Cloud Crunch
Cloud Crunch

Episode · 1 year 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 cloud Crunch The podcast for any large enterprise planning on moving to or is in the midst of moving to the cloud hosted by the cloud computing experts from Second Watch, Ian will be chief architect Cloud Solutions and Skip Very executive director of Cloud Enablement. And now, here are your hosts of Cloud Crunch. Welcome back to cloud crunch. On this episode, 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 introduce my co host once again. Skipped. Barry Skip, How you doing today? Hey, good and good. Great to be with you again. Yes, yes. And today we once again have Michael Elliott from a second watch. One of our great colleagues and who does 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 to the cloud for a reason? Maybe it was for the unlimited scalability, powerful computing capability, ease and flexibility of employment or movement from Capex topics. It could even maybe because your boss told you to. And we hear that quite a bit around here to be with way, too. Hopefully you're asking the 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 in the cloud? What should you be thinking about in terms of security and compliance? So with that, Michael, hopefully you could tell us the five things you should be considering in order to maximize the value of being on the cloud. Well, thank you, Anne. And some of this information comes from a study that we contracted externally thio to kind of pull this information in. And really, the five things that really resounded within that study were one and not really in order, but number one create competitive advantage from your AWS data or from your Microsoft data or from your Google data. But how do you create competitive advantage now that that data exists within their second one? Now, how can you use that movement to cloud to really accelerate your 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 manage security in the cloud is very different or has some very different components than how you manage in a cloud environment. Fourth is now that you have data there, what about cloud compliance? What about data compliance? What about data security? And then finally, you know, we you probably have heard this somewhat cloud spend. And how do we reduce cloud spend and in turn, use that savings to accelerate application development and deployment? Yeah, like these air some good topics... Let's let's take it a little bit from your interpretation on really that create a competitive advantage part from 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 all this data over there or you're in the process of migrating some of that data or whether it's coyote and edge computing is pulling in data or streaming data starting to come in. But all of a sudden you have this wealth off information for you to take advantage off. Great. Now what? How do I take make competitive advantage with all that data and how doe I incorporate external data into that. So it's all the data that I've created and collected about whether it's my consumers or my manufacturing operations wherever might be. But how do I also insert external data within that? And there's that's not an easy skill. And it's probably not a skill that you have in house. So you know, I'm gonna put it back to you and and skip no, from what you've seen at a high level, how are people taking and making creative competitive advantage from this? I think from my experience of recent, it's a convergence point of, you know, you have your data scientists meeting with your Data Analytics, people that are mawr on the they know how to set up the will, say the constructive side of infrastructure and what have you to support it. And now it's starting to matriculate upward into the business and working with data scientists and marketeers, if you will, on then thea other lines of business to actually learn what they can gain from this so I think, where it's not nascent, it's beyond nascent. But I think it's an evolving space 2021 will bring on, ah, lot more maturity in the space. And do you think the enterprises that you talked to have the experience have the skill set or is there a huge gap there? I think two gaps you have that the pure tactical of skill being there. But you also don't have the mind share there yet, right of that congealing thought of Hey, this is something that we could do 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 or what have you write? Using all those competitive advantages with all the user data and what have you. But now I think if you look at brick and mortar businesses, you know they're trying to emulate your Amazons, your big shopping places 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 versus just 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 what we've seen. Yeah, absolutely. And what we're also seeing is kind of the greatest success when when it actually does get executed correctly. And it's kind 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 the sales organization, the finance people, the operation. You know all the different aspects of the company that this may touch so that they truly understand. You know which way they're growing, and they're all trying to row together, because if you create a great competitive advantage but your sales people aren't bought in, you know it could be done in vain as well. So it's not just practical problems to business problem. I was going to say this is this 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 in the hand. The whole business can learn really quick. Are we doing the right thing back to a sales campaign back to, ah, product that I put out there or what have you all that kind of stuff? You could look at it really at the at that tangible level and the business mindset evolves to Hey, that didn't work 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, two years to understand what was selling what wasn't etcetera. So but getting all the way tactical back to have a platform in the cloud. Now that you're there, that's a great place to go on. Leverage it. Yeah, and it's working. I mean, this is the other thing. I'm talking about that fast intuitive cycle. The cloud technologies that continue to get launched are really closing that loop timeframe down. Really? I mean, it's unbelievable how fast these things gonna be done with the right people, making sure you have good data, you know, validating all those types of things We're talking about weeks, not months anymore. Let's talk about accelerate application development because 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 slowing down 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 that kind of lift and shift mentality of Let's just get it to the cloud and figure it out later. So I think you're seeing some application modernization that's going on with the data that's in the cloud. But I also think it's opening up some space, both within data centers and within the cloud to start looking at Well, is this application what it needs to be or to take advantage of that data? What do I need to do from a developmental perspective to modernize around that and look at application modernization? So I think that's one of the next steps that you're in the cloud now. How do I take advantage whether it's whether it's around, you know, Lambda Functions or micro services. But I think there's a big movement to start looking at. How doe 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 go to something new, right? So just it's...

