Aug 31, 2022

Technically Minded | Maximizing Your Organization's Cloud Transformation Journey

Emily Crawford

Emily Crawford

Technically Minded | Maximizing Your Organization's Cloud Transformation Journey

Credera is excited to announce the release of our latest podcast: "Maximizing Your Organization's Cloud Transformation Journey"

This podcast, which is available on iTunesSpotifyGoogle, and Anchor FM, brings together some of the brightest sparks in technology and transformation consulting to wax lyrical on current trends and challenges facing organizations today. 

On This Episode

With the increase of cloud investment, it’s no longer a question of if the cloud is a differentiating factor, but how leaders can leverage cloud strategy for differentiated value. Learn how Credera’s cloud transformation framework unlocks the “how” with innovation at enterprise scale, all while maintaining cloud security.

Listen now.

The following transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Emily Crawford (00:03):

Hello, and welcome to Technically Minded, a podcast brought to you by Credera. Here we discuss hot topics and business and tech with our colleagues in an effort to share our collective insights with you. My name is Emily Crawford. I'm part of our management consulting group and I'm your host for today's episode.

Today, we're talking about maximizing your organization's Cloud transformation journey. With the increase in Cloud investments, it's no longer a question of if the Cloud is a differentiating factor, but how leaders can leverage Cloud strategy for differentiated value. We're discussing that today.

To dig into this topic, we have three Cloud experts that I'm excited to introduce to you: Mario, Scott, and James. Hello to all of you. Would you each give a brief intro?

Mario DiMattia (00:45):

Hi, sure. My name is Mario DiMattia. I'm a principal architect with Credera, here out of the Dallas office. I have a dual role within the firm. I lead our AWS partnership efforts along with delivering and overseeing AWS-based projects. Everything from migrations through custom app dev to landing zone implementations, and really helping enterprises strategize on how to best enable their engineering squads and the business side of the team to take advantage of the tools that Cloud provides.

Emily Crawford (01:18):

Thanks, Mario.

Scott Decker (01:20):

Cool. I'll hop in next. Scott Decker, principal architect at Credera. I'm out of our Denver office. Background has been in the Cloud for 10 years, Azure, and then AWS, doing Cloud native development of applications. Now I have an internal role, as well, as the Cloud capability lead, where I'm accountable for talent acquisition, talent development, learning and development, coaching; pretty much all internal functions, staffing, etc. for the 50 or so folks inside the Cloud capability.

Emily Crawford (01:52):

Thanks, Scott.

James Milward (01:54):

Hi, I'm James Milward. I'm a principal architect, based out of our London office. I've been a .NET developer and technical lead for 15 years, and I've been working in the Cloud, naturally evolving to working in the Cloud for about six to seven years now. And I've been working with our enterprise clients, helping them go along Cloud transformation journeys.

Emily Crawford (02:15):

Thanks, James. Thank you all again so much for being here. I'm excited to dive in. So we hear that Cloud is the most powerful tool that organizations have to embrace change. Mario, I'm curious, what's your take on this?

Embracing Change with the Cloud

Mario DiMattia (02:27):

Yeah, not a hot take at all. I think that's the baseline expectation that should come with an enterprise deciding to shift their technology landscape into a more Cloud amenable approach. As it forces a complete review and reinvention of every aspect of both technology and business's ability to take advantage of technology to drive value for their customers, whether that's through differentiated streams or more efficient development and delivery of solutions, both inside and outside of a company.

Scott Decker (03:09):

I think that's true. I'll also say, I think it's probably one of the least realized statements in the business in terms of actually seeing that, right? And so there is still a considerable gap or spectrum, I'll say, of companies from, we don't understand the Cloud. I think companies by and large are less skeptical of it than they were 10 years ago. I don't hear as many security concerns or things of that nature. But there's still a lack of understanding all the way up to okay, we actually understand this and leverage it and it's part of our business strategy. I think most companies still fall somewhere in the middle, which is we understand we're supposed to be there. We don't quite understand exactly how this relates to our business strategy.

