Cloud Native Transformation Patterns: Existential Threat

 

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There are as many reasons for wanting to go Cloud Native as there are companies contemplating the move. Whatever the stated reasons, and whether or not they realize it, Existential Threat is the true driver — the ultimate reason underlying every other reason — for undertaking a CN transformation.

Context:

  • Your existing enterprise is successful, but the systems propelling those successful results are working at max efficiency/capacity.
  • Meanwhile, your competitors may be moving ahead by adopting CN in order to speed their responsiveness by two to three orders of magnitude.
  • At the same time, new challenger companies may be forming in your sector — companies that are born Cloud Native.
  • Cloud Native is an approach to system architecture that exploits the cloud’s two most fundamental features: flexible, on-demand infrastructure that’s easy to provision, and tools and platforms — often, integrated options provided by the cloud host — to implement and run everything.

Problem:

  • A full-on Cloud Native migration is an incredibly tough project to complete successfully. It requires a significant investment of time, resources and money.  
  • Enterprises need significant motivation to launch such a demanding transformation.A serious kick in the pants is required. (Is “do or eventually die” serious enough?)

Forces:

Traditionally, the safe bet has been to control technical risk by moving slowly. Spending careful time planning and testing before making infrastructure or systems decisions or purchases, delivering on cycle that iterates in months, or even years.

  • CN reduces technical risk by allowing companies to make changes small, iterative changes quickly and responsively (and roll them back, no harm done, if they don’t work).
  • Cloud Native is a moving target, driven by — and responding to — constantly shifting tech as well as consumer demand.
  • Cloud Native is also the only effective way to handle that constant change.

Solution:

Don’t go the way of the dodo. We love Dodos, but they were not strategists. When the situation changed around them, they did not adapt. When new competitors arrived on the scene they relied on their existing USPs: cute, friendly and picturesque. Unfortunately, the market did not value those traits quite enough. The dinosaurs went the way of an overwhelming infrastructure outage with a rather large blast radius. We can’t really blame them for that. The dodo, however, failed to react effectively to a much smaller-seeming environmental change. Nonetheless, that small change turned out to be no less existential a threat for them.

Change is inevitable. Failure is not. Recognize that the world is going to change around you, ready or not — and that there are two ultimate choices. You can go Cloud Native and stay ahead of the curve…or stay right where you are, eventually falling behind and even fading away.

Outcome:

Across the entire enterprise, from boardroom to lunchroom and everywhere in between, executives, engineers and administrators — even that weird guy in the mailroom! — are committed to the transformation.

Related Patterns:

All of them! Start with Business Case and Executive Commitment, though.

Read more about cloud native strategy in our whitepaper below.

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