Re:Invent your Approach if You Want to Transform

Takeaways from re:Invent 2019

by Doug Burke.

The AWS re:Invent 2019 event in Las Vegas wrapped up a couple of weeks ago. With 65,000 attendees, 77 new product announcements and countless key notes and fascinating breakout sessions, it was a jam-packed week that still reverberates across the IT landscape!

TDS team engaged in meaningful conversations with many colleagues, partners and customers at the event, and I’m looking forward to continuing those discussions over the coming months!

Andy Jassy’s keynote still resonates with me. It kicked the conference off with great energy and offered sound advice for achieving successful IT transformations. In particular, he highlighted four distinct traits of AWS customers with successful transformations.  In recognizing their successes, Jassy offers a blueprint to effectively overcome the barriers that plague many organizations as they struggle to start their own transformation journeys.

Many customers come to TDS frustrated with their inability to get traction in their transformation projects. They struggle to meet daily operational expectations, while evaluating on new technology solutions, and avoiding risk to the business. These are serious challenges, and many organizations fall short. This is not surprising. Research shows that 51% of cloud adoption projects stall or are abandoned due to unexpected challenges.

I think that the four recommendations that Jassy shared echo our own experiences working with successful customers and align with the best practices TDS has developed over the past 17 years:

1. Start with senior leadership team conviction and alignment.

It’s not easy to make a big shift like this, and inertia is a very powerful thing. It takes top-level buy-in and a sound investment to change your processes, technology, and the way you work.  Without executive sponsorship, your projects will never get off the ground.  TDS recommends  aligning your IT environment and objectives with business objectives.  Understanding the business goals, including governance, security and compliance objectives will earn senior leadership support and trust.

2. Set a top-down aggressive goal.

It’s easy to go a long period of time dipping your toe in the water. But if you set an aggressive top-down goal, you’ll let the organization know that it’s a priority to get behind this  transformation. TDS recommends giving all stakeholders visibility to the goal and communicating progress to ensure everyone joins in the excitement.

3. Train your builders.

It’s not that hard to use the cloud, but it takes training. Here’s how Christian Pearce, cloud architect at The Hershey Company described how our transformation project changed their IT team, “With different responsibilities, domains, skill sets, security, we are now coming together and having really good discussions about what our end state will look like now and in five years. The TDS process, people and tools have helped us to attain cohesion as a team and a do a good job of shedding technical debt.”

4. Don’t let paralysis stop you before you start.

To make headway toward their digital transformation goals, companies will need to adapt a broader suite of technologies which add to the complexity of transformation initiatives (and therefore more opportunities to fail).

It’s critical to avoid becoming paralyzed while figuring out what to do with the more complex workloads. Most workloads are relatively easy to move to the cloud and the lessons learned here inform decisions about the hardest workloads that follow.  TDS recently announced an integrated solution with AWS CloudEndure that leverages automation and streamlines the sequential tasks of a complex migration process.

The result is a migration factory that delivers repeatable results — quickly, efficiently and without risk. It was exciting to see the excitement at re:Invent as we discussed this innovative solution.  Customers and partners alike immediately understood how this approach simplifies the complex analysis of workloads and accelerates progress – and successful results.

IT complexity is accelerating. Customers are adopting new technologies, meeting emerging regulatory and security requirements, and maintaining legacy apps – which may create friction across IT and business. We are passionate about enabling IT to easily adapt to technology changes, and innovate at the speed of business, while assuring business objectives are achieved. The AWS re:Invent conference was a great opportunity to exchange ideas, share experiences and celebrate those leaders who have achieved initial success in their transformation journeys.

Take the first step toward your transformation journey with a single pane view of your environment. Watch this video to learn more.

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