The torrent of news and information surrounding topics like Cloud, Agile, CI/CD, Containers and the raft of related technologies belies an underlying simplicity:
Everything is becoming software defined.
In a software-defined world the point of execution and trust shifts; 10 teams of 50 become 50 teams of 10 and those teams have far more autonomy than they have had before when it comes to ushering a concept through to production code. That level of devolved control, often extending to operational ownership, together with the automation and ways of working required to ship fast and not break things is a change that every organization is grappling with.
The term ‘native’ in the context of ‘cloud native’ is interesting. Native is defined as a “country or place of birth” or “plants and animals that grow naturally in a place, and have not been brought there from somewhere else”. So to be ‘cloud native’ you’d have operated in the cloud since birth and know nothing else - it would be your natural habitat.
Few organizations can claim to be cloud native when considering both the tech stack they operate and the people that give them life. Some modern SaaS businesses can claim that crown, but most of us can’t (at Cutover our tech stack passes muster, but a good few of us are a bit too old to make the cut!)
If you really are cloud native native then a few things are true:
- You won’t try and maintain a separate database that claims to be the inventory of your technology assets and the term CMDB will leave you looking blank
- You will be able to observe your whole estate and, when needed, be able to query in real time to understand the set of assets and services to respond to an incident
- You won’t stay up for 48 hours every weekend nursing releases over the line before business opens on Monday
- You won’t be focused on every single infrastructure change (since that’s handled with code and config). You will instead care a lot about changes to the code and config that manages your infrastructure
There are more, but the fundamental point is that organizations which have their sights set on being like Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, Google or Skyscanner have their work cut out. They have to change everything. Introducing Ansible, adopting Kubernetes and going Agile doesn’t get close to ticking the box. They have to introduce both new concepts and technology as well as shifting the culture and processes.
Given the scale of that undertaking it won’t happen overnight. If your starting point is ‘on-premise’ mainframe applications then you may well be in a hybrid mode for years and maybe decades. Starting from scratch with a greenfield tech stack is easy. Making that journey from ‘old school’ is very hard. The organizations that navigate it well could gain competitive advantage that puts them five years ahead. Market leaders will be made, laggards may disappear.
We’re working with a number of major organizations to help solve this problem and will document what we’ve learned as we go, so watch this space for more posts on Cloud and Data Center Migration.
In the meantime, take a look at our Big Change page to find out more about Cutover for Cloud Migration.