Your business in the cloud, or not?

Life is often a compromise and it is also true for selecting IT-solutions for organisations.

I continue to use our media company as an example for how to define a cloud strategy. Albeit small, with twelve main processes and lots of interactions with other parties, it’s getting complex quite fast.

 Image: Adobe stock photo

Image: Adobe stock photo

Film production is neither a digital only business. The real work is carried out on set with real people, not bots and avatars.

When the film is published, then everything could be digital, but content production is a different story.

We have a cloud first strategy, as we don’t want to bother with internal IT and we collaborate with different parties all over the world.

But, then we have the reality in post-production. Nobody uses bespoke editing applications, so you have to choose what software houses are offering you and they are not yet cloud friendly.

Editing 4K and 8K media is very demanding hardware wise as you need really fast CPU’s, high-end graphics, fast and large storage (several TB of data per project) and very high-bandwidth connections. Few ISP offers affordable 10 Gb/s internet connections and this is why we need local IT for some tasks.

But films are made outside the editing rooms and review of films need collaboration with both clients, directors and other stakeholders. Therefore we need hybrid solutions were some parts of the workflow is run locally and some parts in the cloud.

The audience most often want to see the finalised films on streaming platforms, so in the end, we need to deliver digital media. to the cloud.

What about security? Not even Sony Pictures managed to be secure enough.

I’m very sure that major cloud providers will have better security than us, if we had to expose our internal IT systems to Internet in order to collaborate with others.

Luckily, as a startup, we don’t have much legacy IT to cope with. Our CRM, Financials, HR, E-mail and project management systems are all done in the cloud. But, there are downsides also with the cloud solutions today. We have different vendors of SaaS-platforms and integration today is subpar. It’s getting better and better and we have to be flexible to change systems if the platform doesn’t develops further.

But for a large corporations with a long history of bespoke IT-solutions, it’s not that easy. This is why you have to be realistic about cloud strategies and have a strategy why, what, how and when migrating to the cloud.

Bad software kills

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Bad software development habits are like smoking cigarettes. 

The biggest challange for the organisation is to understand that those habits are as leathal to IT as smoking is to your lungs.

Your companys IT-systems will get a massive technical dept, and it will be to late to save them, if you don’t take action now.

Lack of disease insight make ad-hoc programming without design comparable to smoking a parties. You feel good and having a joyful evening. Eventually you cough a little in the morning the day after, but nothing serious.

Today, in many organisations, the health awerness for IT systems, are like the public knowledge of dangers of smoking in the fifthties. A time when smoking was glamourous.

 In order to avoid technical debt building up like tar in your lungs, you have to be aware and understand that bad software kills IT-systems. Not today, but slowly over time.

For an architect, in a organisation with lack of disease insight, the first step is to build up an awareness of the problem together with the major stakeholders.

 

 

 

The naked architect

I’m not thinking of Jamie Oliver and the naked chef, but instead H.C. Andersens classic story.

Today, lots of people in the industry put up the title Architect on their business card or profile. The problem with this approach from some architects, is my opinon threefold.

  1. They can’t define what they mean with Architecture and the benefits with it.
  2. They don’t have a described method of how to do Architecture, instead it is ad-hoc work and random activities.
  3. They only know architecture theory, but not how to apply it in the in the real world by using prior art and examples.

So when recruiting or hiring an Enterprise Architect, make sure his not naked, but have the right outfit for the job. 

If you are an Enterprise architect you should be able to:

  • Define what architecture is for you and the benefits you get from it
  • Describe the method you to make architecture work, according to above description of architecture and benefits
  • Be able to show how to apply this in real world examples

The below image is from an interview for a client in Sweden where I showed how to make a high level enterprise architecture (organisation, process, information, IT) in their type of business in 45 minutes.