...not even modernize what they used to have, it's just, let's start a fresh let's look at something. We could do it a lot faster than even re factoring, and we could do it a lot faster than we ever did before, and and the cloud provides them that opportunity. But how do you make that determination of whether I should throw the baby out with the bathwater and start over versus now, putting a big kubernetes container 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 of a total TCO, really, and and the TCO has to be inclusive of what you have for talent as well. And it's not to say that you're discarding or or any kind of attrition or what have you. But can you retool your workforce, right? Can you 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 folks of what have you if that's where you went. But it all starts with having the competency and really the confidence to go out and start to execute. And can you 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, you can. And it's not slim pickings. But you have Thio. Yeah, you have to have a process. We should probably have a podcast on that, but I might be given away 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 points there, and we're seeing more people starting to look at these applications and saying, Well, it is time it is time. And I think one of the important aspects to with that TCO is what is the customer value? What? How is the customer gonna benefit from this? And it could be an internal customer, but in the business or particularly, of course, revenue producing customers as well. It's not just often if the application is not have a lot of challenges, very monolithic, potentially, and you can't really figure out how to make it any better. Just leave that one alone and just allow it to continue to operate. But there's, of course, better models around 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 the or the advancement in databases and database platforms in the cloud has been probably undercovered story of just accelerating application development, what we have today and what's out there in the cloud as opposed to what you have to do on Prem and what you had, you know, for just databases toe work with that scale, that that little nugget there of history, that we're where we have evolved over the last 5 to 10 years has really accelerated application development itself so well. And that kind of brings in. You know, we've looked at application application development. We've looked at taking advantage of your data. What about security and all this? Because that was one of the third things that came up within. This is cloud is different, and you need to look at security probably a little bit differently in the cloud.

And I have no expertise around this. So I'm gonna push back to you and say, how is it different? What do you need to be thinking at? From the highest level perspective? Yeah, absolutely. You know, security is not going anywhere, right? I mean, we're only continue to see more and more vectors of threats out there. So you got to take it very seriously that, you know, one of the blessings and the curses of the cloud is you could go fast. So that means you can also make a lot of mistakes very quickly if you don't put the proper guardrails in. So really establishing that that foundational component of what your compliance and security posture is going to be and building it into the whole framework of automation and how you deploy thing self service. So it's almost done automatically. But you 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 cloud providers. You know, we're getting mawr into DLP or data loss protection type tooling 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 with existing vendor. That's okay, you know, keep doing that. But really looking at how to use the cloud essentially long and analyze that data is very, very critical for the, uh, audit aspect, because you could make it immutable and unbelievable is, well, which is another key component. But, you know, go out there and talk to people. Find out what they're doing. There's a lot of great patterns out there. We're seeing Mawr instances where people are hybrid and what's getting attacked is really there on Prem things because it's more legacy based, and it's not because they stopped investing in it, but it's just done in a different way. Where the cloud native there's a lot of on, and I would never say, Oh, it's automatic, you know? And you gotta work at it. But there are a lot of schools that are built into it to really kind of simplify it. Yeah, inherent. That's right. That's where I was going to go is well, uh, not to cut you off. But I think if you're still holding on to that argument that the cloud is not secure in 2021 then it has some nice parting gifts for you at the end of the show. Come on. Right and look at nothing. Secure and I to throw it. Another acronym to my dear colleague Ian, you know, K I s s keep it simple. I think all of us have a responsibility to 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 and you go to any kind of length of extravagance. Beyond that, you're you're exposing yourself even further. And that's never changed. And and back Thio Ian's point there. That you left off on, you know, inherently the cloud and 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? So absolutely, absolutely. There's a lot more warnings that that creep in when you try to do something that may not be the best fit. But, you know, it all comes down to in a lot of cases. Still, people problem. And, you know, that's why proper Claude training, I think, is...

