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April 17, 2014

Webinar - What Every Business Should Learn from Obamacare

Here’s a recipe for disaster: Roll out a major software solution without testing it first.

The devil is in the details, and no IT worker worth his salt will deploy a new solution without at least testing the solution a little before putting it into a production environment. Installing what “seems” like a workable system without testing it is a great way to lose your job.

 And that’s exactly what happened last week when Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned after the debacle with the rollout of healthcare.gov.

The cloud-based Obamacare solution intended to help citizens find affordable healthcare coverage was plagued with bugs and availability issues, many of which could have been avoided had there been better testing.

While there was a fair amount of politics involved with the rollout of the healthcare program, the early failure rested more on a lack of proper testing. Businesses of all types can learn from this error, especially when it comes to the cloud.

The emergence of cloud computing has radically transformed how businesses use computing resources. Instead of on-premise systems, businesses of all types are moving their resources to the cloud.

Moving to the cloud is about more than just planning and rolling out a deployment, though: Testing is crucial when it comes to the cloud, as Sebelius learned too late.

There are a number of issues that can emerge when migrating to the cloud, including availability issues, poor implementation, crippling latency, wrong assumptions, security issues and systems that don’t play together in practice as well as they do on paper.

A proper cloud pilot program is crucial to iron out the kinks that inevitably emerge, just like it is important to test a major software rollout before it goes into widespread use. Testing a cloud strategy before widespread adoption is even more crucial, in fact, because network issues and wrong assumptions can often be subtle.

Fraser McKay at Cloud Cruiser has seen many of these problems play out at companies before, and next week she’s delivering a free webinar on how to properly roll out a cloud pilot program. The hour-long webinar takes place Wednesday, April 23 at 1pm EDT, and those interested can register for the event here.

Testing is a crucial part of any new IT system. This is especially true for the cloud, which offers great opportunities for business but also more than a few downsides for organizations that don’t plan and test effectively.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi