Migrating to the Cloud: clearing up the top concerns

blue dots
blue dots

Migrating to the Cloud: clearing up the top concerns

Atlassian says that 95% of new customers choose Atlassian Cloud. That’s a pretty convincing statistic – and proves that Cloud isn’t the future: it’s now.

But many organisations are still hesitating to migrate to the Cloud. Cost concerns, security implications, downtime and compromised data integrity – there’s so much to worry about. Except, there’s really nothing to worry about at all, if you have the right Cloud migration strategy in place.

The top Cloud concerns of businesses that rely on their IT infrastructure to operate are totally valid. In the past, as Cloud platforms were maturing, there were definitely issues. But consumer, business and private Cloud platforms have really come of age now; there are rarely any horror stories of data breaches, corruption, downtime or catastrophic failure. And if there are, they’re almost certainly down to human error, and not the platform itself.

So let’s look at the top concerns of migrating to the Cloud – and see if we can clear them up.

1. Cloud security concerns

Security remains the number one cause for concern among businesses yet to adopt Cloud. But this isn’t a Cloud problem – it’s more of a training and compliance issue. 95% of security breaches are attributed to human error, not a weakness in the platform.

Atlassian has a solution; rather than relying on people to never make mistakes (that’s never going to happen!), Atlassian Cloud’s Enterprise plan enables two-factor authentication and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), with single sign-on through Atlassian Access. Leaks and breaches can’t happen without some serious thought and effort – and if they do, they’ll be immediately traceable.

Atlassian Cloud is monitored with enterprise-level security – so your IT team no longer has to monitor and patch up any holes in security: it’s all done centrally, monitored and updated 24/7/365, by Atlassian’s team of cybersecurity professionals.

Security is now a non-issue – and in fact, Cloud security and resilience is now far better than that of on-site server rooms, to the point of their redundancy. If security really is a concern, then Cloud is the best possible solution.

2. Managing Cloud is going to take forever!

Some admins might be concerned about the time it’ll take to manage everything. Setting up, allocating resources, access and permissions… It’s going to take forever to move everything over. Right?

It’s a fair concern, too. Nobody wants to be endlessly setting up and not getting any work done. But a unified Cloud platform will actually make everything easier.

With centralised controls, admins have full visibility and control over the tools in use across the business. It’s super simple and straightforward, and there’s far less to go wrong.

Atlassian Cloud’s admin console (available in the Enterprise plan) gives an overview of all the Atlassian products in use – allowing admins to set up multiple instances. Admins get full control of who has access to what: the entire organisation or just select teams?

There’s no limit to how many instances can be set up, and permissions can be managed down to the individual level or across teams. 

And this feeds right back into security. Admins know exactly what’s happening, and who can see what. Alerts can be triggered when certain areas are accessed (even when permissions are granted), and a full picture of access management across the organisation can be gained through clear yet detailed logging and reporting.

3. Cloud is expensive

Monthly costs certainly look higher for Cloud subscriptions and licenses. And not owning the software (or hardware, even) is a real negative for some. But let’s face it: hardware becomes obsolete before you know it, and even a state-of-the-art server room is dead weight within 5 years. And as for software, advances and upgrades come in thick and fast – so even if you own a license, it’s only on the version you’ve purchased.

If you plan on staying in business for the long haul, it makes sense to go down the most cost-effective route in the long-term.

And with Cloud, IT professionals report average savings of 20% post-migration.

That’s game-changing money that can be invested in your people, your product, your business – especially when your IT infrastructure is the core of what you do.

Cloud is unique in that, as a virtual service, it’s completely scalable. You get what you need, maybe with a little headroom, and maintain total efficiency as a result. There’s nothing wasted. All the apps you need are upgraded to the latest version, without having to buy new licenses. The hardware you run on is maintained, upgraded and scaled as you need – and is far more capable and resilient than anything you could achieve in-house.

And this is at a reduced overall cost.

4. Downtime concerns

Cloud resilience, especially in private Cloud configurations, is exceptional. So good, in fact, Atlassian guarantees 99.95% uptime across its Enterprise Cloud products.That’s because Cloud data centres are purpose-built, endlessly monitored and maintained, and made with best-in-class equipment. There’s on-site security, digital security and double-redundant, uninterrupted power supplies (with backup generators should the worst happen). Automated, fully compliant off-site backups can be made, up to hourly in some configurations. And network access is lightning-fast, with double redundancy built-in, for most private Cloud setups.

 

If your server room could match that, you’d be selling private Cloud services!

In terms of downtime or data loss during migration, this can be mitigated with a Cloud migration strategy. By phasing the crossover from legacy to Cloud, implementing virtual machines and using rock-solid backup and archiving, the risks are lowered significantly, with the absolute worst case being a momentary roll back.

