If It Breaks, Is It Broken? Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Kelley W. Powell

Kelley W. Powell

Apr 17, 2020

If It Breaks, Is It Broken? Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

There are no two ways about it, we are all living through one of the most unique and surreal circumstances we have faced as individuals and as a community. Loss has touched us all in different ways. We’ve seen people stepping up to support one another too. That gives me hope. We will get through this together.

I am experiencing the roller coaster ride with you. I am not a fan of roller coasters on the best of days. Simply ask my children. This ride is more of a “holding on tight” than an “arms in the air” amusement. In talking and working with many portfolios, I can offer you the solace you are most definitely not alone.

Many are trying to predict what the future is, with wildly different views. Who knows who is right. In light of what’s going on in the world, everyone is trying to move to remote and move things into the cloud, on a short timeline and an even shorter budget. We were seeing that before this all happened, and it continues to be a good idea.

React then Adapt

Okay — please do take the time to react … a little. Maybe even more than a little. That’s healthy. It’s a good thing to react. The world has changed. Nobody saw this coming.

If It Breaks, Is It Broken? Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

I have been known to scrub the entire house or rip out a toilet and install a new one just to blow off a little steam. On the other side of a good crisis, my family can rely on a very sparkly shower room no matter the approach I take. So after a healthy outburst of reaction, breathe, and then channel thoughts on how best to adapt and move forward.

If you are still having trouble working remotely, you may already be getting to the point of being too late. Bounce ideas off someone to help. We have traditionally seen this when a business pivots from sending out field engineers to install software on a client site (clearly not possible today) to moving to a browser-based solution hosted in the cloud. Get as many remote-desktops installed with AWS WorkSpaces until such times you are ready to launch within the browser.

Do not throw away all your plans for innovation

I find, gratefully, clients are genuinely open to sharing how they are coping. Those conversations, no matter the reality of what we are experiencing, are warm and welcomed.

Are you communicating with your team and customers to know if your solution is helping them manage this crisis or if it is getting in their way as an unnecessary extra cost? What gaps do you have, if filled, could it make their journey through this much easier?

Feedback is a gift. Anyone who has worked with me knows I welcome brutal honesty. The solution you have today may no longer be applicable. If there ever was a time to innovate as our customers’ pain points shift, now is that time. If you had already started, then keep moving forward. Chances are you were doing it to reduce overhead and increase functionality. If there is one thing we all will be looking for now, and on the other side, it is a reduced spend. So, “Why stop?”

Before you go installing a new toilet while yelling at me, I get you may not have dollars to do it right now. I am suggesting there are still ways to innovate as we come out of this.

If you are now learning from the team and customers you weren’t innovating in the right way, maybe you should throw away your previous plans for innovation. Maybe there is a better use of time or resources? Let’s focus together on that.

If It Breaks, Is It Broken? Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
Photo by Jachan DeVol on Unsplash

Things break

The world’s economy is going through its own reboot. As things normalize and we realize what broke in the process, that’s okay. Let’s learn from it and do something about it.

As technologists, we have all planned and built many disaster recovery plans. You know the types, the ones where we hope we never have to flip that switch. Yet we are living through a disaster at this precise moment. Stuff breaks, so instead of hoping it will never happen, we have seen that it does. Let’s build that into the bridges ahead.

If you are not utilizing the cloud to benefit your business and your customers, then discuss what doing so would mean for your business. In a moment where everyone is being forced to think about short-term liquidity, we cannot lose sight of long-term liquidity.

One thing we can all agree on, we are surviving largely due to the high-speed internet keeping us all connected and the cloud infrastructures dynamically adapting to the increased volumes placed on it. For some, engagement may even be better now than before we found ourselves here.

Strong cloud architecture can weather many an ugly storm. Even if you are months or a year away from doing something different, have the conversations now while the pain points are top of mind.

Happy to listen, share ideas and find those silver linings together.