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“If it ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it”

A friend of mine bought a brand new Ferrari; This car was a true man made sculpture. I remember looking at the car and I was just awed by the perfection. The exterior was designed to be aerodynamic and it is perfectly balanced to take corners at high speeds, the tires were created for exceptional road handling, and the engine tuned for maximum performance. Sitting in the drivers seat the interior was amazing. The high quality leather was designed for maximum comfort and the gauges and controls were perfectly arranged to enhance the overall experience.

Six months later, I ran into the same friend and he was expressing his displeasure with his new car. He told me that he felt the engine was under powered, the car drove like a truck, and that he had challenges in keeping the gauges calibrated giving him inaccurate driving information. As he was speaking, I was thinking to myself, this is a Ferrari one of the most desirable cars in the world, this must be a joke.

As it turned out, he happened to have his car in the parking lot and I asked if I could take a look. When we approached the car, I almost didn’t recognize it. There was oil dripping from the underside and a new stripe painted across the hood. The tires looked like something that came off an SUV, and it appeared that most of the gauges had been replaced with aftermarket parts. What happened, I asked? My friend went on to tell me that he made some modifications to “personalize” his ride. He explained that he did not know how to maintain a Ferrari and that each change he made required another to fix the previous change. After a period of time he made so many changes, he was unable to figure out how to get it back to original. As it turns out, my friend didn’t know Ferrari’s are designed and delivered out of the showroom to provide the best performance in the world and little to no no changes are needed.

Although this story is one of my own creating, I use it to illustrate how I view many organizations managing their cloud solutions. I feel organizations have overstepped their boundaries of personalization through configuration to the point of no return. However, I also feel that cloud has been misrepresented and portrayed as “the” means to an end vs. an enabler or influencer creating confusion and achievement of desired expectations and outcomes. Who should take the blame? No one. In fact, there are no winners or losers in cloud. We all win together or we lose together.

How do you keep from destroying your Ferrari?

1. Gain an understanding of cloud

2. Understand how cloud will impact the way you work and operate

3. Be sure your organization and culture is ready to shift

4. Develop an enterprise cloud strategy

5. Define clear enterprise requirements, expectations, and outcomes

6. Build partnerships not silo's with other enterprise functions

7. Create a short, mid, and long term plan highlighting quick wins along the way

8. Choose your implementor wisely - understand their strengths and weaknesses

9. Do not underestimate the importance of management and maintenance

10. Change Management starts at #1

@brettaddis_SAP, hrstratchat.blogspot.com

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