With an Atlassian Cloud migration expert on hand, you’ll have the knowledge you need to take the stress out of Cloud migration – and alleviate all your concerns.

Hire a Cloud migration expert

ClearHub specialises in finding the best Atlassian Cloud migration contractors, to make migrating to the Cloud seamless and low-risk. Want to know more? Get in touch with the ClearHub team today – call +44 (0) 2381 157811 or send your message to info@clearhub.tech.

How to create an agile team

working team memebrs
working team memebrs

How to create an agile team

At a glance, working under agile methodologies seems like a trend. Everyone’s doing it at angel-backed startups and at the hottest new software development studios. Bigger, established companies are still using the tried and tested traditional approach, with a rigid hierarchy – and they don’t seem to be struggling much.

But over time, trends give way to norms; and when agile teams consistently outperform the traditional bureaucratic approach, the old ways of working look dated (at best). In high-risk, all or nothing ventures, agile makes sense – an elite team, doing everything they can to achieve the goal in front of them. So why can’t a relatively low-stakes, established enterprise use agile?

Well, they can. At least partially at first. Agile methodologies don’t have to be adopted company-wide, or even team-wide – and there’s no right or wrong way to experiment with approaching agile. Creating an agile team takes experience; and the acceptance that failure is not only an option, but that it should be embraced. Maybe that’s the reason so many hold back; agile seems experimental and risky. But the bigger risk is standing still and doing nothing, because eventually, your business – no matter how big – will lose the edge.

To create an agile team at any scale, you’ll need some key ingredients. Biggest among them are:

  1. Communication, collaboration and trust
  2. The right blend of skills
  3. Patience

1. Communication, collaboration and trust

You’ve got to trust them. They’ve got to trust you back.

This is entirely non-negotiable.

Company culture, open communication and freedom to speak; this is how you foster a trusting environment. You’ve got to listen to the needs of your team, and have systems in place to do so, where everyone feels they can be honest.

Agile relies on open and free communication. Without it, or if members of the team don’t feel safe to air concerns, projects collapse. When communication is free and transparent, true collaboration can begin.

Tools like Atlassian Confluence, integrated with project management tools, can keep steady communications and open collaboration within an agile team – with full transparency and visibility to any authorised persons in the rest of the company.

Leadership can track progress, while the team works uninterrupted. And, as long as the trust is there, communication will continue to flow.

Trust between teams and leadership is the bedrock of a great place to work, and a KPI for success. Trust is what gives agile teams the freedom to deliver the best work. With no restraints and the ability to apply their expertise, they can capitalise on incredible opportunities and create novel solutions.

While it’s hard to measure, creating a KPI for trust is not impossible. Using engagement surveys or continuous listening, teams can communicate their needs and feel listened to – cementing trust in their company.

2. The right skills for agile teams

What’s better – a team of specialists, or a team of generalists? A mix? How about specialists led by a visionary, or generalists led by a technical wizard?

This is the million dollar question, because the right skills aren’t actually as important as the person who wields them. Back to point one, the right people for an agile team have to trust each other first and foremost – and the right members might already be working together, just in a more siloed capacity.

To create an agile team, break down and reorganise your staff assignments. Analyse the working styles and personalities of candidates – their core strengths and weaknesses, how they complement each other –  with the end goal of creating a balanced team. The idea is to have a small, autonomous group of people who can self-start, but making sure the right personalities are there is fundamental to success.

Having duplicate or absent skill sets doesn’t equate to a bad outcome; skills can be learned quickly by the right people, and hiring agile contractors will fill any short-term gaps in skills. A lack of trust and a group of personalities that don’t work well together absolutely will lead to a bad outcome.

The right skills aren’t always technical. Sometimes, the most valuable skills are the ones that many take for granted.

3. Patience

Some people worry that agile teams lack rules and structure. On the surface, giving a team total autonomy seems like a recipe for chaos – but the truth is that agile teams are fundamentally process-oriented; each member has a purpose in the team, with a key set of strengths.

The anarchic appearance of agile is most likely attributed to this seldom-spoken fact: agile teams fail. Daily. Hourly, even. We’re not talking monumental business-killing failures, here – what we mean to say is that, when you’re pushing boundaries and doing the undoable, you’ll hit a lot of dead ends.

This is what makes agile teams objectively and overwhelmingly better at creativity than traditional teams.

The opportunity – the encouragement, in fact – to fail. Risk needs to be assessed and monitored as a part of the process, but without it there will be literally no reward to speak of. Only out of the ashes of 100 micro-failures will the glowing phoenix of triumph emerge.