James Milward (03:58):

Building on top of that, I think a lot of our clients we see over here are using their Cloud as a foundation to build their strategies upon. And then as they start moving towards the Cloud, I think we see, and I think a lot of people see, it starts transforming their business in many ways as well. So Cloud almost enables our clients to start opening up to other technological pathways and ways of working as well. And that's why it's a foundation because they get to the Cloud and they realize that's just not the end point. It's a continually evolving journey. So it's a really interesting space to be in at the moment.

Mario DiMattia (04:35):

Yeah, I think it's a good point, right? Because there's this expectation that you "purchase Cloud" and you're just done. Cloud is now part of my company and we are part of whatever this movement means. And so why the expectation or assumption that things are different, better, more efficient, cheaper, just by nature of having started leads companies into this false sense of, well, we're doing the right thing.

Where there's still a lot of work and intentionality that has to go into assessing where Cloud technology fits and how it actually modifies what you build and what you're capturing from a value output from what you've built, and why Cloud made it different than if you had done it before. Otherwise, you're just doing the same things you've always done with technology you've always used hosted by one of the Cloud vendors, which doesn't actually inspire any change. It just means you're pretty much the same and wondering why you went down the path to begin with.

Emily Crawford (05:41):

So tell me about that a little bit more. If Cloud can do it differently and it can be more efficient, as you said in your opening statement, and I think James, you were saying, "This is the foundation of the journey." What are the next steps on that journey and how can Cloud help you truly transform your organization?

Using the Cloud to Transform Your Organization

James Milward (06:01):

I think yeah, I see it as a foundation because a lot of businesses, to Mario's point, they're looking at do we shift our existing workloads to the Cloud and that's it. And I think they start on that journey and say yeah, okay, let's move all of our workloads in the Cloud because we have some security compliance reasoning or we just need to reduce our threat of running our own data centers or whatever that may be. And as they start moving to the Cloud, they start realizing that yes, we can run our business in the same way on the Cloud, but OK, it's going to probably be more expensive so maybe we need to also modernize at the same time as well. And it starts asking a lot of questions and that modernization is both from, I think, a technical point of view, but also ways of working point of view. The Cloud provides tools that open your eyes to different ways of working. It could actually make your life a lot easier. And so that's why it's multi-step. I think it's a continually evolving journey being on the Cloud.

Scott Decker (06:59):

Yeah, I think, you asked a question there that said, "Should we shift our workloads to the Cloud?" I think sometimes that's the common, but potentially incorrect phrasing that people think of it in terms of, and the perhaps better question might be, should we shift to a shared responsibility model?

James Milward (07:19):

Yeah, definitely.

Scott Decker (07:19):

Right? Because that's really what we're talking about is, if you take everything and you just move the workloads to the Cloud, but nothing else changes, then all you get is a really huge Cloud bill at the each month, right? And you get to check the check box that says, "we're in the Cloud." Then you're left wondering, where is the cost savings and where's the value and why aren't we working faster, and things like that. If you instead answer the more human question around should we move to a shared responsibility model? That's something that then actually engages different aspects and says, hey, there's going to be implications for people and process, not just technology.

Mario DiMattia (07:56):

That's the hard part though. 100% is saying, if we're going down this journey, it's typically technology-driven and the implication of a technology-driven approach to enterprise or organizational change in how you leverage technology to realize some incremental modification in business value, however you define it, means that other areas of the org have to change too. And that is typically very, very challenging to realize given ITs in the core and you're trying to drive change from the middle out without having the external organizational verticals ... Whether you call it the business side, finance, security, in your development teams, be aware that they need to change the way that they operate to be able to take advantage of this new system is very, very hard. It's pretty impossible to have a grassroots technology-driven organizational revolution within an enterprise.

Scott Decker (09:08):

Yeah, I agree. I feel like there's usually one or two senior leaders that either get it or view it as a way that they can move their orgs forward. But getting an entire organization to fully understand the impact to each of their teams and be bought in on those impacts and operating in a different way is incredibly difficult.

