As public cloud services continue to grow and dominate at global scale it’s important to keep your feet on the ground.

The cloud can really help customers leverage advanced capabilities with simplicity but this becomes all to convenient to just “flick the switch” and enable technology without a true understanding of what is actually being implemented.

I’ve started to see a growing trend in consumption of cloud services where technology is being adopted without an understanding because of the simplicity and speed in which these technologies can be deployed. This can cause problems further down the line when things do not work out as intended, even if there was a positive intent.

You should always start with the “why” question when you are decide to deploy a particular technology, don’t just turn it on and if you do, ensure it’s a in a lab somewhere so that it can have no direct impact on your systems. Apply this approach to your existing pre-production system as these could be critical to applying approved changes in production.

Understand what your business requirements are upfront, this may change but you should have valid reasons for deploying a specific technology.

Identity and security technologies can be deployed easily in the cloud. The methods to deploy these can often be user friendly, wizard driven or simply turning the setting on.

The problem with this is that you do not always need a fundamental understanding of these technologies to deploy them. This can lead to further challenges when it comes to troubleshooting or know if you are even doing the right thing.

Security is now a hot topic and is probably one of the highest priorities every time a technology is considered for use.

Often a quick win scenario is sought to make something secure which becomes a tick box exercise. Organizations should absolutely take security seriously but if the logic is simply to turn something on to gain credibility about something that is not understood this could impact business operations and could be potentially difficult to undo.

I’ve listed out a few points below that are always at the forefront of my thinking when I’m thinking about technology and why it should be a considered for use.

1. Always ensure you have defined your business requirements. These can change so be flexible in your approach and the technology to be used.

2. Use technology to meet requirements. You will find it easier to justify your decisions if business requirements are driving the adoption of technology. When implementing new technology in your organization there will always be some initial challenges and things don’t always go as expected. When adoption of technology is backed by business requirements better conversations can occur with stakeholders even if there are a few challenges along the way.

3. Deploy capabilities when there is an understanding of the technology.

4. Have a back out plan if things do not go as intended.

4. Ensure that your staff have the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge to manage the technology

5. Remember, do it nice or do it twice 🙂 (as they used to say in the military)

I hope this provides a few points for consideration when looking at adopting cloud technologies