The Twin Networks team attended AWS re:Invent to collect knowledge, hone skills, and talk solutions using the phenomenon of cloud. We arrived in Las Vegas with another goal as well: to talk to fellow developers, IT professions, vendors and critical thinkers. At the expo center, we did just that, using our booth as an invitation to start a conversation with professionals just like us about their perceived problems with the cloud. Many fellow sponsors chose to offer demos, T-shirts, and marketing speak (and a few sumo matches as well). We did plenty of gift-giving and marketing too, don’t worry – but the driving force was problem sharing (and solving).
On our exhibit wall we collected notecards that started the phrase “The missing piece to my cloud strategy is…” that guests filled out with their (maybe not so unique) struggles. We knew going in that fellow IT consultants, collaborators, and clients have a laundry list of problems that they feel are hurdles to being completely in the cloud, as much as they love everything it promises. Having been in the IT world for years, we know that every problem has a solution, and having worked in cloud, we know that it can do everything you need and more. It may take work and new ways of doing things, you may have to completely rebuilt your infrastructure and retrain your team, but taking the time to do it right will have immense benefits.
Here’s what the data says:
Out of over 200 people we spoke to, we were able to nail down their cloud concerns into four overarching categories: security, skill & assistance, migration & software, and “what does this mean for the future of the business?” The key is – no one was alone and no concern was unique. But, of course, your questions need answers.
- Across the board, the #1 concern is security. Some expressed their concerns that cloud as a platform overall is not secure. As we’ve said time and time again, cloud can be as secure or insecure as you make it – you just have to know what you’re doing. Many developers and business owners are aware of this, too, and are more concerned with how to plan these new strategies and governance. We understand planning and implementing takes work, security takes work, and migrating takes work. One visitor left us with these words of wisdom, “Security is technology, it has a solution. Privacy is emotional.”
- The second most popular concern about cloud is expertise and assistance. Of course we were all attendees of a conference by Amazon, but people spoke openly of their concerns about being tied to one provider. Cloud is still an emerging technology, and not all vendors, developers, and strategists are trained in the cloud best practices yet. The answers are, don’t be afraid to train your resources! We are never done learning, and to be the best at our technology jobs we have to be constant learners and innovators. Keep in mind you are never alone. Several visitors to our AWS booth felt they lacked an advisor to guide them through the process. Yes, you can get plenty of help from Amazon, but they are not with you day to day. Here’s where you need a skilled, trusted advisor with your business’s best interests in mind.
- Migration & software. a.k.a.– the details. Many business owners and developers are concerned about this, but we aren’t. You have to have a plan and you have to know what you are doing. This requires training your staff and auditing your systems so there are no surprises. Migrating means understanding that everything will change, you may have to rewrite your proprietary software, and that’s OK. You’ll be glad you took the time to do it right. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. As far as having enough time do the migration, which is a concern we’ve heard as well, let’s remember that anything worth doing is worth making a priority and doing well.
- Finally, the big ideas. CEOs and owners had their own set of concerns over such a big move. Training, restructuring, and restarting costs time and money – and we understand that. Decision makers need to evaluate risks, as with any big business decision. We’ve seen over and over that cloud, when implemented and maintained properly, can do wonders for your bottom line. It saves costs both for hardware and for manpower. With all that new time and resources you’ve saved, you are free to do some amazing things with your business. Get back to innovating and improving the world. Your future is bright in the cloud.
Twin Networks has been on board with companies moving to the cloud for years. As the corporate world becomes more comfortable with this not-so-new technology, companies like Conde Nast are making the migration. If they can do it you can do it, and there’s nothing to be apprehensive about. All the pieces are there, if you’re willing to do the work to put them together (and we can help).