The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Are cloud failures different and more common?

Cloud failure.pngWith every technology there is a lifecycle and it cloud computing must be coming off the top of the top of the hype cycle with the number of stories similar to: The worst cloud outages of 2014.


And follow on stories like: Cloud failures will happen. Are you ready? It is prudent for articles to make statements like:

“Even if you only use the most reputable cloud services and products, things are bound to go awry from time to time so it’s crucial to be prepared for failures.”


And the ever popular: Why some cloud projects fail? Granted there are some staggering failure rates for cloud projects, but there are significant failure rates for all technology related projects.


Many of these patterns of failure are not unique to cloud. It usually gets down to a few issues core to every IT project:

  1. Know the business expectations/requirements and how to measure them.
  2. Have clear executive support
  3. Start small and make adjustments based on facts – iterate. If you don’t get what you expect make changes.
  4. Keep the big picture in mind (in many dimensions). After all, you’re trying to address the needs of the enterprise and not usually just a silo, at the end of the day.

Moving to cloud implies moving from operational thinking to a services mindset. Too many companies still bother about the underlying technology, forgetting to realize they now buy and integrate a service.

A quick thought about risks, assumptions and work

risk.pngI was looking at a post from one of the HP bloggers titled: Finding success in uncertain times (#3) - guard against sharks!   discussing the difference between uncertainty and risk.


Lately I’ve been looking at projects and this concept of uncertainty and risk is becoming something I think about more every day. I no longer receive a project plan without asking for the level of certainty associated with it by the people who created it.


In technology projects there are always risks. Show me a project with no risks and I’m now really concerned. The same is true about a project with no assumptions documented. Sharing this information with the leadership enables better decision making -- it enables them to lead instead of manage.


One team’s risk is another’s opportunity. You just need to understand which side of the equation you are living on.

Labels: development| Future| risk
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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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