We spend a lot of time with enterprises discussing the merits of the first application they plan to migrate to or build in the cloud. There is no shortage of software owner volunteers willing to be the first department to launch their app in the cloud. The process of selection is often a food fight, with competing interests trying to justify why they are the best choice to move first. What we know for sure is that the most important criterion for selecting a first mover app is often not even in the criteria set. It is the ability to exercise new muscles in the organization.
Enterprises must recognize that in the cloud, they are exercising muscles they’ve never worked and will make decisions on technologies and policies they’ve never explored. Think about the challenges beginner triathletes go through when they train for their first triathlon. When combining the three events (swimming, cycling and running), they are exercising muscles that have not been used in conjunction with each other, and they must keep practicing until their bodies become used to the new set of exercises. The same holds true for your organization. There will be several teams who will either have to build new processes and procedures, or enhance existing ones, in order to accept and perfect the new way of doing things.
Therefore, the first app to launch in the cloud must be legitimate and be able to gain the attention of all stakeholders across the enterprise. If you’re thinking of taking the safe path and launching an app that doesn’t engage the security, finance and governance teams deeply, you are missing a huge opportunity.
Plow the Fields Now
Your cloud adoption program will never have more energy than at its launch. All eyes are typically on the people, processes and technologies you employ at the start. Here is your opportunity to leverage momentum to your advantage and get buy-in on the security and governance frameworks while you have everyone’s attention. You’re going to need security and governance buy-in sooner or later, and there is no better time than the present.
Moving to the cloud can be scary. When facing our fears, we need to decide on a course of action and head into the unknown with the confidence that “we will figure it out.” Hundreds of companies have sorted this out already, and so can yours.
The Technology Works
What we know for sure is that the technology works. With experience across AWS, Azure and Google, and in more than 350 cloud engagements, we have seen just about every use case and can attest that if you choose the right app for your first mover, your cloud journey will be that much easier. The trick is getting your organization to the point of trusting that the technology will work and that your plan is a good one. This is the hard part of change.
Since your biggest obstacle is organizational change, you must leverage momentum to get others to say “Yes” to your plan. That means selecting the right app as your first mover.
Selecting the Right First Mover
This is not a hard task. Your first mover has to involve all stakeholders. Here are some of the criteria we suggest when selecting the first app:
- Data – Select an app with PII classified data. Make sure that it is sensitive and matters to the enterprise. You want security, GRC and others to take notice that you are moving privileged data to the public cloud.
- Small Footprint – Keep the number of workloads (VMs) and data to a small footprint. Your first mover does not have to be large and complex. You’re exercising the organization, not the power of the cloud.
- Volunteers – Select a team that wants to go to the cloud. Why punish yourself with a team that is uncooperative? Make sure they understand the critical nature of the first mover and gain their approval early.
Success is Near
Your successful cloud adoption is driven by the cooperation of all the stakeholders. You need to select them early on. Learn what their objections are and deal with them now, so you do not have to cross that bridge later when you’re trying to gain speed.
Pick an important app. Pick an app that touches all parts of the organization. Everyone is watching. Make it count.