October 30, 2014

Dreaming of a Cloud Transition and Transformation Framework

By Scott Andersen

Cloud Transition and Transformation Framework

Many years ago I was introduced to the concepts that comprise the visual architecture process. During the process of learning about the concepts and process of visual architecture, I adopted many of the concepts, ideas and tools to use in my own processes.

In particular, there was a component that has resonated for me all these years later. To create a positive vision statement about a solution by looking forward 5 years after a successful implementation of the overall solution and reviewing the what and how of success.

I’ve been talking and arguing quite a bit about the need for a unifying theory related to the overall concept of a cloud transformation framework. The loosely coupled solutions companies, governments and even individuals could use to securely and happily move their solution to a cloud service provider. The Rosetta Stone for cloud migrations.

How did we end up with a flexible vendor-neutral cloud transformation framework?

First off it wasn’t easy. A number of CSP’s built their own cloud transformation frameworks (CTF) so the initial work we had to do was sort through all the different frameworks to find the right mix of components to have a rationalized framework.

The creation of a standards body that was comprised of CSP’s, SI’s, interested organizations and members from various leading cloud standards groups was the next step. That took some time more because of all the different CTF’s that were out there and because of the overall politics. Luckily there were the cloud neutral sites such as CloudTweaks, that kept us on track. See the whole cloud not just the part you are considering.

The biggest hurdle ended up being the move. We had to push CTF programs to governance within the various architectural groups that were out there. CTF’s weren’t just moving data and applications from on premise solutions to cloud solutions they were about shifting governance to a new model.

Getting people to see in the end that it was about governance and shifting governance to a new cloud-based solution brought the whole thing together. The last hurdle that we cleared recently, in fact, was the terminology. That was a kettle of fish to open. Different parts of the industry (customer, provider, support) had different views of words and their meaning.

Developing building and in the end agreeing to the common taxonomy of cloud transformation terms was the fun part. We agreed that the term migration meant you were moving the user’s security information, the application, the data and in the end any connections and interfaces to any other system. We agreed that a cloud transition could have steps but for the most part should be an automated move of resources from one system to another. A cloud transformation was the concept of improving the processes, procedures and the application itself.

We got there. We developed common data standards, common definitions of terms and words and finally we had a great party. The first successful cloud transitions happened within weeks. The first big cloud transformations began happening almost right away.

It’s how we built the Cloud Transformation and Transition Framework.

By Scott Andersen

Scott Andersen

Scott Andersen is the managing partner and Chief Technology Officer of Creative Technology & Innovation. During his 25+ years in the technology industry Scott has followed many technology trends down the rabbit hole. From early adopter to last person selecting a technology Scott has been on all sides. Today he loves spending time on his boat, with his family and backing many Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects.
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