This takes time and patience from leadership, who could be forgiven for thinking agile is a waste of time when the end goal seems so far out of reach. But not only does every failure provide a learning opportunity, it leads to the creation of novel solutions.

Nobody walked perfectly the first time they tried as a baby. Agile teams won’t hit the target first time round, either. But just as babies learn to walk within months of their first attempts, agile teams will learn how to solve the challenges your business faces – even if they seem a bit wobbly at first!

Boost your agile teams with highly skilled contractors

Give your highest performing teams the additional knowledge and skills they need. ClearHub helps you find the best Atlassian experts, and to hire agile contractors that align with your values and goals. Want to know more? Get in touch with the ClearHub team today – call +44 (0) 2381 157811 or send your message to info@clearhub.tech.

How Cloud is future proofing teams

How Cloud is future proofing teams
How Cloud is future proofing teams

How Cloud is future proofing teams

Cloud adoption is higher than ever.

94% of enterprises already use Cloud solutions in some capacity. Covid-19 accelerated adoption to rates nobody could have imagined, but those who’ve adopted it only recently are in no hurry to go back. That’s because the future is unequivocally in the Cloud.

It’s not just working remotely in the Cloud anymore. It’s everything. Teams are future proof, more resilient and better connected than ever before – even when working in the office – thanks to the Cloud.

Let’s explain further.

Cloud is collaborative

Cloud applications – like Confluence Cloud, Jira Cloud and other Atlassian Cloud tools – are inherently collaborative. They were built to share knowledge and progress between multiple users, from the bottom up. Collaboration isn’t an afterthought with cloud, like it is on locally-stored solutions; version tracking and commenting can get really, really messy in some pieces of software (we all know who the main offenders are).

But that all disappears with Cloud. Everyone can see what’s going on in a project, what the latest version is and gets updated when it matters. It’s collaboration done exactly right, and that’s what the teams of the future will need.

Cloud is bleeding edge

You upgrade your phone every couple of years, right? So why not your work software?

Well, Cloud apps do this all the time – in fact, they’re continuously, relentlessly being improved and updated, right under your nose. You always have the latest version whenever you log in, without having to install or restart, or download anything.

And as for hardware? That’s not a central resource anymore. No more major investments in storage, maintenance, power and cooling – it’s all handled by a specialist Cloud provider. You don’t have to have the latest piece of tech in-house anymore; last-gen tech can comfortably run your Cloud apps, and it’ll keep going until the next tech revolution.

Regardless of your IT infrastructure level, Cloud will just work; now, and in the future.

Cloud is affordable

Because you don’t own any hardware and subscribe to a service for your apps, your financial risks are lower.

Yes, you have less collateral – but consider this: a functional data centre, even one for a small business, can cost millions over its lifetime, only to become obsolete and worthless in the end. That’s hardly an investment.

You constantly have to maintain it. You have to power it, cool it, and hire an endless stream of IT professionals to take care of it. It’s like having a 200 terawatt-hour baby.

At the rate at which technology moves, obsolescence is becoming more regular. Because of this, Cloud solutions are relatively cheap, and moving to the latest platform is far less risky. Cloud adopters benefit from limitless scaling as well as upgradability, plus the option to host legacy apps in virtual machines.

There’s no way to lose.

Cloud is resilient

The tech that runs the Cloud is tough. In fact, Private Cloud and purpose-built data centres are built with double redundant mains power, uninterrupted power supplies and off-grid generators running on 24 hour refuelling contracts. They have multiple backup connections via cable, satellite and mobile data – and are cooled and maintained around the clock. Security on-site ensures no unauthorised entry, and dedicated maintenance teams keep everything running at all hours, with total user support. Add hourly backups to the mix, and you’ve got a solution that’s bulletproof.

No internal server room couldn’t possibly match the resilience of a Cloud solution.

Cloud is simple

Non-technical people all know their way around Cloud apps, because they’re simple and intuitive. But more than that, Cloud frees your technical teams to focus on high-value projects.

Cloud apps are self-regulating and self-maintaining, which means no more IT tickets to your internal team for simple changes. Reducing backlogs in IT is only half the story, though – your business and non-technical teams no longer have to wait to get on with their work.

We haven’t even touched on one of the biggest productivity boosters yet – the one feature of the future that’ll make all the difference: automation.

Your business teams can automate simple, routine tasks and give themselves more time to work on what’s important. And, with automated security updates and scaling, your IT teams won’t have to worry about installing new racks or patching. It’s all done automatically.

Isn’t it time you reached for the Cloud? We can help you migrate your systems, with an expert in your own team – to future proof your whole business.

Get into the Cloud – with an expert in your team

ClearHub specialises in finding the best Atlassian Cloud migration contractors, to equip your business for the future. Want to know more? Get in touch with the ClearHub team today – call +44 (0) 2381 157811 or send your message to info@clearhub.tech.

