Cloud Management: Who Is Responsible When Something Goes Wrong?

December 4, 2020

I read “Deloitte Helps Build Evolving Kinetic Enterprises by Powering SAP on AWS.” Wow, I have a collection of buzzwords which I use for inspiration or for a good laugh. I love the idea of “evolving kinetic enterprises.” Let’s see. Many businesses are busy reacting to the global pandemic, social unrest, and financial discontinuities. But kinetic enterprises!

The write up explains via a quote from a consultant:

“The future, though, is all about built-to-evolve. And that’s exactly what the kinetic enterprises are. It’s really how we’re helping our clients [to] create the right technology infrastructures that evolve with their business.”

Okay, let’s put aside the reacting part of running a business today. These organizations are supposed to be “kinetic.” The word means in the military a thing that has kinetic energy like a bomb, a bullet, or a directed energy beam. Kinetic suggests motion, either forward or backward.

The kinetic enterprise is supposed to move, do killer stuff? Obviously companies do not want to terminate with extreme prejudice their customers. Hold that thought. Most don’t I assume although social media sparking street violence may be a trivial, secondary consequence. So, let’s go with most of the time.

Set the craziness of the phrase aside. Ignore the wonky consultant spin, the IBM-inspired SAP software maze, and the role of Amazon AWS. What about this question:

When this cloud management soufflé collapses down, who is responsible?

Am I correct in recalling that Deloitte had a slight brush with Autonomy. AWS went offline last week. And SAP, well, just ask a former Westinghouse executive how that SAP implementation worked out.

The message in the story is that:

  1. No consultant on earth will willingly accept responsibility for making a suggest that leads to a massive financial problem for a client. That’s why those reports include options. Clients decide what poison to sprinkle on their Insecure Burger.
  2. SAP has been dodging irate users and customers for while, since 1972. How is your TREX search system working? What about those automated roll up reports?
  3. Amazon AWS is a wonderful outfit. Sure there are thousands of functions, features, and options. When one goes off the rails, how does that problem get remediated? Does Mr. Bezos jump in?

The situation set forth in the article makes clear that each of these big outfits (Deloitte, AWS, and SAP) will direct the customer with a problem to some one else.

This is charmingly chracterized as a “No throat to choke” situation.

Stephen E Arnold, December 4, 2020


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