Gorilla Logic, AWS, and Maxar Share Cloud Transformation Experiences

Gorilla Logic recently collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host an intimate workshop where attendees could learn about and share their cloud transformation experiences and the AWS products that enable the process. Because the attendees were in various stages of their cloud journey—from dabbling to all-in—the group was able to discuss a variety of successes, challenges faced, and lessons learned.

Binoy Das, AWS Partner Solution Architect, reminded us just how far tech—and our perception of it—has evolved.

Binoy Das

But strangers and cars certainly aren’t the only evolution we’ve seen. Overall, the continuous evolution of cloud technology has been felt cross-industry and cross-position. We all have faced the challenge of consistently acclimating and incorporating the newest technologies and practices in order to stay relevant. Changes have been so profound and rapid that previous work is often discarded because it is no longer viable for new approaches or technologies. While all this change can lead to frustrating situations, the end result is greater capabilities and greater insights, at greater speeds. 

Gorilla Logic client, Maxar, is an excellent example of an organization that has used the ever-evolving capabilities of cloud technology to make massive improvements. Jay Littlepage, Maxar Chief Architect and Vice President, shared his experience transitioning 100 petabytes of imagery from a tape library to the cloud via AWS Snowballs and the first AWS Snowmobile. Maxar, a global leader of advanced geospatial and space-based technology solutions, needs partners they can trust to handle such a business critical project. This is why they have chosen companies like Gorilla Logic and AWS. As Littlepage said, “If you have a choice, AWS isn’t scary. Go there.”

Cynthia Hardenbrook, Maxar Senior Product Owner and Agilist, and Neil Morris, Maxar Senior Manager and DevOps Guru, shared their experiences breaking down monolithic architecture into microservices. For them, and many others in similar situations, the transition was felt deeper than on a technological level—the transition was personal; each developer and manager had to shift their mindset. This mindset transition is not limited to our workshop attendees.

Digital transformation isn’t just about tech—it’s about people.

This important change in people and mindset is why Binoy Das shared a planning exercise based on that very idea. The exercise involves creating a press release designed to anchor the tech team with a clear vision of their end user:

Product’s/Project’s Ideal Press Release

1. Have the tech team get input from the people who interact with customers to better understand customer needs.

2. Based on that information, create the “press release” you’d like to see that communicates the realization of those needs.*

The purpose isn’t to publish the press release, but to lay a foundation based on input from individuals closest to the end-users so the tech team has an aligned and inspiring sense of purpose.

The ideas discussed throughout the workshop made it clear that any cloud transformation is going to create challenges along the way. After all—change is hard. However, you can create a smoother path by anticipating challenges, planning ahead, and finding partners you can trust to help you along the way. A special thanks to all of our speakers and attendees that made this event possible!


*Familiar with The Art of Possibility? This exercise is similar to the one Boston Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Benjamin Zander gave his students at the beginning of the semester: You’ve earned an A in this class—who did you have to become to earn that?

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