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If you're thinking of changing cloud solutions, here are some ways to create a smooth transition.

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Global cloud usage is on the rise, and the forecast is set to get even cloudier. Most organizations are managing a huge number of websites, applications and tools, siloed across different clouds, in an attempt to optimize their operational efficiency, security, and availability.

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Keeping track of so many cloud-based solutions can lead to a lot of confusion, wasted developer time and resources, and an unnecessarily high carbon output. But, is there an alternative? Can we reduce the time developers spend on cloud infrastructure management and reinvest that time and value elsewhere?

Many DevOps leaders have been searching for how best to optimize developer time and reduce time spent managing tools, websites, and applications. Some are switching to new cloud infrastructure solutions that minimize tooling requirements and make their lives easier. But, making this kind of change isn’t always easy.

So, let’s explore how you can navigate the sometimes tricky transition between cloud infrastructure solutions, and walk through the three steps to a successful switch.

Step 1: Scope the validity of the solution

There’s a lot more to consider when adjusting your digital strategy than simply jumping ship to another solution. There’s the validity of the solution, security, and compliance issues to consider. Not to mention getting your DevOps team on board with the change.

It’s important to source a solution that will genuinely add value to your organization and free up developer time so they can get back to what they do best:creating and innovating.

So, look at the bigger picture when researching a new solution. What are the benefits and drawbacks of the switch? What are the pain points this new solution will fix? How compatible is it to transfer data from other softwares you already use? How user-friendly is the platform?

Put yourselves in the shoes of your development team and put the work in to determine how useful this tool would genuinely be for your team.

Step 2: Collaborate with security and compliance teams

Managing an internal ecosystem of framework-specific tooling and parallel pipelines for all of your applications makes enforcing compliance standards a difficult, ongoing task. The very real possibility of tool deprecation and developer offboarding makes each piece of your organization brittle to change. The problem space is highly complex, and that complexity can only really be combated through standardization.

This is where the concept of a “platform team” or a “Cloud Center of Excellence” comes into play. Consider building a dedicated team to oversee consistent standards across all of your applications, so it’s possible to manage and improve that tooling.  This team should include key members from engineering, security, and compliance.

This is what operational maturity looks like. For plenty of organizations, building this kind of team from scratch will seem to take too long, and be too expensive to take on, but the need for it becomes clearer all the time. In the meantime, an external software solution could help you to incorporate security and compliance measures.

Step 3: Get your DevOps on board with the change

You’ve done your research. You’ve covered every feature. The new software you want to present is secure, functional, and compliant in every way it needs to be. There’s only one thing left to do…get the DevOps team on board.

It’s simple, really. We all want the same things at work. We want to minimize problems, time-wasting, and confusion, and maximize productivity, creativity, and enjoyment. When you present your new solution to your DevOps team, highlight how it will help you get to these things.

It’s about looking into the issues your team currently faces and presenting them with an alternative that can actively resolve those issues, and maybe even provide additional benefits they didn’t even expect.

Reflections

Many tech organizations are managing hundreds of different websites, tools, and/or applications, and it often falls upon DevOps teams to oversee them. As a result, DevOps teams are spending a great deal of their time managing infrastructure, as well as making updates, deploying changes, fixing bugs, testing code, and so much more. To help them, follow the three steps: find a solution that alleviates their problems, work with security and compliance to get buy-in, and educate your team on the benefits. Once you’re saving them time and stress (and saving the organization money), they’ll thank you.

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