Misstarts A misstart occurs when a change is ill-advised, hastily implemented or attempted without sufficient commitment. This is a leadership credibility killer.Making change an option When leadership commits to a change, the message must be that the change is not an option. But the message that often comes across is "We'd like you to change, we're asking you to change, we implore you to change, please change..." Whenever people have the option not to change, they won't.Not involving those expected to implement the change A great deal of resentment is aroused when management announces a change and then mandates the specifics of implementation. Employees need to be involved in two ways. First, their input and suggestions should be solicited when planning the change. Secondly, after a change has been committed to, they should be involved in determining the means. Leadership needs to communicate, "Here's what must happen. How do you think it can best be done?"Delegated to “outsiders” Change is an inside job. Although outsiders like consultants might provide valuable ideas and input, people inside the systems must accept responsibility for the change. Scapegoating and passing the buck is not an option.No change in reward system If you keep rewarding employees for what they've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. Make sure that rewards, recognition and compensation are adjusted for the desired change.Leadership doesn't walk the talk For change to happen, everybody involved must buy-in. Leadership, however, must take the first steps. Change is aborted whenever leadership doesn't demonstrate the same commitment it expects from others.No follow-through The best planning is worthless if not implemented, monitored and carried out. Responsibility must be clearly defined for making sure that follow-through is timely and intense
Here are some of the most common mistakes organizations make as they embrace the cloud.1. Failing to define “success.”Too many organizations regard cloud computing as a modern-day cure-all. Having problems with the bottom line? Turn to the cloud. Having trouble keeping remote workers productive? Trust the cloud. Are more of your employees working from home? Hey, maybe the cloud can help.“Setting unrealistic expectations is the number one reason organizations have trouble with cloud computing,” said Robert Stroud, international VP of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), a non-profit IT governance organization, and VP of service management and governance atCA.“Too many organizations believe that they can put in a request to a cloud provider, and, magically, everything will be working perfectly overnight.”2. Failing to update computing concepts.Early this year, startup Heroku was blindsided by an Amazon EC2 outage. Heroku provides a cloud development platform for Ruby on Rails that is hosted by Amazon. When weather caused an outage, Heroku saw its entire infrastructure disappear, along with the 40,000+ applications running on its platform.The company had done everything it was supposed to in terms of failover and redundancy. What they hadn’t realized, though, was that everything resided in a single Amazon “availability zone.”Amazon worked with Heroku to get their platform back on line quickly, but this incident shows how out-of-date computing concepts can undermine cloud efforts. Failover, backups and redundancy were easier to visualize in the on-premise computing world. If you backed up off-site, you were in good shape.If everything is off-site, though, how do you know what level of failover capability you actually have? The whole concept of data being in a specific place is challenged by cloud computing.“One of the things we’ve learned is that stability in the cloud is complicated,” said Byron Sebastian, CEO of Heroku. “One of the myths about cloud computing is that cloud infrastructure is a complete solution. It’s not. You need add-ons in the cloud as with any other IT system.”As a result, Heroku has expanded its own platform to offer its customers such services as advanced failover, load balancing and redundancy, all tailored for cloud-hosted applications.3. Failing to hold service providers accountable.Heroku was lucky. Amazon immediately reached out to them and helped them solve the problem. Others haven’t been so lucky. Visit the user forums of any major cloud computing platform and you’ll see plenty of venting.“X provider lost all of my data and won’t do anything about it!” is how these complaints often go (they’re usually in all caps and with many more exclamation points.) Some of the rants are obviously from people who screwed up and are looking for someone else to blame. Some are the rants of unbalanced lunatics. Others have the ring of legitimacy.I’ve talked to plenty of people off the record who complained about service providers, but few will discuss the struggles they’ve had with customer service. (This isn’t unusual for any story, so don’t start imagining a broad cloud conspiracy.) Anecdotally, though, the scales are weighted in the service providers’ favor.Michele Hudnall, solution marketing manager for BSM at Novell, emailed me to emphasize the importance of well-defined SLA’s. According to Hudnall, things you should watch out for are a lack of SLA’s, vague SLA’s and poor overall service management.Organizations can easily lose 1-2% of revenues when mission-critical services go down even for a short amount of time. When that happens, it’s important to hold the service provider accountable. This may mean renegotiating your contract to include SLA penalties or seeking remediation.Gartner recently drafted a list of customer rights that cloud vendors should honor. These included the right to SLA’s that address liabilities, remediation and business outcomes; the right to notification and choice about changes that will affect the service of consumers’ business