How to stop people from causing bad cloud architectures


I have been in certain knock-down, drag-out battles over both the configuration and the use of technology. On one side, you have somebody with a very different opinion as to what technology should be utilized and how. On the opposing side, you know that you are right.

These days the battles are about which cloud supplier to select, what database to use, what devops tool chain to participate. So many new things fly each day and so many more options need to be made that conflicts are a foregone conclusion.

What drives me nuts is that there’s typically one right answer to the problem–that is, 1 set of technologies and configurations which are the most efficient. Other options typically will not fail outright, but they will work at a much-reduced efficiency.

There will be no”I told you so” moments, only countless potentially investable dollars dropped during the next few years. I call it”a tax.”

The politically savvy people usually make the architecture calls, right or wrong; nonetheless, they are typically motivated by emotion, not logic. Perhaps they like the sales staff from 1 seller and therefore rate their technology considerably higher than others. They don’t consider how well it lives up to the business prerequisites other than a pass/fail. Will it work or not? That never needs to be the query.

How do you eliminate the negative effects of people on enterprise cloud architecture decisions? I have discovered a couple of things that work.

First, predetermine guidelines that everyone can agree on seeing frameworks for selecting any technology and the setup of that technology. Agreeing to a logical procedure will typically determine the ideal answer; then it’s hard for anyone to imply that you divert from this path.

Essentially, you’re using their political savvy against them. It doesn’t seem very good to break rules that they helped make.

Second, and most difficult, you want to change the culture. In the event the organization’s culture would be to not stick your neck out for any reason, the folks with the strongest personalities will run roughshod over people who aren’t as assertive–and in many circumstances, the quieter people have the right answers. Making promising yourself a part of the internal reward system is a good first step, or tweaking the decision-making process to allow for equivalent input from all personality types. Changes in culture must come from the very best.

Forthcoming challenges aren’t around finding technology that can solve problems, it’s picking the best technology to solve that problem. Individuals are going to make those calls, so we will need to work on the side of the process.

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