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Cloud Migration and Change Management | @CloudExpo #DevOps #CloudNative

Innovation is the currency of cloud, partnerships pave the way

Cloud Migration Requires a New Look at Change Management

Some journey to cloud on a mission, others, a deadline. Change management is useful when migrating to public, private or hybrid cloud environments in either case. For most, stakeholder engagement peaks during the planning and post migration phases of a project.

Legacy engagements are fairly direct: projects follow a linear progression of activities (the "waterfall" approach) - change managers and application coders work from the same functional and technical requirements. Enablement and development mirror one another, progressing from proof-of-concept planning to final product delivery. Exceptions, if any, become change requests.

Cloud native developers, however, can deploy a fully functional application prototype in about the same amount of time it takes to provision a server. They don't need help with wireframes. Application mock-ups aren't the only tool in the change management "tool box" to become passé by modern engineering standards. Requirements gathering is another.

Another important difference between change management in legacy and cloud is that with legacy, the chief focus is often adoption. You may be responsible for verifying that users:

  • Are correct (i.e., the right people are using the system)
  • Are adopting the system as designed
  • Are satisfied
  • Are able to accomplish tasks with the new system as easily as before

In an agile methodology, requirements gathering is all about "stories."
You build dev/ops capability when you train application developers to self-provision cloud environments. There are no functional or technical requirements, even for migrations. User stories, application stories and system owner stories are the new core of change management in the cloud. Listening to these stories is vital to understanding people's needs. You're no longer executing a plan that was created six months ago and hasn't changed since.

Development happens in "sprints," with new features and functions added every quarter. You're constantly checking in, responsive to current business drivers like:

  • Using the data centers nearest your facilities.
  • Architecting properly to build in failover.
  • Ensuring applications people rely on remain live, with compliance concerns addressed
  • Real-time tracking of performance levels against a mix of internal and external Service Level Agreements

We may also be creating something disruptive from scratch.
"Born in the cloud" is more than a catchy phrase. It describes many of the most disruptive applications to hit the market in recent years, such as Uber. Businesses are increasingly looking for ways to leverage the immense compute capability and scale of the cloud to bring disruptive ideas to life, monetizing their journey to cloud with new applications, business insights and service offerings. Real-time remediation is the new stakeholder engagement - no more spreadsheets.

Innovation is the currency of cloud, partnerships pave the way

On-premises vs. Cloud Stakeholder Engagement
Moving to the cloud can be a huge transformation for any organization. That's especially true if there's an extensive gap between where they are today and where they hope to go. Businesses that begin by looking for a basic migration of existing infrastructure may also find the cloud is a great place to innovate and bring new products and services to market. The more innovative they are, the more disruptive they can be.

Transformation is about stories and the impacts of those stories on stakeholders and that's especially true for the validated enterprise. For instance, Accenture factors in the kind of cross-border selling compliance requirements we may face and the Title 21 CFR Part 11 credentials we may need. The political, geographical and industrial variations are as robust as the business requirements driving them.

Cloud-native applications offer companies the power and flexibility to change the way they do business. These changes can also cause disruption among people and processes. As a result, some stakeholders move up the value stack to become partners.

The key point is this
When migrating to the cloud, you can't use the same change management methodology that you used in the past. It must keep pace with the agile, iterative nature of cloud migrations and evolving user needs as they progress through the effort (see figure).

Partnerships are the secret sauce of many disruptive endeavors, especially for the enterprise. Get more from cloud investments with change architecture designed to accelerate them.

More Stories By Kelly Burford

Kelly Burford is a Change Leader and Advanced Technology Architect focused on adoption enablement of Accenture's Hybrid Cloud for Microsoft Azure and the award winning solutions Accenture creates for clients. Part of an innovative team of industry experts, solution architects, system engineers, application developers and data scientists, she helps to transform exciting research into lighthouse proof-of-concept demos and capstone assets.

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