Making the cloud a success
Quick Wins Show Results
Quick Wins Show Results 150 150 CloudGovCo

When you establish the #Cloud Centre of Excellence for #AWS, #Azure, or #Google, it’s important to have quick wins that show results to management, instill confidence and motivate the team.

This also creates momentum – important in every project – and creates warm and fuzzy feelings in the organization when you advertise success.

Quick wins are not a one off – you should be continuously managing a list of prospects using a #Kanban board or similar.

A quick win is an improvement that is visible, has immediate benefit, and can be delivered quickly after the project begins.

The quick win does not have to be profound or have a long-term impact on your organization, but needs to be something that many stakeholders agree is a good thing.

Quick wins can be easily discovered during analysis of business processes or during requirements elicitation.

You can often identify quick wins by simply asking stakeholders if they have any quick win recommendations that could result in immediate benefits to the organization.

The best quick wins are easy to implement, inexpensive, and of course can be rapidly implemented.

Where is Your Cloud Centre of Excellence
Where is Your Cloud Centre of Excellence 150 150 CloudGovCo

#Azure #AWS #Google #Cloud #CIO

Covid has put immense pressure on CIOs to cut costs. Microsoft, AWS & Google all recommend a cloud centre of excellence for an effective cloud journey. Based on experience at an organization with 30,000 employees and 44 business divisions this series of videos shows how to create and scale a practical cloud centre of excellence. A cloud centre of excellence establishes a team that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and training for your successful cloud journey. 7 short videos

6 Signs That the Future of Work Is Here Today
6 Signs That the Future of Work Is Here Today 150 150 CloudGovCo

This article is originally posted on

“A great overview by Gigster CEO Chris Keene on how the gig economy is transforming work in the enterprise by making it more customer-centric and high performance. Don’t miss the stories of companies actually doing this.”  Dion Hintchcliffe, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

As software continues to eat the world, companies must find ways to build more innovative teams. For these companies, The Future of Work is here today. How companies reshape the way they engage digital talent will have a huge impact on their ability to innovate. Here are six ways digital leaders are creating The Future of Work now.

  1. Remote workers and work from home teams are the new normal

The best talent is not always located where you are. Even within a company, silos can prevent the right people from working on the most critical innovation projects. Making it possible for team members to work remotely is the only way to liberate talent across the company. This is also the only way to source critical skill gaps that are not available inside the company, like AI/ML engineers. Supporting distributed teams calls for adopting a common set of processes and collaboration tools, including Slack, Github and Jira.

  1. Hybrid teams beat monoculture teams

Innovation requires a diverse mix of talent. The most innovative teams blend in-house employees who have industry context with expert global talent who have advanced technical skills. This is the opposite of the traditional systems integration model that outsources innovation. Hybrid teams also have the value of helping companies build in-house skills by working side by side with expert freelance talent.

  1. Elastic Staffing beats fixed staffing

Many companies adopt agile team processes but staff teams inefficiently — they follow a fixed staffing model that allocates each role as a full-time position for the duration of a project.  This is only half agile. Because it makes experimentation too expensive to try, and reduces employee mobility and satisfaction. Compare this to Elastic Staffing, which allocates resources based on the workload for each project phase. For example, developers can join a project after the detailed design is complete, and technical architects may only be needed part time. Elastic Staffing can reduce the total hours to deliver innovative products by over 50%.

  1. Employees want to be treated more like freelancers

Top employees want the freedom and flexibility to choose how they work and what they work on. This doesn’t have to require radical organizational changes. For example, applying the Google 20% rule, where workers can choose their own projects 20% of the time, can boost morale and build skills. This lets more senior employees peer review deliverables from other projects to reduce risk. It also helps more junior employees grow by being exposed to new business and technology challenges.

  1. Freelancers want to be treated more like employees

Top freelancers want stability and work benefits without sacrificing their flexibility. Companies that learn how to work effectively with freelancers will have their pick of the best global talent. This includes setting up projects for success with distributed teams, incorporating advanced technologies, and providing predictability for freelancers that helps them  plan effectively. In California, laws like AB5 are beginning to mandate providing more benefits for freelance workers, and putting them more on par with the benefits that full-time employees receive.

  1. Automated team and talent assessments are here

Technology will ultimately reshape jobs, but today, technology is reshaping talent ratings. Every collaborative tool – from Slack, to Jira, to Github – has open APIs that can automatically collect data about the productivity and quality of work being produced by people and teams. Tools like Pinpoint can collect this data. Applying analytics to this data enables the creation of “karma scores” by person and by team, to provide objective and trusted evaluation of skills.

