo a lot of the heavy lifting for you. They're going to make it. So it isalmost foolproof, right? So, again, back to even the security side of thething you know, so compliance now becomes everyone's job. But it's thebed is made for you, really, at the end of the day. And I think if you'restruggling with that as a as a company and what have you, it's more of abusiness problem that you should probably investigate, how youunderstand compliance and what is required of your business. And then youfind the right cloud or multi cloud, if you will, and then you find a way toweave that into your business. I don't think you know the goalpost reallyhasn't moved. I think it's got a lot mawr amenable for customers to go intothe cloud and make use of it both. You know, all the major CSP air really ontheir game, their true, but they make it easy for you. But when you getaudited, they're not responsible. That's true. Yeah, absolutely right,right? No. Yeah. And I think that's, uh I've struggled with this a couple oftimes. I have to explain to people Yes, A W s azure GDP. They're all sockcompliant. That doesn't mean when you move your things into the cloud, youare a swell because they all have a shared responsibility model. Yes,they're verifying who can enter the data centers and doing all those typesof things as far as the physical, physical security and hyper visorsecurity. But when it comes up to your application and data, that's reallywhere you know your compliance and security need toe really focus so butthey also provide a lot of great guidance. If you If you just search forpick your favorite cloud provider and your compliance framework that you needto follow and put the word best practices, you're probably gonna find a400 page document and then also a 30 page document that summarizes it andthat that that's where you start. Start there. But it really you know what wewant to see. People Dio is really built in the foundation, these compliance andsecurity aspects from the beginning. That doesn't you'll never get it fromthe beginning, by the way, you know it's it's an ideal goal, but becauseyou've already got some people dabbling and that test thing that you did becameproduction overnight and you didn't even realize it. But really start thereand get the tools and the visibility and and learn how to look at thesethings. And then automation is your friend as well. So with the guardrails,So kickback things when you are trying to do something that would not be partof your compliance program. Yeah, that's interesting, because in thecloud, there really are no guard rails. If you don't want them to be, you canscale infinitely. You get in trouble really, really quick, so you could takethat safety right off. Yes, you can. Eso The last point I brought in wasaround reducing cloud spend and by reducing cloud spend like if you're anenterprise agreement that can open up space for other application developmentor test things, you know, allow you thio be a little more experimental. Butah, lot of people are focused on I got in the cloud it grew. It grew. Now thatBill's huge what are some of the ways that we can reduce cloud spin? Sothere's some interesting constructs within that that we could talk about.Yeah, definitely. I mean, this is this is a topic in itself, so I'll kind ofgive some highlights around it. But definitely it's putting in Get thefirst thing is visibility so that you understand what you're spending andwhere, so things as simple as tagging...

...your workloads and your differentservices correctly so that you could look at it in that angle. So it berelated Thio particular business unit, a particular environment, whether it bea production or non production environment, how the criticality of it,those types of things. But making sure that you have that in there that thosestandards already there, that will really help you being able to do theanalysis, but watching it and making sure that you're you're eliminatingwaste. So again a little bit of automation so that you have backups.You're not retaining them forever. Whenever you're compliance, is it maybe30 days? It could be 13 months, just depending on the type of complianceaspect, but and making sure that you have life cycles to these backupsbecause we see a lot of waste, particularly in snapshots. Unusedresource is so that is Oh, well, I did these things. They turn them off. Butyou're still paying for the storage. You have databases that you spun upthat haven't been connected to for a month. Maybe you can consolidate thoseinto other things. So there's a lot of variety of different ways, Uh, in thein the in the cloud, native tools. So they all provide some type of costanalysis. Visibility start there. There are third party products as well outthere that you could definitely use When you get into more of an enterprisesituation. I mean, I could probably rattle off 10. Right now, they all dosome function that will help you with that. But again, it's reporting,reporting, reporting. And when we go back and we talk about things likeCloud Center of Excellence is making sure that you have a finance person onon your cloud team as well. That knows how to look at these things very well.They'll get educated on it very quickly, and I was just gonna say the Segway offof that again on the delivery side of things and helping customers get there.It's really the mindset thing again, right? Look at this as a We mentionedit talking with Jeff Collins yesterday when we were speaking about this is,well, colleague Jeff Collins. It's the mindset that you have to approach thisas where you had, you know, three toe, five year Andy and even said in somecases, seven year cycle of hardware trying to leverage. You know, Now youhave you know, you could monthly, you could go and make make better use ofthe resource is that you're consuming in the cloud, right? So it is very mucha mindset of methodology that needs to be flipped with inside the folks thatare responsible for that. We mentioned about having this ingrained with insideyour cco. We perhaps just helping drive the culture a little bit differently,understanding your spend from that way. I t really shouldn't be a somethingcost anymore in the business. It should be an enabler for top line growth.Really? So yeah, and I think that's a very good point. And with thegranularity now, you can assign these costs directly to the business unit andso that now they they want to know how much it's costing them because they'regoing to get the charge back at the end of the month or the end of the quarter.So they want that visibility to make sure that their business unit continuesto stay profitable. This is fantastic. But before we go, Ikind of want to wrap up. If there's one thing that you think it's theoverarching aspect of this Michael what? What would you tell somebody? Just thefirst thing they should do once they get in the cloud. Well, that's tough tosay. That one thing, that one overarching things. I think it itreally depends on looking at your business and seeing what is from ameeting. Your business goals, not your I t. Goals, but your business goals.What is really the most important for you as an organization to achieve areyou risk adverse? And you wanna look at the risk side of things? Do you want toget better alignment with your customers and figure out how to do youknow, digital transformation around that? So it really depends on you. Butwhat I've tried to do is here some five things to think about and see whatmatters most within your organization and then make decisions based on that.So focus on the business. Got it. Okay, No, I think that's a That's a greatthing that for everybody to remember,...'s not always a technical challenge.Obviously, there's plenty of those, but it's often a business challenge. Well,that's This is fantastic, Michael. Thanks again, Skip. Always great tohear your wonderful voice. Eso Thanks again, everybody for joining. We'll betaking a more in depth look at some of these areas that are next four episodes.But until then, thank you for listening and please feel free to email is atCloud Crunch at second watch dot com for comments, ideas and suggestions. You've been listening to Cloud Crunchwith Ian Willoughby and Skip Berries. For more information, check out theblogged. Second watch dot com slash company slash vlog or reach out tosecond watch on Twitter.

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