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3 signs you’re going overboard with cloud features

I’ve been working with new trendy tech for years, and one of the things that’s been driving me crazy is not the speed at which things move but the fact that my clients want to keep up at any cost.

There are several new features (aka cloud services) that are announced or released from public cloud providers monthly, not just at their user conferences: new database services, new AI services, new blockchain services, new serverless services, new container services. It’s becoming both exciting and confusing at the same time.

The trouble is that enterprise IT tries to keep up and ends up using features that it doesn’t really need, which hurt its ability to use cloud computing effectively. For example, I’m now running into many enterprises that are looking for a place to bolt on a machine learning service, when none is really called for.

Are you in this “cool cloud technology” death spiral? Here are three ways to tell.

1. Your cloud technology is looking for a problem

You’re not trying to solve a known problem with technology but are instead looking a problem to justify the use of some new cloud service you’ve fallen in love with. This is a systemic problem in IT, not just limited to cloud computing. It is easy to spot, typically somebody saying, “Let’s find a way to leverage XYZ technology” versus talking about a problem and then figuring out what technology and approaches to use.

2. Ops is way too complex and costly

You can tell if you’re going overboard with technology when things get too complex. You typically see that complexity, and its associated cost, emerge first in operations first. If you’re adding too many people, with very different skills, and things are going wrong more often, chances are you’re using too much new technology, it’s made things much more complex, and now you’re paying the price.

3. You can’t find the skills

Much the same as the symptom of ops complexity, there is hiring and training complexity as well. I typically see that occur in the form of recruiters quitting at alarming pace, because they can’t keep up with the hiring needs because the technology is so new that there are not enough skilled people out there to support it.

The solution for all of this is to think more pragmatically. You use technology for a purpose, your purpose is never to use technology.

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