Modern Digital Business Blog

Testing at Scale with Nate Lee of Speedscale [podcast]

Modern businesses rely on applications, and they also rely on continued innovation in those applications to drive their business. This strive for innovation creates a need for improved techniques for validating that an application will work as expected. But constant innovation means a constant chance for problems, and testing applications at scale is not an easy task. This is where Speedscale comes into play. The company assists in stress-testing applications by recreating real-world traffic loa

Overcoming IT Complexity—My Latest O’Reilly Book

The complexity of modern IT systems can impact your application’s quality and security. It’s that simple. Business pressures have caused IT organizations to focus on creating new applications as well as adding new features and capabilities to existing applications in order to meet the increasingly competitive demands. The result is insufficient time to work on managing, operating, and maintaining existing applications and capabilities. Ignoring ongoing issues increases technical deb

Simplifying Cloud Complexity with Tim Holm of Nitric [podcast]

The cloud has enabled various software and software-enabled infrastructure options for application development. It’s easy to get lost in the variety of shapes and sizes of offerings available: ECS EKS, Lambda, Fargate Azure functions, Google Cloud Containers—IT complexity is a real issue. And this means we need better tools to help us simplify our complex cloud infrastructure options. In this episode, I talk with Tim Holm, CTO of Nitric, a company that is trying to solve this exact

At This Year’s AWS re:Invent, the Focus Was on Data

Another AWS re:Invent is now over, and as has come to be expected, the cloud giant made a number of notable announcements during the event. This year was a bit different, however. Rather than focusing on a slew of new services and service capabilities, AWS instead decided to focus on data. How do you get raw data into AWS? How do you get data out of AWS systems and into other systems? And what do you do with the data once you get it? Answering these questions supports the company’s primar

Application Security: Securing Data at Rest and in Motion [podcast]

How seriously is your business taking application security? Creating a secure software application requires many actions, but by far the most important are those that involve securing the data in the application—and these are the most difficult actions. When it comes to securing application data, there are two unique and distinct types of data that must be secured. Typically, data at rest is data that is stored in a database, ready to be used by some part of the application, while data

Learning from Your Incident Response to Improve Availability

No matter how smoothly your services normally run, outages can happen to the best of us. The truth is, that occasional incidents are unavoidable. Dealing with those incidents is both an art and a science, and there are many products, systems, and procedures that can help you create incident response processes to help reduce the impact of incidents when they do happen to your application.  But what about after the incident? What then? Once an incident is finished, it’s just as importan

Cloud-Native Observability with Bruno Kurtic of Sumo Logic [podcast]

Operating a modern digital business means building and operating large, highly scaled applications that are more and more cloud native in their architecture and implementation. Observability is critical in maintaining the highly scaled, highly available, and highly adaptive nature of these modern cloud-native applications. You just can’t keep a large, complex, modern application operating without having a solid, modern observability platform as part of your system. And ideally, in today&rsq

Special Halloween Edition: The 3 Scariest Mistakes Companies Make in the Cloud [podcast]

Welcome to the special Halloween edition of the Modern Digital Business podcast. In this episode, we discuss the 3 scariest mistakes companies make in the cloud. It’s that special time of the year when we turn our attention to all things scary: scary movies and TV shows, scary books, scary decorations, scary costumes. Sometimes it’s fun to be scared. But when it comes to working with customers and clients on their cloud projects, sometimes I get quite scared … and not in

Do You Need a Cloud Center of Excellence? [podcast]

In the past few years, cloud computing has become a dominant trend in enterprise IT. The benefits of moving to the cloud are clear: lower costs, flexibility, and scalability. But as more companies move their infrastructure into public clouds such as AWS or Azure, they face a challenge that is often overlooked. How do I transform an organization from a typical on-premises company to a cloud-native, cloud-centric organization? A Cloud Center of Excellence, or a CCoE for short, is an organizational

ModernOps with Beth Long: Transferring Operational Expertise to the Cloud

Today on Modern Digital Business, we continue with another episode of our highly successful “ModernOps” series. ModernOps is a series of interviews co-hosted with my good friend and former colleague Beth Long, head of product at, an incident analysis company. This is our second podcast interview in a series of episodes. In the first episode, we talked about how the experience using the cloud varies from large companies to small companies. In this new episode, we talk ab