Mario DiMattia (09:30):

Well, it's hard to know what the impact is. If you are someone who's driving product development on a forward facing website for an enterprise, who knows what or how Cloud is going to impact you in eight, 12, 24 months down the road. The point is, that product manager that answers to a VP within the firm hasn't even had the discussion with their reporting structure to say hey, this is going to be impactful. We need to be prepared and engaged and ready to modify our ways of working our baseline expectations for how we interact with the rest of the company.

James Milward (10:18):

I think on that point of impact, or being impactful, I think people also don't realize that as they go from the on-prem data center to Cloud journey, most of the time they have to run those aspects side by side for quite a while to ensure that they transitioned correctly. And that comes with a considerable cost, as well, which will go away as you then decommission your old data centers. But I think that's just one thing to call out to, to our clients, which we've done time and time again, is to say, look as you're going through this journey, just be aware, you will have to run these side by side. And then you will move into a more efficient way of working. But initially, it will be impactful to you.

Mario DiMattia (10:59):

Yeah. Every vendor is going to come in and say, Cloud vendor, AWS, Azure, GCP, doesn't matter, they're going to come in and say, get everyone in a room, up front before you start the journey, and let's have the conversation. That happens. And we do it. We have all been a part of delivering that message to leaders across an organization and the people that are actually delivering the solutions within the company. And so, day zero, check the box. It's day 512, when those leaders have gone back into their bubbles of delivery, whatever that means for them, and the "Cloud adoption" has been chugging along and it hasn't quite hit them yet. They've forgotten about it. And then, boom! All of a sudden, they're told, "Oh, the things you did yesterday are fundamentally different than what they need to be tomorrow if you're going to continue serving in your role within the organization." And that's really, really hard.

We really push to try and have a consistent conversation across the organization and drive part of the inspiration for wanting to write this whitepaper that we'll discuss is, how do you have a consistent conversation across verticals in the company to allow people to understand what and why they may be doing work and how it correlates to the enterprise's Cloud journey? That's a really challenging, abstract concept for people who are not engaged in enterprise strategy discussions on a daily basis. So basically, everyone in the firm beyond the top, most senior most folks.

Scott Decker (12:46):

Which is also funny to me, take a step back. We're three technologists and we're basically talking about organizational change management and maybe that's just the call out. This is an OCM exercise, just as much as it's a technical exercise.

Emily Crawford (13:02):

You've all mentioned the phrase "ways of working" and how those need to change. Are any of you able to expand a little bit on that and tell me what needs to change? What does that need to look like in the future of your Cloud adoption story?

How Cloud Impacts Ways of Working

Mario DiMattia (13:15):

I try and use an analogy. Technology worked a bit like a factory. You ship the request to IT for something, whether it's a VM, whether it's a certificate, an off-key, an encryption key, whatever it is, ship it to the front of the factory, IT. Technology goes and does a thing. And when they're done, on the output of the factory is the thing you requested: a virtual machine to put your app on, way to deliver your app, a certificate to secure communication to it, whatever it is. Post-functional Cloud adoption, where folks are really engaging in the ecosystem, the technology landscape functions a bit more like Etsy, where you have instead of singular factories delivering singular and consistent goods, you have each team delivering something unique and intentionally driven towards some business value, whatever that may mean. Again, business value is very nebulous. And they're responsible for sourcing the thing that they used to request from that central factory.

You may choose to source things from multiple teams sourcing from a similar factory. Cool. But you also may choose to not use a factory at all and go it alone as a team where you're creating your own destiny within your little bubble of control. And that's really, really challenging from an enterprise perspective to wrap your head around is, how do we shift from this consistent view of how technology influences the business to a relatively inconsistent but secured and regulated and governed environment that allows for folks to create solutions that are unique and differentiated regardless of what their factory inputs and outputs are?

Emily Crawford (15:11):

And I do want to get everybody else's thoughts on that. But I also would like to hear Mario explain Etsy to our listeners, please.

