Mind the Gap: An Azure Transformation Story

All aboard the cloud train.

Cloud is an amazing development and very popular, we all know its pros and cons by heart by now. Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine on top of the clouds; most companies feel like between being Cloud-Aware and Cloud-Ready there is a huge gap that they simply cannot leap across.

If you move to cloud how are you going to manage authentication? How do you enable an AD based authentication for your apps? Can do you do single sign-on? What updates do you need on your SDLC processes? How do you create a new hybrid operating model? These questions defy the rules of the on-premise kingdom.

I’ll approach this gap between the “On-Premise” and “Cloud” through this article series. It’s not just to make the problems and pitfalls more visible, but also to point you in a direction to solve them. I’ll make them based on Azure, because that’s where my experience mostly lies. But keep in mind that the problems and solutions also apply to other cloud providers such as Amazon and Google, the same tech simply has different names.

The ideas that I’ll demonstrate are based on my experience and observations from the projects/organisations I was involved in, the latest one is one of the biggest investment companies in UK and they just went through a big Azure transformation project. I was working together with James Saffron through that journey.

Keep in mind that I have not participated in all the parts of these journeys, in some I was at the helm, but in most I was merely an observant passenger. To make it easier, I’ve divided this journey into smaller sections:

  • Cloud: Why?
  • Solution Architecture
  • Application Lifecycle and CI/CD
  • Application Security, Authentication and Authorisation
  • Data Stores and Management
  • On-Premise Access and Hybrid Architecture
  • Cloud Operating Model
  • Third Party Integrations
  • Big Data Processing

I’ll also follow a structure on these articles to make it easier to read:

  • What?
  • Why?
  • How?

Keep an eye out, articles will be flying in.

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