Talking DevOps with Mitch Ashley, CTO of Techstrong Group (

DevOps has now gone mainstream. If you and your organization aren’t using DevOps principles, you are at a distinct disadvantage compared to your competition. And, “doing DevOps” does not mean simply “hiring a DevOps team”—there’s much more to it than that. My guest for the latest episode of the Modern Digital Business podcast is Mitch Ashley, CTO of Techstrong Group. Techstrong is the publishers of and other publications. In this episode, Mitc

8 Steps to Higher-Quality DNS Systems [podcast]

DNS (which stands for domain name system) is a highly available, highly redundant, and highly reliable service that is absolutely essential to your company’s application and business operations. A failure in your DNS system can bring your business to a sudden halt, jeopardizing your company’s future. DNS is essential to the operation of all aspects of the internet and modern digital businesses. The problem with DNS is that a very tiny mistake in a configuration file can cause ri

Avoiding the 4 Most Common Pitfalls of a Cloud Migration

  When starting a cloud migration, organizations often come in with lofty expectations: “Moving my applications to the cloud will modernize my business and solve all my problems!” But sometimes the cloud doesn’t meet all your expectations. Things you’ve been promised about migrating to the cloud may end up not being true. And you may find that some promises you’ve made to your stakeholder are impossible to keep. As it turns out, migrating to the cloud isn&rsqu

Don’t Let Technical Debt Sink Your Business [podcast]

The pandemic accelerated large-scale digital transformations for many companies. However, accelerated application growth often leads to increased technical debt. This debt makes it difficult for leaders to innovate and create new and improved customer experiences from their technologies. This stifled innovation means lower long-term revenue. Eventually, technical debt will sink your business. But what is technical debt—and how can you control it? In the latest episode of the Modern Digit

How Large Companies Use AWS vs. Smaller Companies [podcast]

The next episode of the Modern Digital Business podcast has just dropped. What’s it about? It’s the first episode of a new series that we are calling ModernOps. My guest host with this new series is Beth Long, a good friend of mine and infrastructure operations expert. Beth has served as Head of Product at, an incident analysis company, and Senior Software Engineer and DevOps Strategist at New Relic. This week is our first episode of the ModernOps series.

The Dynamic Cloud Helps Your Website Work When Customers Need It Most

Imagine you and your friends have been eagerly anticipating the season premiere of your favorite HBO show all year long. You decide to throw a viewing party, excited to show off your brand new 75-inch 4K super deluxe TV. The drinks are cold, the snacks are all set out, and everyone is excited. The show is just about to start, when suddenly your internet connection goes down and all that enormous new TV screen displays is one big, high-definition error message. This was the last thing you expecte

The Finances of a Cloud Migration [podcast]

The first episode of the Modern Digital Business podcast has just dropped. What’s it about? The finances of a cloud migration. How are the finances of your company affected by a cloud migration? Showing a financial benefit of using the cloud can be a bit tricky. You need to show that shutting down an operating data center and moving that money to pay the bill of a cloud provider will, in fact, save you money. How can a cloud provider provide technical resources cheaper than doi

Is a Cloud Center of Excellence Right for Your Organization?

Virtually all sizable organizations have a need to understand how the cloud and cloud computing impacts their organizational IT needs, to say nothing about impacting the overall culture and direction of your organization as a whole. If you work in enterprise IT, you are at the heart of this struggle, and finding your way around organizationally in this cloud-centric world can be a challenge. May I suggest looking into the benefits of building a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) in your organiza

Tapping the Full Potential of the Cloud for Your Business

The cloud has traditionally been thought of as a cost-effective method of hosting applications. While this mindset has led to some positive cloud migration cases and effective cloud native application development, the opportunities go much further for ambitious businesses wanting to make the move and realize the full potential of the cloud. A cloud-initiated transformation within a business can be the mechanism for providing consistent customer experiences on a global scale. What has often held

Edge Computing and IoT Is Everywhere, and the Cloud Plays a Key Role

What does edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean to you? Temperature probes monitoring crops? Microdrones monitoring wind speed in the atmosphere? Electronic GPS trackers embedded within your boxed shipments? Refrigerators that tell you when you need a gallon of milk? Fully automated homes with magical lighting and security systems? When many people hear about IoT and the whole field of edge computing, they think of these novel and rather futuristic use cases. But we don&rsquo