Mario DiMattia (15:19):

It's a distributed product marketplace. It is ...

Scott Decker (15:23):

It's where Mario spends all his free time, just making things, cute little crafts.

Emily Crawford (15:30):

Do you have a side business that you haven't told us about?

Scott Decker (15:33):


Mario DiMattia (15:33):

No, but I have spent a lot of time reading and researching multi-sided marketplaces, and Etsy is a multi-sided platform. There's a whole winding path of conversation that no one wants to listen to.

Emily Crawford (15:47):

We don't want to get you on that topic.

Mario DiMattia (15:49):

What a multi-sided platform is and how it enables differentiated value for all of the producers and consumers that engage in the platform? The point is, technology shifts and that's a really easy shifting point. Technology used to not be a platform, used to be a factory. Etsy, Uber, their platforms that enable constituents to engage in and connect between themselves using the platform versus the platform being the thing that drives value. Etsy is a form of connecting producers and consumers together. Cloud technology really is a way of doing the same thing within an enterprise, as it pushes technology out and pulls verticals within a company closer together.

Emily Crawford (16:40):

It is a good analogy. I didn't mean to make fun of you.

Mario DiMattia (16:43):

Not making fun.

Scott Decker (16:44):

I could have used Uber. Etsy's more interesting.

Emily Crawford (16:45):

James or Scott? James or Scott don't have any other thoughts on that.

James Milward (16:51):

Yeah, I was going to just say that one piece on this, as well, so to Mario's point on there being a factory, I think that mindset affected the way that we built applications as well.

Mario DiMattia (17:02):


James Milward (17:03):

So when you're coming to design an application 15 years ago, you'd have a server where you put your application on and it had lots of things to do. You probably let it put those things in the queue and do one thing after another. And that was the advent of serverless, which was the promise of the Cloud. When the Cloud came about, people said it's "infinitely scalable." I think people first needed to get over the challenge of moving everything to the Cloud if they were going to do that or modifying what they were going to be making and make that work for the Cloud. So now that people are into that maturity, and think more of that maturity, and people are now changing the way that they're making their applications work on the Cloud.

So instead of having something run and then another process run after it, they're now paying for their compute; they're using the serverless model. Say what that means is that they can have a thousand things happen at once and just pay for that as a one-off cost. And it massively increases their throughput, their productivity, and it's changing the way people are thinking.

So I think to your point on the question, what does ways of working mean? It's a mindset shift as well of okay, we can just have these bursts of infinite compute. So how do we utilize that in our business and solve really complex problems instantly, rather than OK, let's give it a date to trend through your big problems. It's really interesting, it's changing ... It's changing mindset and it's changing the way we interact with this. And there's a lot more coming, in a very short space of time, I think, with new applications and how they utilize this incredible technology they've been given access to.

Scott Decker (18:42):

Yeah, I'll add one more example too. Working with the client, undergoing a large Cloud migration journey, large clients, hundreds of applications, and I raised a question of well, we might not have DBAs once you guys are in the Cloud. And even just that question was a light bulb over an interesting moment for them because they didn't have one DBA; they had a team of DBAs, right? And under a shared responsibility model, you don't need somebody to be managing your database. If you're using Dynamo, you don't need DBAs. This is now the hands of the application team to define their auto scaling rules and such. It's definitely impacting ways of working. It's impacting roles, responsibilities, which roles even exist. And then trying to help individuals see that and then shape shift.

Mario DiMattia (19:38):

But James, you said something I want to press on. Teams are building applications in a different way. And I think the implication in that statement is through the lens of what a company's building that they present to their customers, and whether that's a website or a way to interact with a company that drives revenue. So one of the challenges that I think from a mental, how we mentally think about or what our mental model of development is, is centered on what do our engineering teams build from using technology to deliver some solution?