Examples of The Future of Work today

A global telco created hybrid teams that mix in-house staff with top global experts to accelerate their machine learning and predictive analytics initiatives. They manage these distributed teams following Silicon Valley best practices and have been able to deliver new applications that leverage AI up to twice as fast as traditional in-house development teams.

One of the world’s largest digital agencies created an entirely new digital transformation business unit using hybrid teams that blend employees and global freelance talent. This approach enabled them to onboard over 100 engineers in less than six months, with minimal recruiting costs.


The Future of Work describes a cultural shift that companies must adopt to grow their innovation capacity. The pace of those changes is accelerating as more companies adopt new work from home rules that support remote workers. Companies that embrace a Silicon Valley-style culture of innovation can become more customer-centered, more able to tap new talent pools, and to dramatically reduce risk.

Author Bio:

Chris Keene

As CEO, Chris drives Gigster’s vision to de-risk digital innovation. Chris was previously VP Cloud for VMware, where he led the $400 million Pivotal spinout. Chris also founded and took public Persistence Software (NASDAQ:PRSW)

Adopt a Cloud Centre of Excellence
Adopt a Cloud Centre of Excellence 150 150 CloudGovCo

The #Cloud is more complex than IT on premises. Employees must be more knowledgeable and skilled.

Learn how to setup a cloud centre of excellence (CCoE) to manage a knowledge-base and assist your organization in maturing its cloud capabilities. A CCoE defines a common set of best practices and work standards. It assesses your organization’s maturity profile against these best practices and work standards. It provides guidance and support, tools and templates and training in implementing these best practices and work standards.

Without a CCoE cloud adoption will be haphazard, uncoordinated, slow, and will not deliver long-term benefits or digital transformation. Think of a CCoE as a type of portfolio management for assigning human and budget resources to cloud development.

Why the Cloud
Why the Cloud 150 150 CloudGovCo

I thought I would say a bit more about consulting in the context of cloud, since cloud is central to business transformation these days.

The reason cloud is so important is as follows.

* Usage-based cost. Originally cloud was sold as being cheaper. This may or may not be the case, primarily because people tend to load it up with new features. However, usage-based pricing exposes the true cost of IT and allows direct cost charge back to business units.

* Time to launch/market. You can launch a server or a solution in the cloud in less than 15 minutes. Doing this internally on premises could easily take 6 months due to procurement and other issues. This drives innovation, startups, etc., and is also less cost to implement.

* Durability. Data is guaranteed to be 99.9999999999% durable.

* Availability. Data is available 99.9999% uptime.

* Resilience. In basic SLA data is replicated across two availability zones. You can pay more and have it replicated across regions.

* Scaling. Cloud services can automatically scale up and down as your user load changes. On premises you would have to over provision for the highest anticipated workload — at higher cost.

* Content Delivery Networks. Clouds have CDN so data is cached close to the consumer. This is important if you have clusters of users around the world.

* Midlife renewal. There is no midlife cost on the cloud. Technology is constantly upgraded as part of the service. On premises you have to budget for midlife renewal of servers.

* Patching. Security patches are constantly and automatically applied to cloud services. Often, on premises, patching is poorly maintained.

Shameful Crisis in Care Homes
Shameful Crisis in Care Homes 150 150 CloudGovCo

June 01 — The brunt of #Covid cases in Canada, UK and USA was in care homes. We can only speculate that this is because care homes in these countries are not part of the healthcare system and are owned by investors. See herehere, here and here.

A Slight Hiccup
A Slight Hiccup 150 150 CloudGovCo

May 27 — Last week’s mail didn’t go out at 4:00 AM on Wednesday due to a clock timing issue on our server in the AWS cloud. So today you’re getting some stale Covid news. You’ve already seen these conclusions in the mainstream media; although we were there first. Sigh.

There is not much we can usefully say this week, given the dire circumstances in the USA. This populist uprising was entirely too predictable in a country that is basically dysfunctional, deeply racial, and which has no social net or universal health care.

Stay safe!

Canada Recklessly Exits Covid
Canada Recklessly Exits Covid 150 150 CloudGovCo

May 22 — Canada is exiting Covid without a clear sense of direction, according to the CBC today. “Canada is emerging from months of lockdown, but key questions remain unanswered about where Canadians are getting infected with COVID-19 and why case levels remain high in our hardest-hit provinces.”

Although testing and contact tracing are essential, the Toronto Star reports ” the provinces and territories combined are testing fewer than 30,000 Canadians every day — less than half the available testing capacity that chief public health officer Theresa Tam has said should be the target.”

