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The cloud native Journey

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The term “Cloud Native” has risen in popularity of late and is being used to describe organizations that are using new cloud technologies and techniques such as Pivotal Cloud Foundry and DevOps to dramatically change how their businesses run. Rather than treating IT as a supporting function, these Cloud Native enterprise are using IT as the core enabler for their business models.

In doing so, they are not only making what were previously analog processes “digital,” but they’re enabling the business to take full advantage of the flexibility of software and, thus, making their businesses’ processes more flexible. Marrying up your business to software may seem risky: after all, as the Standish Group extensively covers, we’ve seen high rates of software projects struggling, if not outright failing, over the years. In contrast to traditional development technologies and methods, the new Cloud Native approach that focuses on smaller batches, is supported by cross-functional teams, and is delivered on highly automated cloud platforms improves the overall quality of software development across industries.

Most of Pivotal’s customers are organizations looking to take advantage of this Cloud Native approach and are on various stages of the journey to become Cloud Native Enterprises. This has given us the chance to observe how numerous enterprises are transforming and how they use custom written software to run their businesses. These organizations are responding to the need to become a software defined business—the pressure from “Silicon Valley” to use agility, cloud, data, and devices to disrupt how business is done. Those pressures are well covered elsewhere, and I wanted to start collecting the highlights of how these companies have been changing and what they’re doing. This concept is often called the “journey,” which is a euphemism for “it takes a lot of hard work and tim—you won’t just succeed overnight.” Similarly, building your own home or raising children is a “journey.” There are no easy answers, things “go wrong” often, but setting up a process of continual learning and improvement is what ends up addressing the problems, resulting in custom built houses and functioning adults.

This white paper explains what Pivotal customers and other organizations have been doing to make sure their “kids” stay out of jail. First, I’ll briefly discuss the goal—the reason companies are looking to become Cloud Native enterprises. The rest of the white paper looks at three modes of operating, new projects (“greenfield”), existing projects (“legacy”), and, finally, transforming the company’s culture. My hope is that you can use this overview to understand why the “journey” matters, what it looks like, and how to start planning for the journey to becoming a Cloud Native enterprise. 

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