What we don't think about and what enterprises really struggle with is the team that provided the infrastructure in the past is now also an application delivery squad, creating solutions that enable the other application teams to deliver more effectively. And so, there are different orientations of solutions, not projects, that technology needs to reorient towards. Where once we created a golden VM, technology needs to secure their compute landscape, create a golden copier VM image and reuse it everywhere because you control everything. Tomorrow, you don't control whether engineering teams creating, whether it's a business solution or a solution that supports other engineering teams, you don't control whether they use your VM.

They could pick another type of virtual machine, another operating system flavor, or they could go serverless. What you as technology need to orient to is how do we create a solution that enables that team to make the right choices? And then govern the fact that the choices they make come with implications about their scope of responsibility and accountability. It's a fundamental process and development shift to think of a technology team as building solutions that don't stop. This idea of maybe you create an AMI pipeline that enables other squads of folks to use your AMIs. That doesn't just go away. It's a solution. It is a service. It's a product that your internal team has created that enables consumption from another team. Going back to the Etsy idea, technology didn't used to be, they were a factory.

Now they themselves are a consumer of their own platform, creating products for internal consumption. They have customers, they need to shift to a different mindset, and they need to understand the value that they're delivering to those customers because it's not going to be revenue oriented. The value that a technology team delivering shared services to another team could be operational. It could unlock some previously locked away service that gives them access to a way to create a solution that they just didn't have the ability to do before they interacted with the product that technology decided to produce for them. Talking about product teams on the inside is as challenging and confusing to an enterprise as any concept that I've had a conversation around.

Emily Crawford (23:01):

You mentioned this "whitepaper." So I want to talk a little bit more about it. It was on the topic of Cloud optimization, and in it you talked about how organizations are not seeing the value that they expected in their Cloud journey. So I'd love to hear from this group, why is that? And how can they overcome those challenges? What can they do in their Cloud transformation journey to unlock that value?

Maximizing Your Cloud Adoption Journey

Mario DiMattia (23:25):

Yeah. And I'll jump in because I spend a lot of time thinking about this. So I'm going to drop a statement and I fully expect Scott to disagree with. Enterprises think they're not receiving value. That is an inaccurate position for companies to take. The problem is they're oriented to receiving value from technology in a very specific and narrow lens. Did it move the needle for my customer? Did our investment in Cloud move the needle for my customer in such a way that I've earned more money from ... I've received more money from them, such that I can report to the SCC that I'm doing well. I can report to Wall Street that my financials are better. And typically, the needle movement is years down the road in terms of how quickly and efficiently idea turns to value realization in the revenue sense in the Cloud adoption journey. To James' point, Cloud adoption start within deep internal IT where you're moving workloads from one place, from your on-prem data center to another. And that typically doesn't look like you've done anything different.

And so, there's this nebulous, where's my value? Because they're looking at a narrow lens. And so I really wanted to highlight that in the white paper and say look, there is more than just one way of realizing value from projects that your teams are executing against across the landscape of technology. The challenge is how do we talk about it in a way that helps product manager or VP on the far reaches of the enterprise that really doesn't have any technology experience. Go to your Cloud center of excellence manager and say, hey look, why are we doing this? And they can talk the same language.

Emily Crawford (25:16):

Scott, do you indeed disagree? Or any other thoughts on that?

Scott Decker (25:21):

No, I don't disagree, actually. I think it is how you ... I know it's shocking. How you define value or what value they're looking for. Financials are always the easiest to point to or quantify. It's what rolls up to Wall Street and such and such. And so yeah, I think it's hard to do that from the get-go. I also think you can look at different organizations. So Organization A is looking at Organization B and they're saying hey, we haven't been a technology company up to this point, but we want to be, right? We want to be a technology company that happens to sell cars or we want to be a technology company that happens to whatever. Right? And they're trying to reorient around a very technology centric mindset. They see these companies out there that are leveraging Cloud and getting massive value from it. And they're wondering, how come we aren't getting that same value?

They're using the exact same Cloud. There are no fundamental services on AWS that only certain companies, the really cool sexy ones, get access to and the other ones don't, right?

Mario DiMattia (26:29):

Like Etsy?

