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10 slam dunks for cloud adoption

By ACG Technical Editors Team  |  March 15, 2020  |   Enterprise   |  

Your Cloud Madness bracket may be busted already, but you still have a chance to win the big game — cloud adoption. 

We see lots of cloud migrations fail due to shortsighted attempts at “doing cloud” on top of an unchanging legacy culture. To get real value out of cloud, keep your eyes on these ten slam dunk tips, drawn from our experience with thousands of cloud teams.

1. Get certified

Cloud certifications create a baseline level of competence across your team, a shared language that everyone speaks. That’s why certified engineers consistently perform better in their roles and have more influence inside their organizations. Certifications reduce friction and let your team focus on the real goal: maximizing customer value through cloud adoption.

2. Find your focus

The cloud is a big place, and you can’t be an expert on every part of it. That’s why it’s so important to know your focus, whether you’re an executive, an architect, or a data scientist. Zero in on services and features that impact your role, then...

3. Stay on top of updates

The major cloud providers launch dozens, sometimes hundreds, of new features every month. It’s a firehose, and even seasoned cloud professionals can get overwhelmed. Curated feeds, newsletters, and roundups like A Cloud Guru’s AWS This Week are how the pros stay in the loop.

4. Learn by doing

New ideas are fun in their own right, but you still have to apply your learning in the real world. If you are excited about what a new cloud service could bring to your organization, take a weekend and hack together a prototype. When you demonstrate value this way, it’s not only good for your career, it creates powerful cloud buy-in across your company.

5. Knock out the quick wins

One cool thing about certification: it helps you pattern-match existing cloud best practices to your own situation. You’ll be able to quickly identify processes and workflows that the cloud could improve. Let the brainstorms begin, while you...

6. Automate, automate, automate

The cloud scales fast. It’s made of ephemeral resources and black-box services coordinated across multiple geographical sites, and it generates tons of telemetry. The only way to cope with these challenges in the long term is automation, like infrastructure-as-code and CI/CD.

7. Level up on cloud-native

Don’t assume that the cloud works exactly like your old data center. Managed services, serverless, and other cloud-native technologies and practices have revolutionized the way IT organizations deliver value. Take the time to understand the unique advantages cloud brings to the table. 

8. Incentivize learning

If you work with a team, your cloud destiny is linked with theirs. Come up with creative ways to encourage collective learning, like digital badges or even a friendly race. (Who can be the first to get their face on your Cloud Cert Wall of Fame?) Positive peer pressure works wonders.

9. Perform a well-architected review

Not sure if your cloud progress is up to snuff? Consider a formal evaluation procedure like AWS’s Well-Architected Framework. It’ll walk you through a series of detailed questions to help you pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses in your current cloud posture.

10. Arm the 10%

Studies show that when just 10% of people get on board with a new idea, it creates an unstoppable ripple effect across the whole group. Help your most influential leaders level up on cloud, then watch them spread the good news to the rest of the business.

Like a winning basketball team, a championship cloud culture needs plenty of hard work and training. So don't stay on the sidelines any longer: the time to put these tips into action is now.

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