Moving to the public cloud

AAPT’s chief operating officer, David Yuile talks about managing the move to Google’s public cloud.

"It’s critical to spend time testing and trialing, and ensuring your network and communications are set up to deal with the increased usage. Otherwise, it’s a bit like buying a new dog and switching on a motion-detector system at the same time. You can’t underestimate the value in effectively ‘dimensioning’ the expected size of traffic flow.

"The purpose of an effective trial should be to think through the changes and barriers to the change. While you’ll likely have one part of your workforce actively embracing new applications, there’ll also be a percentage of people accustomed to being hand-held through any deviation from the norm. I find it’s often a generational thing — actively teaching people to ‘click-and-see’ and self-help capability is not something organisations spend time on.

"To that end, you must communicate aggressively with your people. Spread the word and build excitement and positive anticipation for what you’re trying to achieve. Using business evangelists and senior execs to promote early adoption proved invaluable for us.

"There’s often an expectation — particularly among staff — that applications should be up and running, problem-free straight away. Some companies only allow their people restricted access to the internet each day, but if you’re going to implement some of these tools, this approach might not work.

"Run a small pilot to start with — manage security issues, understand limitations. Having said that, don’t spend too long examining the minutiae of every risk or possible problem: At some point you just need to jump.

"Accept that some things might not work as expected. We moved about 2,000 people to our Google-based internal YouTube platform in one day and simply managed the (few) questions as they filtered through.

"Don’t try and replicate the past and account for every future expectation, otherwise you’ll end up building a mainframe! Prepare as much as you can and then trust your team and your people and get on with it.”

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