Agile Cloud Strategies

How do you optimize the capabilities to innovate and even experiment successfully?

The speed of change in technology and the effects on markets sometimes catapults our businesses into uncharted territories and hyper-competitive markets. This increases the pressure on the organization’s agility and innovation skills. And to optimize for agility and innovation, it is important to be able to experiment. Or, as the saying goes: “Fail fast, fail cheap and fail often”. This insight is by no means a new concept and has been utilized in start-ups and software development for years. It means the practice of conducting quick and cheap experiments to gain invaluable insights to hypotheses in order to rethink, close the loop and ultimately “pivot” or change course based on integrating the new lessons into the model.

Agile Cloud Strategies

With the introduction of pay-per-use pricing, Cloud computing has lowered the cost of experiments that use IT intensively. However, one of the risks of experimenting with Cloud computing is the side-effect of undesired infrastructure lock-in. This undesired vendor lock-in can prove costly when scaling up and holds many companies back from moving to on-demand Cloud services. Despite the potential of increased innovation speed and considerable cost savings, the lock-in makes migrations costly if, at some time down the line, you want to switch to another provider.

Enter the Luminis Cloud platform. We combine the best of Open Source in the Cloud space with an infrastructure agnostic design. This allows for a minimal vendor lock-in. Using the Luminis Cloud platform, you can define a Cloud strategy that is based on a freedom of choice. It not only supports a hybrid Cloud strategy, which uses a mixture of Cloud-based and in-house systems, but also multi-Cloud strategies. A multi-Cloud strategy not only eliminates the financial risk of putting all your IT eggs in one basket. It also encourages you to take a more agnostic approach to your software – whereby the application software stack is independent of the underlying infrastructure. Not only does this reduce the level of lock-in but also creates the interoperability that’s required for fast migration of workloads.
A multi-Cloud strategy can also offer an enhanced level of protection against costly downtime periods, as it provides the option to build in redundancy across more than one proprietary Cloud resource.

Agile development strategies

Another side-effect of the adoption of Cloud-first strategies, is the changed reality for software development. More specifically, as innovation and experimentation become more important, organizations need to change the way they are wired. They need to balance business strategies and software development strategies in one overall agile philosophy. In our experience, this means a deep change of existing development strategies. Technically, they need to have an extreme level of automation and integration in order to minimize delays between the idea, the development and the deployment of new concepts or business-models. Culturally, agile development strategies are based on having high-performance teams that are organized around ownership and commitment.

It goes without saying that an agile development strategies requires a suitable infrastructure and tool chain. The Luminis Cloud platform was designed from this perspective to offer a coherent toolchain with an appropriate Cloud-first infrastructure. Its major characteristics are:

  • Support for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD)
  • Integrated Issue management
  • Build and Test automation
  • Enterprise-grade operations

On Being Agile

To prevent readers from thinking that agility starts or ends with technology or processes, we’d like to add this important afterthought. Being Agile is about our state of mind and the way we act. It’s about how we see ourselves, our organization and the world around us. Therefore, becoming agile is NOT the goal. In the real world, organizations need to focus on their own goals and dreams – not cut and paste agile in their organization; being agile can only be a part of this change.