Scott Decker (26:29):

They all have the same access. That technology is the same. It's the people. It's the processes that are different.

Mario DiMattia (26:36):


Scott Decker (26:37):

And that just takes a long time to change. So if you want to realize value immediately, plan on massive turmoil and turnover and reshaping your organization and your talent and your learning and development and everything else. Or plan on taking it years, right? Because you're going to have to work with the existing skill force you have who doesn't know this skillset, who has very established ways of working with people who have done the same thing for the last 15 years in the same way. And you're going to have to slowly pivot them to entirely new punchline, again, ways of working. And that takes time. I think, again, people think about it as a technology thing like oh, I just press the Cloud button and I instantly realize this value. And that's not how it works. It's not a technology hurdle so much as it is a people and a process hurdle.

Mario DiMattia (27:27):

I'm going to argue with-

Scott Decker (27:28):

You don't solve that quickly.

Expanding Your Understanding of the Value of Cloud

Mario DiMattia (27:29):

Pressing the Cloud button does instantly provide some amount of value. Our clients and companies who are just starting the journey, they don't know how to realize it. That's really the intent of the whitepaper. You think pressing the Cloud button is going to instantly drive some amazing change into the firm that makes you 10X your revenue streams. What it actually does is incrementally modify the way, to your point, people are working. Incrementally modify the way they realize value. The problem is if you're not hyper strategic in defining and mapping what projects are providing what type of value to your customers, whether they're internal. Again, if you're a product thinking product team on the inside or external, then you have no way of realizing that hey, the last six months that feel like we haven't done anything, we've actually realized this tremendous amount of differentiated value for us. It may not be differentiated for the market, but that differentiation internally will eventually yield a fundamental modification to the way your business makes money.

And that's the important part is that enterprises don't change overnight. Incremental value change, incremental realization of what works, what doesn't, and enabling experimentation and understanding a different accountability posture and responsibility posture across your company is where the value comes from. That's part of what the white paper, the intent is to drive ... think differently about what you're doing, where you make your investments, where you place your bets, so that you can realize the value that you intend to receive from.

Emily Crawford (29:23):

So I'm going to cut in there because Scott was talking about the two different ways that organizations could adopt this. Move fast, maybe cause turmoil, get new skill sets quickly, but also potentially realize value quickly. It sounds like you may be more of a proponent of the incremental change. You just have to help describe how that value is being realized incrementally.

Scott Decker (29:46):


Emily Crawford (29:47):

Is that accurate?

Scott Decker (29:47):

You're never going to go into a Fortune 10 company and say use Cloud and blow up everything and life will be completely fine. There's no way. It has to be incremental. Incremental but intentional. And hyper visible in what the increments are actually yielding such that you can validate that the decision you made, the investment you made, is worth it.

Emily Crawford (30:12):

How you're measuring that change being successful.

Scott Decker (30:15):

Yeah, right. Even knowing that you should measure it. That concept alone, measuring if it's data center migrations and thinking about the underlying processes and structures that come with moving a singular VM or your suite of applications, just understanding that those changes to process and functional understanding of technology yields value to the enterprise. It's just not going to be revenue-generating. But it is value. It's just a different type that enables someone else in the enterprise to do something differently, which allows them to generate value in a singular and different way, which incrementally modifies their team. If you can track or at least understand how that incremental modification to a singular team delivering a solution worked, you can replicate it. What big companies don't do is even think about the small incremental changes that come with process modification or knowledge distribution. And so this is why Cloud is valuable. It's like, they fully ...

James Milward (31:19):

Yes they can.

Scott Decker (31:20):

The definition is too narrow.

James Milward (31:22):

So just to jump on your point there, as well, Mario, I think measuring it is so key, as well, because can I think it's a fine balance to strike between planning paralysis and planning absolutely everything to the end degree and really not getting anywhere, and going the other way and just being completely chaotic and breaking everything. And knowing the speed in which you are adopting and taking on that change, I think, is really important to identify if you are being efficient in that adoption journey, or if you need to change something or make of a step change in what you're doing.

