Peeling the Onion

posted Jun 25, 2017, 12:07 PM by Marc Kagan   [ updated Jun 25, 2017, 12:15 PM ]
As I eluded to in my earlier post “Teaching an old dog new tricks,” developing a cloud strategy for an existing enterprise is a bit like peeling an onion.  There are many layers to work through, each getting progressively more complex (sophisticated) as you work toward the center.

Crawford is a well-oiled machine after 76 years in business.  They are a truly global enterprise with operations on nearly every continent (no Antarctica yet).  For an organization like this, starting the journey can be a daunting task.  Where to begin?  I am not sure there is a “right” answer.  Let me share a high level view of how I am approaching it - for the sake of clarity, much of this is running in parallel:

  • Gather Data (see Teaching an old dog new tricks)
  • Analysis / Assessment
    • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
      • Inventory
      • Economics
      • Non-economic value factors
  • Business Case
  • Tactics
    • Identify POC’s
    • Experiment
  • People plan
    • Cloud evangelism
    • Skills assessment
    • Education
      • Leadership
      • Engineers
  • Strategy
    • Guiding principles
    • Top down vs bottom up
    • Partner strategy
  • Implement
  • Review, adjust, repeat

To mix metaphors for a moment – while its helpful to have a global vision, you don’t need to boil the oceans and solve for every eventuality all at once.  The reason I mentioned peeling an onion is that I believe this process will be iterative and many steps will continue to repeat as our journey progresses from one layer to the next.  A cloud strategy should be a living plan that evolves with the business needs, and incorporates new technology and capabilities where appropriate.  Don’t expect a great epiphany where it all becomes clear.  The most important step on your journey is the first one.  Start where you can and go from there.

In the coming weeks I hope to visit each of the bulleted items outlined above in more detail.  Please stay tuned and as always – please provide feedback or ask questions.