processes; and the right to understand the technical limitations of the system up front.4. Failing to hold yourself accountable.Even if you have a solid SLA that has provisions for remediation, that doesn’t mean you are off the hook if something goes wrong.For instance, what happens if you store sensitive customer data in the cloud and someone breaches it? Do you really think it matters what your SLA says? Who will your customers hold responsible?You, that’s who.Earlier this month a security breach at AT&T exposed the email addresses of more than 100,000 iPad users. Most customers blamed Apple, but the problem was with AT&T’s cloud service.The breach was a minor one. After all, most people’s email addresses have been farmed by spammers many times over. However, had the leaked information been credit card or personal information, Apple would have had a problem that made the iPhone 4 antenna problems seem trivial.“You can never abdicate responsibility to a service provider,” Stroud said. “The cloud provider may be a custodian of your information, but the reality is that it is your reputation that will suffer if something goes wrong.”5. Failing to scrutinize vendors.Pretty much every service provider, hosting company and ISP is rebranding itself as a “cloud provider.” However, not all cloud providers are created equal. While it’s a pretty safe bet that Google, Amazon and IBM will be around in the years to come, you can’t say the same about numerous cloud computingstartups.What happens if your cloud provider fails? The collapse of cloud startup Coghead last year shows just how dangerous skimping on due diligence can be. Coghead wooed customers with low prices. Then, when it ran out of money and failed to raise additional VC capital, it gave its customers a few short weeks to get their data off of its systems.It could have been worse. What happens if your cloud provider shuts down with no notice? What happens if disgruntled employees smuggle servers out the back door after they get their pink slips? What happens if the local sheriff chains up the building under order from a bankruptcy judge?6. Failing to understand the service supply chain.Even if your cloud provider is stable, do you know how stable their service providers are? Cloud providers are increasingly outsourcing components of their services to third-parties. It’s important to understand the entire service supply chain in order to accurately judge the viability of the service you are signing up for.If you’re dealing with a large, established cloud provider, at least you have a single neck to choke if something goes wrong, and you can bet that bad press will motivate them to solve the problem. With smaller vendors, you might be on your own.7. Failure to manage and monitor applications.Many organizations have made the mistake of believing that management and performance problems disappear when they move to the cloud. “With traditional applications, eighty percent of your time and resources are spent on management and monitoring,” Sebastian of Heroku said. “The cloud puts a big dent in that, but it doesn’t go away entirely.”If your application performs poorly, your customers won’t blame the cloud provider, they will blame you. “There will be mistakes in your application. There always are,” Sebastian said. “With the proper performance management and monitoring tools in place, you’ll have a better chance of catching those mistakes before they become a disaster.”8. Failing to understand financial realities.Many organizations embrace the cloud because it is sold as being cheaper than in-house IT. That’s often true, but even when cloud services are cheaper, organizations may perceive them as being more expensive.Why?“We have so little visibility into what we’re paying for various technologies today that it’s easy to get sticker shock,” Stroud of ISACA and CA said. “That’s not thecloud providers’ fault.”It’s not necessarily your fault either. Financial visibility into IT systems is a tricky matter. Many costs are opaque. Who consumes what? Who pays for what? Who gets to consume how much? For many IT departments, the answer to those questions is fuzzy at best. With the cloud, though, those answers become painfully clear.9. Failing to understand the legal complexities of the cloud.When you outsource computing resources, your business, no matter how small, may have opened itself up to the legal risks of a much bigger company. You may have to comply with laws from different jurisdictions, and you may face different liabilities, depending on where your data resides.According to Gartner, “Service providers have not done a good job of explaining which jurisdictions they put data in and what legal requirements the service consumer must, therefore, meet. The service consumer needs reassurance that the provider does not violate any country’s rules for which the consumer may be held accountable.”Complying with industry regulations is also more troublesome. Even if cloud services limit your risk and technically make you more compliant, you may have a more difficult time proving that.10. Failing to get off the sidelines.Finally, the biggest reason cloud deployments fail is because they don’t get started in the first place. Too many organizations fret about issues that are not all that different from the ones they have in their own data centers. Outages, security breaches and compliance are all general IT challenges, not cloud-specific ones.
Data Center Transformation Program Planning and Design
The bottom line…<br /><ul><li>Note that these points are all about management, rather than technology.
Projects fail when expectations are not aligned with results; in a sense, that’s the definition of failure. Given the complexity of IT projects, with many moving parts distributed among a diverse group of stakeholders, it’s not surprising that expectation mismatches occur all the time.