Mario DiMattia (31:56):

So I'm going to press, efficiency isn't the goal. I could make a strong argument that it doesn't matter how quickly the Cloud adoption journey takes hold within a firm. It's how effectively it takes hold within a firm.

Emily Crawford (32:10):

And that's not through efficiency?

Mario DiMattia (32:12):

The two things are not mutually exclusive. They can live together. They don't have to. Effectiveness and efficiency are two different things. You can be really effective, but you may not be the fastest. It may not be the easiest. Or you can be really efficient, but it could be singularly efficient in a very narrow space of what AWS may provide for your teams to build upon.

Emily Crawford (32:33):

James, did you have any other thoughts on what makes that transformation effective?

James Milward (32:38):

I agree with Mario. I totally agree. I think, going back to the ways of working and tracking effective or efficient, you can really think you are being efficient, but looking at the broader picture of what you're actually trying to achieve is the key on, I think, the effectiveness there. So that's where things are changing. From what I've seen, you used to have engineering squads in one area, infrastructure teams sat in another, product owners maybe interacting, and now you've got mixed discipline squads of infrastructure, product, and engineers all working closely together. And I think that's how the effectiveness and efficiency are brought together because product owners are almost saying, this is our end goal or this is the organization's end goal. And the efficiency is like okay, how are we iteratively getting towards that? It's a fine balance. And people are still working out how it works for each business.

We talk about agile transformation as well, but there isn't one single wave of working in an agile way. Agile, it should be tailored to the business's needs in my opinion. And that then goes alongside your Cloud adoption journey as well. What is job to us? How do we work together? How are we efficient and how are we effective? And how are we actually going to get to being on the Cloud? And I think my statement there is actually incorrect. I think you can be on the Cloud. It's an evolving journey because as soon as you've moved, say you moved everything to Microsoft Azure, once you've got all of your platform in the Cloud, the Cloud's changed. And then something new has been released, which you could capitalize on to make your business more efficient. Again, you've got to redevelop and pour time back into building your application. So yeah, I think there's a continual evolution, once you're on the Cloud, to embrace.

Mario DiMattia (34:16):


James Milward (34:16):

And that then is mindset way for working and it's just yeah, it's an evolving thing.

Credera's Cloud Transformation Framework

Mario DiMattia (34:21):

We put together a tool, Consultant World Two by Two, that we find really helps our leaders, not just Cloud leaders, but general leaders in a firm, in a company, talk consistently about where they're placing investments and the value they should expect to receive from them, across the two by two bottom left, very foundational value. What projects are we investing in that builds some capability within our company that we need to do differently from what we were doing before? We talked to AMI management. That's a capability. It's not really a solution. It still provides value.

Then there's operational on another quadrant, on the two by two is operational. How do you scale that capability across teams once you've discovered that it's actually useful? Upper left was exploratory. Really more in, how do you define a new way of building a solution, creating an application, delivering a product. Now, that could be using serverless where companies typically compute heavy, VM heavy. Could be using more cutting edge MLOps processes to deliver machine learning models to your data science org faster, which needs a different set of governance and security around it because folks don't really know what they're doing. So they need to be enabled to be flexible and change.

Maybe a team realizes some pretty significant value in the exploratory space, such that other teams should take advantage of it. And you shift your investment down into an operational space where you take their methodology and scale it out to a broader adoption process. Enterprises typically think about investing in foundation and operations in the Cloud. It's very rare that we hear ... They want innovation. They don't think about and apply the process that allows them to say, this is an innovative thing. People don't know there's innovation happening in the moment. They realize it when it's done.

If all you focus on in trying to learn how to take advantage of Cloud technology is, how do we create capability and how do we scale it to the enterprise? Then you're too overweighted in building the ability to do something versus investing in figuring out whether the ability to do that even yields value to a given enterprise, to a given firm. We really talk about spreading investments amongst the quadrants that then collectively yield transformation down the road. Where you're doing innovative things grounded in sound capability, and then you can scale up effort to the rest of your teams so they can do something innovative too.