This week May 20 I said Canada, USA and UK “were forced into a mitigation strategy because their initial response was weak and slow. Now they are united in easing out of lockdown before testing and contact tracing are fully in place, and they risk a long and painful recovery.”

Writing in Project Syndicate, Robert Skidelsky says these and like countries are unofficially following herd immunity in order to “save the economy”.,

“Doing this, however, lifts the cap on non-exposure gained from the lockdown. That is why no government has an explicit exit strategy: what political leaders call the “controlled easing” of lockdowns actually means controlled progress toward herd immunity. Governments cannot openly avow this, because that would amount to admitting that herd immunity is the objective. And it is not yet even known whether and for how long infection confers immunity. Much better, then, to pursue this goal silently, under a cloud of obfuscation, and hope that a vaccine arrives before most of the population is infected.”

The problem with this is that herd immunity requires somewhere between 60 and 80% of the population to get Covid, According to John Hopkins University this morning, Canada has reported 82,750 confirmed cases. These are people who presented to a medical service.

With a population of 37.59 million, these confirmed cases are only 0.0022%. So you can see why organic herd immunity is magical thinking. The only way polio and (almost) smallpox were beaten was with vast vaccination programs.

Apple-Google Covid Contact App
Apple-Google Covid Contact App 150 150 CloudGovCo

May 20 —  Apple and Google jointly announced their API specification for a contact tracing app for #Covid, Unlike numerous apps already developed by various governments, the Apple-Google notification API incorporates privacy by design. The API works on IoS and Android smart phones and is only available;e through apps developed for public health authorities.

Apps using the API will rely on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded a compliant app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus.

A Tale of Three Countries
A Tale of Three Countries 150 150 CloudGovCo

This week May 20 we step back from the Cloud to again look at #Covid and the responses in Canada, USA and UK compared to Italy.

Italy was badly affected at the outset but its response was hard and fast with a complete lockdown of Lombardy. The graph of Italy’s recovery (John Hopkins University May 18) is very narrow and steep. This is typical of many countries that went for suppression instead of mitigation.

Covid cases in Italy

Italy had 500 cases on March 01

Contrast this with the shape of the recovery graphs for USA, UK and Canada, which are very broad with a shallow recovery slope. These three amigos were forced into a mitigation strategy because their initial response was weak and slow. Now they are united in easing out of lockdown before testing and contact tracing are fully in place, and they risk a long and painful recovery.

Covid cases in USA

USA had 500 cases March 12


Covid cases in UK

UK had 500 cases March 18

Take Canada as a more detailed example. It’s highest number of daily cases was a spike of 2,800 on April 5. But if we take April 21 as more representative of the peak with 1,700 cases versus 1,100 on May 18, this is an average daily reduction of 1.29%. At this rate, Canada will not achieve 500 cases per day — the point at which it declared an emergency — for another 62 days. (Admittedly this assumes a linear response.) This is in the third week of July.

Covid cases in Canada

Canada had 500 cases March 23

There are different politics in play.

In Canada the provinces of Ontario and Quebec failed to control March break (British Columbia took a different approach) and holiday travellers returning to their Toronto and Montreal airports. The result is these two provinces are at the centre of the pandemic in Canada. Montreal is now the seventh deadliest place in the world for daily deaths with an uncertain future. Like the UK, Canada failed to safeguard care homes for the elderly. And guidance from the Government of Canada has also sometimes lagged guidance from the WHO and CDC by 10 days.

In the USA there has been complete chaos resulting in the worst pandemic response globally and the highest deaths in the world. President Trump has encouraged armed protesters to attack legislatures in states that have Democratic governors while he muses about injecting bleach and gulps hydroxychloroquine pills “because I think it’s good, I heard a lot of good stories … I take a pill every day.”

In the UK the national government has been acting like schoolboys trying to outdo each other in a debating club. You could not make up their guidance, from saying car pooling is ok if the driver doesn’t look at you to you can’t visit both your parents at the same time but if you meet someone else’s parents in public that’s ok.

The UK government, relying on behavioural scientists rather than public health experts, bumbled at every step from its abandoned policy of herd immunity – which delayed the lockdown until later than in other countries – to its inexplicable decision on March 12 to stop community testing.

Recent studies paint a consistent picture: across countries, the restrictions being put in place by governments are effective to slow the pandemic. If a government delivers an effective testing and contact-tracing strategy that brings the virus under control by the time lockdown measures are lifted, health authorities would have measures in place to identify and curb incipient outbreaks like those in Germany and Seoul.