...essential. And also just in a really reiterating 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 take advantage of the cloud Native technologies to help so again training, training, training and awareness and then just really following the best benchmarks and best practices out there If you're confused of where to start and you don't really have ah industry compliance that's driving something specific. Look at the CS benchmarks, you know, also notice stands top 20. Great, great starting point. You follow those types of things. You know, your your your way ahead of most people already so kind of the the sister to security is governance and compliance. And how do you How do you satisfy socks audits with your data in the cloud? And I think, you know, going back to just the amount of data that's going in there. I think there's a huge gap that people are missing around just managing the data from a compliance and governance perspective. And what have you seen as far as how do you ensure that you're managing compliance that you're managing? That was moderate, I think so, for for me, from my vantage point, you know, Ian has probably not a different perspective, but a little bit different experience because he's at the different end of it. But from a delivery aspect. And when we're doing this, the talk track really is that you're all the CSP is the major CS piece that you're that you're potentially in already or going to. You know, it's in their vested interest to actually make it really easy for a company, especially in enterprise, to go in there right, so they're going to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. They're going to make it. So it is almost foolproof, right? So, again, back to even the security side of the thing you know, so compliance now becomes everyone's job. But it's the bed is made for you, really, at the end of the day. And I think if you're struggling with that as a as a company and what have you, it's more of a business problem that you should probably investigate, how you understand compliance and what is required of your business. And then you find the right cloud or multi cloud, if you will, and then you find a way to weave that into your business. I don't think you know the goalpost really hasn't moved. I think it's got a lot mawr amenable for customers to go into the cloud and make use of it both. You know, all the major CSP air really on their game, their true, but they make it easy for you. But when you get audited, 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 of times. I have to explain to people Yes, A W s azure GDP. They're all sock compliant. That doesn't mean when you move your things into the cloud, you are a swell because they all have a shared responsibility model. Yes, they're verifying who can enter the data centers and doing all those types of things as far as the physical, physical security and hyper visor security. But when it comes up to your...

...application and data, that's really where you know your compliance and security need toe really focus so but they also provide a lot of great guidance. If you If you just search for pick your favorite cloud provider and your compliance framework that you need to follow and put the word best practices, you're probably gonna find a 400 page document and then also a 30 page document that summarizes it and that that that's where you start. Start there. But it really you know what we want to see. People Dio is really built in the foundation, these compliance and security aspects from the beginning. That doesn't you'll never get it from the beginning, by the way, you know it's it's an ideal goal, but because you've already got some people dabbling and that test thing that you did became production overnight and you didn't even realize it. But really start there and get the tools and the visibility and and learn how to look at these things. 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 part of your compliance program. Yeah, that's interesting, because in the cloud, there really are no guard rails. If you don't want them to be, you can scale infinitely. You get in trouble really, really quick, so you could take that safety right off. Yes, you can. Eso The last point I brought in was around reducing cloud spend and by reducing cloud spend like if you're an enterprise agreement that can open up space for other application development or test things, you know, allow you thio be a little more experimental. But ah, lot of people are focused on I got in the cloud it grew. It grew. Now that Bill's huge what are some of the ways that we can reduce cloud spin? So there'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 of give some highlights around it. But definitely it's putting in Get the first thing is visibility so that you understand what you're spending and where, so things as simple as tagging your workloads and your different services correctly so that you could look at it in that angle. So it be related Thio particular business unit, a particular environment, whether it be a production or non production environment, how the criticality of it, those types of things. But making sure that you have that in there that those standards already there, that will really help you being able to do the analysis, but watching it and making sure that you're you're eliminating waste. So again a little bit of automation so that you have backups. You're not retaining them forever. Whenever you're compliance, is it maybe 30 days? It could be 13 months, just depending on the type of compliance aspect, but and making sure that you have life cycles to these backups because we see a lot of waste, particularly in snapshots. Unused resource is so that is Oh, well, I did these things. They turn them off. But you're still paying for the storage. You have databases that you spun up that haven't been connected to for a month. Maybe you can consolidate those into other things. So there's a lot of...

...variety of different ways, Uh, in the in the in the cloud, native tools. So they all provide some type of cost analysis. Visibility start there. There are third party products as well out there that you could definitely use When you get into more of an enterprise situation. I mean, I could probably rattle off 10. Right now, they all do some function that will help you with that. But again, it's reporting, reporting, reporting. And when we go back and we talk about things like Cloud Center of Excellence is making sure that you have a finance person on on 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 off of 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 mentioned it 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 this as where you had, you know, three toe, five year Andy and even said in some cases, seven year cycle of hardware trying to leverage. You know, Now you have you know, you could monthly, you could go and make make better use of the resource is that you're consuming in the cloud, right? So it is very much a mindset of methodology that needs to be flipped with inside the folks that are responsible for that. We mentioned about having this ingrained with inside your 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 something cost 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 the granularity now, you can assign these costs directly to the business unit and so that now they they want to know how much it's costing them because they're going 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 continues to stay profitable. This is fantastic. But before we go, I kind of want to wrap up. If there's one thing that you think it's the overarching aspect of this Michael what? What would you tell somebody? Just the first thing they should do once they get in the cloud. Well, that's tough to say. That one thing, that one overarching things. I think it it really depends on looking at your business and seeing what is from a meeting. 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 are you risk adverse? And you wanna look at the risk side of things? Do you want to get better alignment with your customers and figure out how to do you know, digital transformation around that? So it really depends on you. But what I've tried to do is here some five things to think about and see what matters 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 great thing 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 to hear your wonderful voice. Eso Thanks again, everybody for joining. We'll be taking 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 at Cloud Crunch at second watch dot com for comments, ideas and suggestions. You've been listening to Cloud Crunch with Ian Willoughby and Skip Berries. For more information, check out the blogged. Second watch dot com slash company slash vlog or reach out to second watch on Twitter.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (43)