What I do and why

I currently work for a company who is focused on providing services to customers who want to develop solutions in the cloud and/or migrate their existing solutions to the cloud. In my employer’s case, the cloud is AWS, since we are focusing on that cloud provider. The cloud providers, be it AWS, Google Cloud (GCP), Azure, IBM Cloud etc - they all promise that things will be easier, safer in the cloud and there are practically boundless opportunities for companies to innovate when they run solutions in the cloud.

To some extent this is true - the cloud providers do eliminate a lot of complexity that one had to deal with on-premise solutions when looking at the whole picture of software, hardware and processes. The cloud does provide possibilities to create solutions that were simply not possible for most persons or companies before and in some cases at a cost that can be managed by a large number of organisations.

But does that mean that the cloud is easy? Is it simple?

Simple and easy are two concepts that may be mixed up with each other. Something that easy is something that is familiar, I can apply previous knowledge to understand. Something that is simple is the opposite of complex. Easy is very subjective, simple is less so. Something can be quite complex, but still easy for someone intimately familiar with the area.

As a consultant in the cloud space, my job is in many cases to handle or assist with complex issues, because they are more familiar to me (relatively easier) than for the customers I work with. So in that sense, the cloud is neither easy nor simple for a number of customers. This can derive from a situation where using the cloud can feel very simple, easy and empowering - it is quite easy to just spin up a virtual server and get started on a specific task in many cases without being concerned with many details. In that sense, the cloud can be both easy and simple.

So at some point, the ease and simplicity of the cloud break down. New features and capabilities are released at sometimes breakneck speed and the major cloud providers are competing with each other to provide more and more. More is sometimes intended to make some areas less complex though, which is a good thing when it happens. It just does not happen often enough, in my opinion.

I still have this job because some areas of cloud I am more familiar with than those I help. I would like my work in such cases to be to familiarize people with the complexity, in order to make it easier. But that is not suitable for everyone - I am ok to drive a car, but I am really not interested in knowing lots of technical details about a car and I do not need to do that to do my job.

I still have this job because I can make some complex areas simpler, although to a lesser extent in practice. I am intrigued by the possibilities that the cloud space can offer to build interesting solutions and I hope that someday the evolution of these possibilities will make this job obsolete to a large extent.