Cloud destination

  • Mountain / Elephant metaphor
  • Overwhelming big design

Bigger consultancies might sell the Cloud as a destination: a mountain-top that you can only ascend with their help. It’s not. Creighton Abrams said “when eating an elephant, take one bite at a time”. They might propose elaborate Cloud frameworks, each unique and ‘tailored’ to your business, but they would be glossing over two fundamentals:

  1. Their minimum viable product could be much more minimum.
  2. Much of the Cloud is generic, re-usable and free.

Cloud framework

Falling back to PNG as your browser does not support SVG.

Here’s an example of a fairly moderate but still intimidating Cloud framework. There’s a lot here and I talk it through box-by-box in the Cloud framework post. If your world is sufficiently unchanging that you can design something end-to-end now for a well-understood future, then going for a big launch once you’ve completed an 18-month build is viable.


  • Fast-changing
  • New actors
  • Managing risk
  • Active

However the digital world we live in is dynamic and fast-changing. Massive visions and behemoth Cloud adoption strategies are comforting in their organised elegance, but fraught with risk. Lean, test-and-learn, short-cycle iteration is taking us in a different direction.

Businesses live and die by their ability to get data, refine it into knowledge then use that to make good decisions about the short and medium term. Reactive, and proactive, teams have the skills to embrace that change, adapt their knowledge and grow.


  • Common ground
  • Accentuate the differences
  • Not invented here

The Cloud is incredibly generic. While every snowflake business has a purpose, core logic and selling point that makes it unique, there’s no reason why their server estates have to be so individual. Every day developers, technical architects and specialists are designing improved re-usable components that can make your Cloud:

  • more manageable
  • more scalable
  • more secure


  • Open source software
  • Free or freemium software

These components are shared openly because their value is in application, not in abstract. Earlier this year Lightenna released our Cloud Starter training course open-source, so that others could benefit from that sharing in the same way we have.

Lightenna can help your teams maximise the value of open-source and free software.

Starting with people

Instead of shooting for the moon or buying into a seven-figure, multi-year plan, I’d like to advocate a different approach. A box on a diagram has a nice simplicity, but the business outcomes associated with Cloud success have people at their core.

As ever, if you’ve got questions or comments, please tweet, reply or get in touch.

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