Emily Crawford (37:14):

So you're telling me there's no easy button for this?

Mario DiMattia (37:17):

And if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. It would've been done already. We wouldn't be here talking.

Emily Crawford (37:22):

That's why we're talking about the ways to differentiate value. Exactly. Scott or James, any last thoughts on that?

Scott Decker (37:29):

I'm just curious, Mario, we set up the framework and we started, if you look at the white paper with one foundational and then two operational and three exploratory and four transformative, just linguistically, it makes sense to start with foundational is number one. But in terms of order of operations, do you actually think companies should start with the foundational capabilities or would they start somewhere else?

Mario DiMattia (37:58):

I think that it should start everywhere all at once. It is a fallacy to think that you cannot learn something new in a secure and governed way if you don't have a foundational capability in a given aspect of a Cloud vendor. I think it's a fallacy. You can do both. You can decide to increase your investment in DevOps while also figuring out how to be capable, creating those foundational solutions and figuring out whether Lambda makes sense for your enterprise, all at the same time,

Emily Crawford (38:34):

If you've had the proper conversations about the changes necessary to process, and even roles and responsibilities, as well.

Mario DiMattia (38:41):

Right. And that's why when we talk about day zero, having everyone come together. Well, day 78, those same folks need to come together and understand on a consistent basis from day zero to 78, here's where we're placing our investments and here's what's expected and required from the teams that are involved in projects that are in the exploratory, operational, foundational, transformative space, such that they're willing to take on, whether it's risk or additive work, to be successful.

Emily Crawford (39:15):

Is that foundational conversation, if you could leave IT leaders with one tip today, would it be to have that foundational conversation before you get started or something else?

Mario DiMattia (39:24):

I think it's a good question. The advice that I would leave behind is encourage your teams to think about why they're doing what they're doing and drive consistent language across the teams, so they all understand what everyone is engaging with.

Emily Crawford (39:42):

Scott, what about you? If you could leave IT leaders with one thought today, what would it be?

Scott Decker (39:47):

If you are upgrading from .NET 3.0 to .NET 05, feel free to just mandate that and do it. But if you're actually trying to do Cloud transformation, don't try to mandate that. Don't think of it as just a technology objective. You need to share this with your business counterparts. You need to have lunches with them where you explain what it is, how it will impact the ways of working, how the business can fundamentally benefit from this. This is not something you can just decree from on high and have it work well. You have to work with the business and understand the impacts if you're going to be successful.

Emily Crawford (40:26):

James, what about you? One tip or thought for IT leaders as we close?

James Milward (40:32):

Yeah, I think some of this is what Scott said. DevOps is a term that's used now by lots of businesses. And what it really means is getting the right people together in the same teams to work closely and understand the business as a whole. So if there's an option to do it in your business, then have cross-functional teams wherever possible. So allow people to work efficiently and effectively. Say that you can understand your business as a whole and ground your path, so you can move towards the Cloud at a faster rate.

Emily Crawford (41:05):

Thank you all. Well, I'm worried if we stay on here too long, we might be going through the ins and outs of how Etsy works as a business. So I think we will wrap it up there. Thank you all so much for your time today. Really appreciate the conversation on Cloud transformation and how to get the most value out of it as an organization and how to change your mindset on it, which is really what I learned about today.

Listeners, if you're interested in learning more about what's right for your organization, check out our whitepaper that was mentioned several times here, which is available on Credera's website. That will be on our Insights page. And if you'd like to continue the conversation, feel free to reach out to us via our website as well.

Once again, a big thank you to Mario, Scott, and James for joining me today to discuss Cloud. And thank you as well to our listeners. We hope you'll join us for another episode of Technically Minded.

Conversation Icon

Contact Us

Ready to achieve your vision? We're here to help.

We'd love to start a conversation. Fill out the form and we'll connect you with the right person.

Searching for a new career?

View job openings