As many latest industry's surveys show, big share of businesses are still in search of the road to digital transformation driven by Cloud technology, in search for a pattern to follow. In this post I'd like to share with you my hard-earned experience in building CRENGER – Cloud technology for desalination and water treatment industry.

Migration to cloud technology is do or die

Every second terabytes of the engineering companies know-how move to the internet public domain. This natural process erodes the company competitiveness. To keep afloat, the company shall a) monitor rising level of the "internet ocean" and b) generate new knowledge at least at the same pace. Cloud makes this possible.

Migration to cloud technology does not have clear predetermined destination

Charles F. Kettering is quoted as saying "High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation". The more you digitize your business, the more the horizons of new opportunities widen. Time is needed for resetting mindsets and raising the business culture of those creating and using cloud daily. This is the biggest challenge of the Cloud migration as senior executives try to assess this phenomenon from the viewpoint of their distant successful past, which lacks these elements.
When coupled with business automation, Cloud migration brings about tremendous increase in business productivity, quality and agility never imagined before. Vision is needed to leverage these powers. Migration is try-and-error and unique process of business re-birth. Data transparency, knowledge sharing, and online feedback are new categories waiting for interpretation. One of the unexpected results of Cloud is the business diversification and new business models coming in naturally. Total cost of Cloud ownership (TCCO) cannot be forecasted.

Cloud technology is fundamental in nature

It is not only about moving the x86 processing loads to some cloud provider; it requires new fundamental abstractions and wider generalizations. For example, "clouded" engineering does not use simple integer or double values. Instead, they are replaced for multi-dimensional structure containing information about accuracy, possible range, validation rules, metric system, its source or traceability data and others. As Big Data repository, Cloud shall be a synonym of Data Categorization, Validation, Traceability, and Unification. Systems Engineering canons shall be built into Cloud. Cloud shall enforce Concurrent Virtual Engineering driven by Business Process Management implementation.
Cloud shall accelerate the turn from "how to model the process" to "how to remotely interact with this process", how to embrace Internet-Of-Things.
Finally, Cloud shall give definitive answers to 2 specific challenges plaguing the process industries.

  1. Why are 50% of projects behind schedule or over budget?
  2. Why are 60% of all process industry accidents traced back to errors in the control design?
Cloud building experience matters, and it is not sharable

The experience gained is the best know-how ever, historical data (so-called "use cases") are equally important.

Cloud requires significant time and resources

Surveys show that on the average only 10% of processing loads are annually moved to Cloud in leading companies today. Complete re-programming of the people mindsets may take even more time.