The Cloud Distress Test

Don’t have any insights or metrics but still want to quickly gauge if a cloud programme is distressed? Then take The Cloud Distress Test!

The Cloud Distress Test

The best way to measure the success or failure of a cloud programme is to leverage metrics.

However, in certain situations where metrics are not available, it’s still possible to detect early warning signs, thanks to The Cloud Distress Test.

Randomly select 10 employees from all ranks and parts of the organisation. Then, ask them the following two simple questions:

  1. Why are we going to the cloud?
  2. What do we want out of it?

Bonus points for anyone who can point to answers in writing.

Then, sit back and watch the responses pour in! Now, what does it all mean?!

Well, aligning responses are not necessarily a guarantee for a successful cloud programme. However, diverging responses on the same topics are warning signs of potentially bigger trouble ahead. The more diverging, the more trouble.

The Hidden Dangers of Diverging Answers

When answering the above questions, participants tend to inherently focus on what matters to them. Some might focus on strategic objectives. Some on opportunities. Some on technical aspects.

Naturally, this yields a certain expected divergence when assessing individual answers. However, collectively, the answers need to paint a consistent and cohesive picture of why the company is going to the cloud and what it wants out of it.

But why focus so much on these seemingly inconspicuous questions in the first place?

If you don’t know why you’re doing something, what you’re doing might not lead to the intended outcomes. How you’re then doing it can quickly become irrelevant.

The Cloud Distress Test checks for the existence of a common set of motivations and expected outcomes. These are the quintessential goalposts defined by The Why of Cloud.

What needs to be done in order to reach these goalposts — the strategy — is then defined by The What of Cloud. The subsequent implementation of the strategy is then defined by The How of Cloud.

A fundamental divergence in motivations and expectations can lead to potentially disastrous outcomes. Not having things written down just amplifies the problems.

Good luck winning with a cloud that only grants access to very basic compute, network, and storage cloud services, yet at the same time is supposed to unlock cloud-native event driven solutions! On a shoestring budget.

Now, the good news is that these problems can be remediated with a Head of Cloud Success.

So, How Do You Spot a Distressed Cloud?!

While the above Worx for Me!™ — especially in interviews — when it comes to quickly gauging if a cloud programme is distressed, you may have an alternative or better way.

Think this is all rubbish, massively overrated, or generally heading into the absolutely wrong direction?! Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn and teach me something new!

As always, prove me wrong and I’ll buy you a pint!


Dominic Dumrauf

A Cloud Success Champion by profession, an avid outdoor enthusiast by heart, and a passionate barista by choice. Still hunting that elusive perfect espresso.

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