Over the last few years, I've been fortunate to be a part of many large and ambitious enterprise IT transformation initiatives. Call them agile, digital or DevOps transformations, essentially they're about trying to deliver better software and customer experiences faster.

What I've noticed is how the companies being most successful are almost always choosing public cloud to be their platform for innovation. The ones who are making less of an impact are the people in an on premises environment fighting with the existing beast. The most ambitious digital transformation I've seen was essentially bought down by the amount of time it took to have firewall changes made!

The reason these organisations are being succesful is surprising though. It's not just because cloud is a 'better/faster/cheaper/more agile/more secure/more manageable mousetrap'. (Even though it undoubtedly is a 10x mousetrap.)

It's because by using public cloud, they are getting to bypass legacy processes, thinking and culture.

By basing your digital transformation on the public cloud, you get to have an almost complete reset on the years of organisational scar tissue that have built up around how you manage your IT.

You get to break the dependency on legacy system integrators because you are outsourcing a huge part of your stack to experts in running web scale infrastructure.

You get a chance to modernise and reinvent how you work and how you perceive enterprise IT. Rather than being a ball of mud which you are terrified will fall over and have to protect with beuracracy, you have a chance to reset and see IT as an innovation and differentiation source.

When I see companies trying to transform without a public cloud strategy, I am getting to the point where I immediately worry for the success of the transformation. Not only are they held back with the existing static infrastructure, they also have to try to transform incrementally deep in the malaise of the legacy. When they are going to the public cloud in parallel, they have a huge and unique opportunity to re-assess how they do things.

It seems a big leap when we are talking about infrastructure, but this accelerated route to a leaner operating model and an innovation culture is really the most significant benefit of the public cloud.



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Benjamin Wootton

Co-Founder and CTO

Benjamin Wootton is the Co-Founder and CTO of Contino. He has worked with tens of enterprise organisations on DevOps transformation and is a hands-on DevOps engineer with expertise in cloud and containers.

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