4 defensive walls: why can’t you overcome them without a strategy and a roadmap?

4 defensive walls: why can’t you overcome them without a strategy and a roadmap?

4 defensive ramparts on the way to the cloud: Why can't I overcome them without a strategy and roadmap | ORBIT Cloud Encyclopedia


The use of the cloud in corporate IT is a big change. To be effective, you need to prepare well for adoption. Not only because the cloud behaves differently than our on-premise IT, but also because deploying the cloud means addressing some pressing IT areas – architecture, development, operations, processes, compliance, governance principles, etc. I would like to share these “priceless” experiences with you and explain the role of strategy and roadmap.

Lukáš Klášterský


A minor digression on military expeditions

Cloud adoption is similar to a military campaign – an experienced warlord knows that technical superiority is not enough. There is no long-term success without very careful and well-planned logistics. Why? So that, for example:

  • infantrymen were not hampered by hunger and cold (human resources),
  • tanks and aircraft have run out of fuel and ammunition (finance and tools)
  • there was no communication between the troops and the command,
  • command had sufficient and truthful information from the battlefield,
  • the troops were properly motivated,
  • etc., etc.


The best technical equipment will simply not be enough if the military lacks it:

  1. elementary strategies of what he wants to achieve,
  2. very thorough planning (roadmap) of individual activities, especially support activities.

In the beginning, the journey to the cloud does not resemble a military campaign, but only seemingly so. Cloud (like a military enemy) retains a degree of stealth. If we do not want unexpected surprises, we must first get to know him as well as possible and overcome several strategic defensive ramparts with the help of a well-thought-out strategy. I’ll tell you which ones they are.


The first defensive rampart: I understand how I can use cloud technology and have the motivation to do so

At the beginning, it is important to know whether we want to go or invest in the cloud at all. We usually start with technical considerations on how to get into it in the first place. How to adopt things that are similar to on-premise, and how to adopt those that are like from another galaxy (at least initially) – typically PaaS, automation, PAYG, 3YRI, …?

The old “show pays” rule applies here and you need to immerse yourself in experimenting and playing with the possibilities of the cloud. It is certainly good to learn from others. Interesting types can be found, for example, in the Cloud Encyclopedia.

Often we do not experiment because we are dreamers who like to play with new things, but simply because we have no other choice. Typical cases that we have had to put up with historically are collaboration apps à la Slack, MS Teams, Cisco Webex or Google Hangouts. You won’t find them in any other form than cloud-based, so we have to deploy the cloud for them.

Experimenting with the cloud (either willingly or out of compulsion) is essential in overcoming the first wall of defence. Conquering it will become an important foundation for your journey.


Experimenting with the Cloud | ORBIT Cloud Encyclopedia


The second defensive wall: I understand the on-premise/cloud differences and know what I want to use the cloud for

By overcoming the first defensive wall, we usually start to understand the differences between cloud and on-premise. So we are going to consider whether it is worth going to the cloud and with what.

We’re getting to the “1 + 1 = 3” math, so we’re going to have two environments: on-premise and cloud, and it’s all integrated. And that we will have to deal with three types of applications and infrastructure: those:

  • that doesn’t fit in the cloud at all,
  • that fit like a glove,
  • that we’re not sure where they belong.


We explained this problem in more detail in the previous article.

These considerations will help us clarify what we would like to use the cloud for and how. We will also make it clear what we will not and do not want to do with the cloud.

And here we will no longer doubt that the journey to the cloud is not just one of many IT projects, but a fundamental change. These realizations mean overcoming the second defensive wall.


1+?+1=3 | Cloud Encyclopedia ORBIT


Third defensive rampart: Without adoption, the cloud effect won’t be what we want

The implementation of new technologies includes. associated (in addition to its own technical deployment and integration into the existing IT environment) also with the need for adoption. With the adoption by people who will use cloud technologies, and with the adoption of technology into processes.

It is important to understand that with cloud deployment comes not just one technology, but an entire platform with a set of technologies that are integrated with the platform management system. Using a cloud platform means:

  • gaining a set of advantages – automation, single catalogue, integrated technologies,
  • accepting the limits – I can only set some platform parameters (others not).


The consequences can be seen in the collaborative cloud SaaS platforms M365, Gaps, Webex. We are excited about the innovations that the provider continuously brings, but the changes have a life of their own. We can only choose whether to adopt the changes now or a little later.

Integrating a cloud platform into our IT environment also commonly means that we can only customize certain areas of our processes, while in many other cases we have to customize the platform.

An example of adaptation is cost management and capacity planning. In on-premise, capacity planning once a year and budget control quarterly is sufficient. With cloud, we need to address capacity planning at least quarterly and manage the budget on a monthly basis. The IT team needs to be prepared for all this – in terms of experience, process and organisation.

By recognizing the need to devote significant energy to cloud platform adoption, we will overcome the third defensive wall on the path to the cloud.


Cloud Platform Adoption | 4 Defensive Walls on the Road to the Cloud | ORBIT Cloud Encyclopedia


The fourth defensive wall: The phenomenon of clean-up – bigger than we can imagine

The most complex and difficult defensive wall to overcome on the way to the cloud is the phenomenon of scavenging. We have to accept the fact that we will be fixing things that are not directly related to cloud deployment, but if we don’t fix them, cloud deployment will be either very difficult or even impossible.

The scavenging phenomenon is unavoidable, as it stems from the fact that IT cannot deal 100% with its history. Why? In IT, we don’t live in a perfect world and there are always:

  • architectural debts in applications and infrastructure,
  • technologies that we wanted to get rid of but didn’t have the time or budget to do so,
  • unfinished change projects,
  • non-optimised processes,
  • etc., etc.


Yes, such problems always exist in IT and the need to clean them up often emerges only in the middle of a big project. I smile and say that any big project should not be judged by its own change, but by how much cleaning up of the surroundings the change forces.

The cloud is a big change and therefore the cleaning phenomenon cannot be avoided. Count on it right from the start, prepare for it and try to plan and manage it. What hurts the most is discovering that you were forced to do the cleanup on the fly and didn’t account for it in the project timeline or budget.



You can’t do it without a strategy and a roadmap

By now you probably understand my comparison of cloud deployment planning to a military campaign. How do you answer the question: Why is a strategy and roadmap necessary for the journey to the cloud? Because only because of them:

  1. you will clarify your own motivation and know how to use cloud technologies,
  2. understand the differences between on-premise and cloud and what to use the cloud for,
  3. plan the right mix of adoption action steps, organisation and processes for cloud deployment,
  4. Define the corrective-cleaning steps you need to take to use the cloud effectively,
  5. confirm which regulations you must comply with if you are a regulated entity. This point is specific and I will address it in a future article.


Strategy and roadmap to the cloud | ORBIT Cloud Encyclopedia


If you conquer all the aforementioned mounds, you’re halfway there. A defined cloud strategy and roadmap will significantly increase the likelihood of your success on your journey to the cloud.


This is a machine translation. Please excuse any possible errors.


About the Author
Lukáš Klášterský
Digital and Cloud Advisor Partner | LinkedIn
Lukáš is in the digital and cloud services industry, which deals with transforming IT environments to the cloud using a multi-speed approach. His main area of expertise is the adoption, implementation, management and transformation of IT environments and teams to AWS, Microsoft Azure, M365 in the areas of governance, finance, architecture, development, security and operations.

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