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September 5, 2022

David Anderson & Mark McCann’s Effective Cloud Adoption Playlist

By David Anderson ,Mark McCann

David Anderson and Mark McCann, coauthors of The Value Flywheel Effect, helped create the Serverless-First strategy at Liberty Mutual in 2016. They were able to achieve significant, multi-million dollar business results; create a new, industry-leading engineering standard within Liberty Mutual; and lead a generation of architects to become cloud leaders in their own right.

Security as Job #1

Security is job number one in engineering, especially if you use the public cloud. Hiring some smart Security people is only half the battle.

What we have found to be the most effective technique is creating a security culture in the organization with “security champions”. Security should be thought-provoking, accessible, and top of mind.

This talk by Ann Marie Fred is an excellent description of the model we have used in the past. Every team should have at least one person who is passionate about security and will ask the right questions.

Rebuilding Security Culture with Security Champions (Europe 2022), Slides

Offload to Cloud Providers

Of course, we may as well mention our talk!

We believe that successful cloud adoptions happen when companies offload work to the cloud provider; otherwise, you’re only renting a pretty datacenter. Deciding what you will offload, what you will control, and what value you will build will have enormous implications for your company.

The Flywheel Effect Creates Space for Innovation (Europe 2022), Slides

Start with Cost Optimization

If you have not heard of Corey Quinn, stop reading and look up @QuinnyPig on Twitter now. A hilarious guy who offers very direct advice on what you should and shouldn’t do in the cloud.

Behind all the humor is the best advice on cloud adoption you will ever get. But he’s only talking about money and cloud economics, you say? Yes, start with the dollars, and you will end up with a solid cloud architecture. It’s the dirty secret of the cloud—perform cost optimization and everything else takes care of itself.

You Suck at Cloud, and It’s [Not] All Your Fault (Europe 2021), Slides

Bring Everyone On Board

Every company of any size that builds software has a problem with the haves and have-nots: people doing the old stuff and people doing the cool stuff.

A better way is to break systems into slow and fast systems, then organize them accordingly. Don’t alienate some engineers. (We often find that using the Pioneer, Settler, and Town Planner overlay in Wardley Mapping is a great way to set teams up for success. Learn more about that in our blog here.)

Nobody is Left Behind (Europe 2022), Slides

Using Wardley Mapping to Sense the Path Forward

The Value Flywheel Effect features Wardley Mapping through the book, as it was and is the primary technique we use to make sense of business, organization, and technology strategy. We found this most useful during cloud adoption.

Sometimes we need to build a capability; sometimes, the provider has a capability we can use. And sometimes, we need to build a capability, and we know the cloud provider will replace it. The ability to understand what to invest in, what to ignore, and when to create a stopgap is crucial.

Cat Swetel is a terrific presenter with incredible insights. This is an excellent talk on discovering Wardley Mapping.

Experimentation and Evolution with Wardley Maps (Las Vegas 2019), Slides

Real World Insights

Jonathon Allen brings Wardley mapping, principles-based organization design, the role of leadership, principles for your transformation, and dos and don’ts for the journey. A fantastic talk packed full of real-world insights that everyone should watch repeatedly.

How To Not Sabotage Your Transformation, Slides

Adidas Does it Right

And to close out, this is an excellent customer case study from adidas. What is impressive about this talk is the split between enabling capabilities that support key business capabilities. This is the Value Flywheel Effect happening right here.

Establishing a clear purpose, mapping out the value chain, and understanding that some underlying enabling capability is required takes courage, and adidas tells the story superbly.

From 6-Eye Principle to Release at Scale – Adidas Digital Tech 2021 (Europe 2021)

- About The Authors
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David Anderson

David Anderson has been at the leading edge of the technology industry for twenty-five years. He formed The Serverless Edge, and continues to work with clients and partners to prove out the thinking in his book, The Value Flywheel Effect. He is also a member of the Wardley Mapping community.

Follow David on Social Media
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Mark McCann

Mark McCann is a Cloud Architect and leader focused on enabling organizations and their teams to rapidly deliver business value through well-architected, sustainable, serverless-first solutions. He was heavily involved with Liberty Mutual's journey to the cloud, leverages Wardley Mapping, and writes for the The Serverless Edge.

Follow Mark on Social Media

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