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3 cloud strategy tips to manage the challenges of cloud computing

Pluralsight hosts cloud transformation expert Emily Freeman who shares proven cloud adoption strategies to navigate the challenges of cloud computing.

Dec 15, 2023 • 4 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Data
  • Security
  • Business
  • Learning & Development

In 2023 alone, 70% of businesses reported having more than half of their infrastructure in the cloud. While many companies have successfully migrated to the cloud, driving cloud adoption still has its challenges.

Emily Freeman, Head of Community Engagement at AWS, and Amanda Knight, Global Director of Engineering Transformation at Pluralsight, discussed how organizations can overcome the challenges of cloud computing and deliver more customer value. They also shared tips for successful cloud transformation and adoption.

Watch Emily and Amanda’s conversation and get their cloud strategy tips for success.

Table of contents

Top cloud adoption strategy challenges for organizations

Emily and Amanda started by discussing the top cloud challenges for organizations: defining a cloud strategy, pushing code, and managing cloud security.

Organizations are struggling to define a cloud strategy

Pluralsight’s 2023 State of Cloud report found that 69% of organizations don't have a well-defined cloud strategy. Creating one your org can easily execute may be daunting, but it’s vital to cloud transformation success.

Beyond the strategy itself, leaders also need to share implementation goals, stay agile, and explain how cloud will drive better business capabilities and business continuity. 

“You can take a beautiful approach to cloud transformation, but being agile requires you to be adaptable. It takes internal alignment to create business value and create cutting-edge capabilities,” explained Emily.

She shared several tips to help organizations establish a cloud strategy and align teams during cloud adoption: 

  • Support organization-wide cloud fluency. Build cloud-ready skills by developing cloud training initiatives for technical and non-technical teams.

  • Look at your business needs as a whole. Don’t look for a specific cloud engineer. Look for someone who will fit the business needs.

  • Be flexible. During your cloud transformation, see what works and what doesn't. This takes some patience and iteration.

  • Anchor your team around a specific outcome. Include all stakeholders in the team and ensure they communicate with each other.

  • Think about capacity. Operating at 100% is the fastest way to burn out. Rather, consider running at about 60 – 65% on average. 

Organizations are struggling to push code

Around 50% of projects will be delayed by up to two years due to the cloud skills shortage. The takeaway? We have a skills problem, not a tech problem, and it’s impacting code consistency.

In fact, Amanda shared that 61% of organizations are pushing out new code no more than once per month. 

Emily was shocked to hear this. “Take it on faith that more frequent deployments are safer and better,” she said. “Massive releases are very stressful. . . . If you release code more frequently, the issues are smaller and more fixable, reducing the scope of deployments.”

Emily also pointed out that with up-and-coming technology like generative AI and LLMs, it’s easier and faster to write new code.

Rather than having large, high-stakes updates, empower your teams to experiment and release smaller batches of code more frequently. If there’s an error, it isn't catastrophic, and teams can fix it more easily. Plus, releasing code more often will help your organization adapt to new technologies and learn new tech skills.

Organizations are struggling with cloud security

Cloud security continues to be a hot topic. “It is difficult, has a steep learning curve, and is dangerous,” said Emily. “There’s no experiment with security. . . . If you mess up, there are real-world consequences.” 

Organizations can be hesitant to admit when they don't have stellar cloud security, which makes it hard for cloud engineers to grow and improve. And, when something does go wrong, the org often blames the engineering team.

Cloud security is not one person’s or one team’s responsibility—it’s the entire organization’s. When something goes wrong, the system failed, not an individual or team. When everyone understands that your org is in this cloud security thing together, you’ll boost resiliency.

3 tips for successful cloud transformation

Amanda and Emily shared several tips for navigating the challenges of cloud computing and driving successful cloud transformation.

1. State expectations for your cloud transformation

Before and during your cloud transformation, state expectations clearly and often. This reminds teams of the why behind your cloud migration strategy and helps them connect this bigger message to their daily tasks. It’s also important to create more open communication between managers and their direct reports to ensure all parties are aligned. 

“I see the most success in businesses who provide their engineers context for the business,” said Emily. “The most creative solutions don’t always come from the role in which you’d think they'd come from. If the ideas are good, run with them.”

2. Create a cloud migration strategy

A strong cloud strategy is vital. Leadership needs to outline a clear path forward for their workforce and be radically transparent about what it looks like to get there. Getting buy-in from your people will motivate them to achieve your org’s goals.

3. Prioritize your cloud engineers

Your engineering team is usually your most expensive cloud resource, but investing in your cloud engineers, and giving them resources to enhance cloud computing skills, can improve your tech ROI. When you support your tech teams, you’ll also boost job satisfaction and productivity. 

Emily shared an important insight: making work fun for your cloud engineers has big payouts. Engineers love to learn and tinker around. Give them the ability to do this, and you’ll empower them to make new discoveries—ultimately improving your organization.

Creating a cloud transformation strategy for success

Though organizations will face challenges with any cloud transformation, that transformation can still be successful. The key: Create a people-focused cloud adoption strategy and communicate it throughout the org. Share the why behind your cloud transformation initiative and then give your people the autonomy and resources to accomplish it with cloud skills.

Interested in learning more about how you can adopt and deploy a successful cloud transformation strategy within your organization? Explore our cloud transformation strategy guide or check out these other resources:  

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Pluralsight Content Team

Pluralsight C.

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