The '5 R's' of the move to cloud native: Re-platform, Re-host, Re-factor, Replace, Retire

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  • How to convince your board that the move to Cloud Native technology is imperative...
  • ..and how to avoid frightening them to death in the process
  • It's not easy, but a step-by-step transformation with strong planning is key 


Jonathan Stockdill, Head of Engineering, Amdocs Global Services

Jonathan Stockdill, the Head of Engineering at Amdocs Global Services, details a step-by-step methodology to convince a company board of directors that the move to cloud native is imperative and can be achieved via a measured and evolutionary plan, independent development teams and consistent continual feedback on progress.

He says the first step is to be brutally honest because boards of directors really don't want to hear bad news but it is vital that they be confronted by it. Network transformation is not easy but it has to be addressed, met and managed and that requires a time-scale and a very strong transformation plan. So, if the task is going to take four of five years, be upfront about it and lay out a design for a quick, quantifiable win within 90 days of the implementation of transformation, have a plan in place for a second milestone to be hit at one year and another, major advance within the three year mark.

Any transformation plan must start with a series of objectives that provide the most value for the business as a whole, not just for the development teams whose goals may seem esoteric and inimical to the expectations of senior management. Then the need is to determine and understand how the different systems within the organisation will communicate with one another in a transformed environment and to fully understand the interdependencies between them. Then and only them should the focus move to encompass areas such as containers and microservices.

It is also crucial that development teams have the autonomy to act independently and be given the authority and time to deliver to the business. The basic transformation blueprint ought to be that the architecture should follow the objectives and strategies of the business and the transformation teams follow the architecture with the aim of achieving the greatest business benefit as soon as possible whilst remaining in alignment with the corporate growth strategy.

Jonathan Stockdill emphasises that Amdocs Global Services is heavily involved in cloud native, has fully embraced it and developed a next-generation product line because the company believes it is the soundest architectural approach to the solution of business problems, amplifying value and innovation and minimising cost as CSPs evolve to become DSPs.

The bottom line is that telcos and service providers will go cloud native when it is cheaper for them to migrate to the cloud and pay cloud costs than it is to remain in the data centre. That time is now and by adhering to the "5 Rs" of the move to cloud native, Re-platform, Re-host, Re-factor, Replace and/or Retire, the path is open, clearly marked and the goal eminently achievable.

Filmed at: Cloud Native Telco, London, December 2019

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