Return of Experience about Cloud Computing in France

Having worked in North America for many years prior to joining a Cloud consulting company in France helped me see how far behind we were in terms of cloud adoption in France. But during these 3 years I really had the opportunity to see AWS, GCP and Azure convincing all the large French companies and the cloud becoming more mature and an acceptable and safe option.

Some of the motivators that force companies to move to the Cloud:

  • Startups that began to compete with them and are faster are executing because they are already in the Cloud
  • Number of new services available in the Cloud, automating common solutions and making costly existing internal processes or VMs completely useless
  • IoT, AI, Containers, Datalake and data processing speed capabilities offered by the Cloud
  • Unique capabilities of the Cloud to innovate and play with different services very quickly
  • Large companies that successfully made the move to the Cloud, removing doubts that some C-level had in the past
  • Cool and trendy technologies making recruitment of talents easier

I have seen companies mostly struggling with:

  • Designing an organised Landing Zone that will host everything that they will create in the Cloud
  • Setting up correct permissions and roles for user access and machine authentication
  • Building their network including planning for the future of their organisation
  • Choosing the right tools for automation of their infrastructure and their applications
  • Estimating the cost of their infrastructure and optimising it after the first month of use
  • Dealing with operations after the creation of the resources
  • Bad knowledge of Cloud providers SLAs for the services they use and what they need to change to make it acceptable for production

Pro tips to make the move easier

Train your employees and help them to get certified with the fantastic ACloudGuru, Coursera and Udemy. Yes the certifications are costly and a very good business for Cloud providers but they will assure a correctly set up infrastructure.

Then if you haven’t read it already there is great blog post about the purpose of having a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) to transform your entire organisation.

Architecting the right way

Having an experienced Cloud Architect among your team will make a significant difference. Read the Well Architected Framework from AWS. Document as much as you can, make clean designs with Lucidchart and their library of AWS, Azure and GCP icons. Iterate and keep them up-to-date.

In terms of infrastructure automation, most companies are using the solution made by their Cloud provider or Terraform. For application automation many solutions are available on the market like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, etc. Don’t try to do both with the same tool.

If you call for help to automate your infrastructure, don’t let a company or a partner just deliver the code to you. Train your people first and make them participate to the code reviews until they are able to reuse and make their own templates.

To conclude, every company has its own level in term of Cloud Adoption: some are slowly moving to instances with a bit of automation, others are born with containers and serverless. Whatever your situation is, I hope this post would have helped. Enjoy your cloudy adventure!

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