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Agility and Innovation in the Cloud

Navin Vembar, IT Director, IAE speaks as part of industry webinar

Navin Vembar, IT Director, the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) spoke during a cloud computing webinar held by Federal Computer Week late last month. He spoke about cloud computing and innovation, agility to experiment, and he touched on creating and allowing for both space to fail and space to care.


Vembar stressed during his presentation that cloud governance isn’t the same as traditional IT governance. He recommended that when working in the cloud, it’s pertinent to identify what you want to track while making sure not to treat the cloud the same as hardware.


He then cautioned the audience on the agile environment trap of having too many options broadly available.

“Cloud infrastructure means that anyone is about four minutes from a working machine,” said Vembar. “You also are less than four minutes from destroying a machine.  Allowing space to fail enables agile teams to try something crazy that lasts for two hours and thousands of dollars versus millions of dollars.”

When enabling successful failures, Vembar told attendees that architecture and governance should be guiding the strategy of what you want to do.  Once you decide on architecture and governance, then you can move forward using prototypes and trials to guide architecture.

“Don’t forget,  it’s still important that design decisions still get made, but they may get made faster,” he reminded the audience.

When it comes to giving space to care, he pointed out that configuration is an obstacle to problem solving and problem solving is a key component of the IT profession.  He also advised attendees that the mission always should take precedence over tools.

“You need to execute on what’s important,” said Vembar.  “Make it easy to get to a solution that enables a DevOps workflow that provisions a working development environment in minutes.  You also need to make that flow solid with code that’s deployable.

“Achieving such a level of innovation isn’t easy.  Getting the cloud right doesn’t mean going to your nearest cloud provider URL and clicking start.”

What is your agency or business doing to spur innovation around cloud computing?


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