People In The Cloud Native Maturity Model

Community post by Annalisa Gennaro of the Cartographos Working Group

This blog post takes a closer look at the People section of the Cloud Native Maturity Model (CNMM). To learn more visit the Cartografos Working Group GitHub repo. At the end of this post, you will also learn about how to contribute to the CNMM.

The CNMM is a companion for organizations wherever they are in their cloud native journey – starting, middle or even just considering transformation. Its contents are organized leveraging 5 main topics: Business Outcomes, People, Policy, Processes and Technology outline a five-level journey to excellence.

“People?? Are you sure? Cloud Native is technology, tools, processes, policies, and software.” This could be a common bias. Once you know what you need to meet your project requirements, choose the most adequate tools, and set up the necessary processes, you might believe you are ready for the Cloud Native Maturity Model escalation. In truth, this is not enough.

People are a key factor from the very beginning of any Cloud Native journey. When your organization decides to go Cloud Native, business leaders may not fully understand the value of this choice and support may be limited. That is the hardest time because somehow you need to convince the rest of the organization about the powerful benefits of cloud native. The most effective way could be to develop a POC.

Your team of innovators will explore, browse through the CNCF landscape, and build knowledge that will likely be the basis for a minimum viable product (MVP). You will need to change your approach and habits in developing architectures (For example, let’s think about DevSecOps and the need to integrate security from the very first breath of the project; let’s think about an agile approach). Your people will need to get their heads down, acquire know-how and achieve certifications in new domains: don’t take it for granted. Engagement is something that requires time and gratification, but the journey will be rewarding from many points of view.

On one side, you will need to show results (some kind of results, qualitative and quantitative according to the maturity stage); on the other, you’ll need to keep developers and engineers committed to the projects, which means making their job (and lives) as easy as we can. Developer experience is not something that is explicitly mentioned in the Cartografos documentation, but it can be inferred. Along the journey, the necessity of a developer platform, comprehensive of all tools needed, to easily access other platforms, environments, and projects within the organization, will grow almost naturally and will be absolutely necessary to carry on further. An internal developer platform (IDP) that guarantees self-provisioning infrastructure and self-service tooling and workspaces will make decentralization possible over time: each team and each developer will be given the autonomy to access any service available.

But a company is usually not only made up of technical people. What about “the others”?
You will find that the upskilling of the original development team alone will prove insufficient for the successful adoption of the Cloud Native tools and practices. Your team, IT department, CTO, CIO,CSO, and whoever can technically grab the meaning of Cloud Native technologies and solutions, risk remaining isolated within their own company and possibly experiencing difficulties in communicating the underlying business value to non-technical C-levels.  That’s why, step by step, other business functions should be progressively involved. Ideally, C-levels from various departments must understand the fundamentals of Cloud Native. It will help to future-proof and leverage the technology for business gains.  The CNCF understood it well a couple of years ago when the KCNA certification was added to the strictly technical versions.

Before we conclude, I believe it’s worth mentioning here, concerning people in the Cloud Native Maturity Model, a peculiar working group: the Business Value Subcommittee is striving to support organizations to dig out from, and learn how to communicate the value beneath, the technological layer. We suggest you check it out.

To wrap up: people are crucial in the Cloud Native journey along the Maturity Model and to better understand how, the dedicated chapter at each stage of the CNMM includes considerations about the following domains:

  • An overview
  • The organizational change
  • Teams and decentralization
  • Security
  • Developer Agility
  • Upskilling developers

The CNMM is an ongoing effort carried on by the Cartografos WG [#cartografos-wg]. We meet every other week, and we very much welcome contributions coming from any positions in the Model’s spectrum, non-technical included. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think about the people section described here (here you can find a first post on the technology section), the CNMM, and your personal and organizational journey to Cloud Native adoption.

This article was written by Annalisa Gennaro and reviewed by Marcello Testi from SparkFabrik, Robert Glenn and John Forman from Accenture, Danielle Cook from Fairwinds.

Source: CNCF Blog

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