Are you really agile? How to measure your business agility

Are you really agile? How to measure your business agility

Are you doing agile – without even knowing it? 

You probably are if you’re reading this. Most companies today are actually on the agile business roadmap, somewhere. But what’s the destination?

If you’ve read our post on setting SMART goals, you’ll know that it takes a goal to make a plan, and that measurement is a huge part of the journey to success. Becoming an agile organisation is no different, and measuring your progress towards your final destination is a key factor.

Let’s show you how to measure business agility, and how to find out where you are right now on the agility scale based on the traits of other agile companies. To put it simply if:

  • You have a mission
  • You focus on outcomes, not output
  • You invest in next-gen tools
  • You lead by example
  • Your team is ready to fail
  • You hire people who believe in your mission

Then you’re definitely on the agile roadmap – even if only a couple of these are true. Let’s look closer at each point.

You have a mission

Your mission is what you do that gives customers value. In fact, as an agile business, you should only exist for, and because of, your customers.

Once you become customer-centric, everything you do is guided by what your user needs; not by vanity metrics. Missions sound wishy-washy and airy, but they are quite the opposite. They are the simplest embodiment – the purest distillation – of your business. If you cannot explain why your business exists in a sentence, then think hard about the value you provide, at the very core of your customers’ decision to use you.

Creating a mission statement gives you and everyone else in your company a singular vision and focus – and that focus should always be your customer.

You focus on outcomes, not output

Agile teams are measured on outcomes, not output. Or input, for that matter.

Working task-to-task is myopic – but most companies let their teams work this way. There’s no overall goal, or growth mindset; it’s simple churning and grinding. It’s not very motivating or engaging, and the only beneficiaries in this scenario are leadership and stakeholders (not customers, and certainly not teams).

That short-sightedness leads to attrition, stagnation, miserable working practices, massive staff turnover rates, stunted growth, bad reputations… the list goes on. 

It shouldn’t matter who works on what – as long as they’re right for it. It shouldn’t matter if a task takes an hour or a week – as long as the business goal is achieved.

The ticking of boxes only matters if the last box gets ticked. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Success should be measured on the value delivered – not the hours it took, or the number of clicks it got, or the volume of work produced. Value, at the heart, is what people come to your business for. Focus on that, not the tasks along the way.

You invest in next-gen tools

Your company is a proud Beta-tester, and early adopter, always diving into new product features – and as a result, is always ahead of the game. Cloud-based app solutions, for example, like Jira Cloud and Confluence Cloud, are making your business more efficient and more collaborative.

Your team can work from anywhere, and you’ve already established that working remotely keeps everyone happy and engaged. You’re embracing the future of work, and the results are already paying off.

You can be assured that this is an agile approach. Agile companies are first in line for new ways of working and new technology to help them do it. If this sounds like you, then welcome to the agile club.

You lead by example

Agile is a mindset that runs from the CEO to the contractors you hire. At least – that’s the ideal.

The reality is that this might be the last bastion of traditional teams. Leadership is usually reluctant to adopt agile – fearful, even. In most cases, agile methodologies come from the bottom of the company and filter upwards, usually hitting roadblocks along the way.

If you’re a leader reading this, then please – give it a try. Because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain: happier teams, better engagement, better results – it’s all there with agile methodologies.

If you need proof that agile isn’t a new-age fad, look at the VW Golf GTI. No, really – that after hours project was spearheaded by an agile team. They single handedly created the hot hatch, and cornered a market because of it.

The moral here is: trust your team to deliver the goods, give them the time and the tools – and they’ll surpass your expectations. You might not make cars, but passing on agile could be stopping you from having your own Golf GTI moment. 

Your team is ready to fail

Failure is NOT A BAD WORD. It’s essential, it’s vital – it’s how we learn. If you’re not failing, you’re not doing anything new.

We’ve heard this all hundreds of times by now, but it’s so true. It’s not “bravery”, it’s business. If you want to be the market leader, the innovator that all others look to, then you have to be ready to look a bit silly, too – and not care about it.

You have to be ready to see a project through to failure if you ever hope to see it succeed.

You hire people who believe in your mission

ClearHub is a specialist in sourcing agile contractors, to join any team. We work to find the best fit, with the right skills to complement your team.

We’ll find the agile contractors who believe in your mission – the ones who want to work with you to make your vision a reality. In turn, they’ll give your highest performing teams the additional knowledge and skills they need.

Talk to ClearHub to hire agile contractors that align with your values and goals. Get in touch with the ClearHub team today byby cainglling +44 (0) 2381 157811 or send your message to info@clearhub.tech.