Cloud Native Transformation Patterns: Business Case

 

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Moving to Cloud Native is a huge undertaking for any enterprise. Why should a company even think about taking the leap, when currently there is no major failure or problem? Traditionally, the safest course has been to avoid change unless or until something is broken, and so most companies have internalized a culture of risk aversion.

So, for such enterprises, the very first question (way, waaay before we get to “When can we implement Kubernetes?”) is, Why do it at all?

If your executive team does not understand the benefits to be gained from a Cloud Native migration, they will be hesitant to support the initiative. Creating a strong Business Case will demonstrate how the serious advantages conferred by going Cloud Native will specifically benefit your company, and in turn inspire commitment from its leaders. Even in — especially in — a risk-adverse environment.

Context:

Your company is experiencing pressure from external advisors or internal tech teams to move to Cloud Native — but the benefits of the transformation are not clear to the executive team.

Meanwhile, many current (non-CN) initiatives may also be competing for funding and focus. The only way executives can prioritize is by business case.

Problem:

When an organisation’s leadership does not fully understand the advantages that would result from a CN migration, they are unlikely to support the initiative. They may fail to dedicate sufficient finances and resources to the effort, or simply decline to undertake it at all.

Forces:

  • The traditional model is for organisations to be massively risk averse,  to minimise uncertainty at all costs.
  • Wholesale risk aversion becomes embedded in the company culture so that it becomes impossible to even recognise the value of reducing risk
  • Change-averse culture avoids new technologies or experimental approaches
  • Cloud Native architectures are, by nature, conceptually different from traditional approaches, merging careful up-front planning with flexible and mutable, experimentation-based implementation.

Solution:

Create a formal business case to help educate the organisation’s executive team.

  • The business case must be meaningful for the executive team, substantiating concrete value that will advance corporate strategy and financial performance.
  • It must also describe CN’s other, somewhat more abstract, benefits, including:
    • accelerated delivery velocity
    • seamless scalability
    • potential cost savings
    • enhanced recruitment and retention of tech staff

Outcome:

The business case for a Cloud Native transformation is clear.

  • Your company’s decision makers have a clear understanding of the advantages CN confers and are ready to move forward.
  • Executive leaders are prepared for the necessity of allocating the budget and resources that such a large project will require.

Related patterns:

Existential Risk, Executive Commitment

 

This post appears as part of a series of Cloud Native Transformation Patterns, which begins  with Cloud Native Transformation Patterns: Introduction. These are condensed versions of the full patterns appearing the forthcoming book, Cloud Native Patterns: Architecture, Design and Culture, a joint project of Container Solutions and O’Reilly. Complete and in-depth information regarding each pattern, including case studies from real-world Cloud Native enterprise migrations, will be found in the book publishing in Spring 2019!

Read more about Cloud Native Strategy in our free whitepaper below.

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