3 steps to successful cloud architecture

Cloud architecture is popping up again as a hot topic. Cloud architects are hard to find, salaries are going up, and many are seeking cloud architecture training.

Most architects are really just subject matter experts on a single public cloud provider, and don’t understand other providers and how they can work and play well together. This causes some cloud deployment failures as architects become more and more myopic, using the same technology stack no matter if it’s a fit or not.

I’m finding that a return to traditional architectural processes used 20 years ago may be a better fit for cloud computing in 2020. However, they need to be modernized for the way we build solutions today and the technology we use.

“Paralysis through analysis” will always be a risk. Moreover, traditional sequential architectural processes (waterfall) fly in the face of the new world of agile methods, which are automated by very slick devops toolchains and processes.

Cloud architects must avoid these two extremes: 

First is thinking that you can iterate your way to cloud architecture success in record time. The application development model (getting it wrong many times before getting it right) is an accepted process for optimizing application development and reacting quickly to changing business needs. However, the same approach won’t work for architecture, unless you plan on spending millions of dollars unnecessarily to get to the right, fully optimized architecture. You just can’t adopt expensive technology or cloud services that way without adding a tremendous amount of risk and cost.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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