Starbucks shifted to cloud computing several years ago and had a great experience, but today’s columnist, Scott Schwan of Shujinko, explains why success in the cloud takes hard work and planning. (OpenGridScheduler/GridEngine/CCO 1.0 Public Domain Dedication)

Starbucks made a bold bet on the cloud years ago, creating a unified platform for both commerce and customer loyalty. Today it embodies a “digital flywheel” built around the Starbucks mobile app, and it’s something I was intimately involved in creating as the company’s principal security architect and then director of cloud engineering. 

The move to the cloud represented a pivotal decision for the company –which by that time had been around for decades – to shift critical and compliant workloads off premises and into a new environment. The new chief technology officer at Starbucks had recently spearheaded Adobe’s similarly momentous transition from a purveyor of packaged applications to an innovative SaaS subscription provider. She was also a strong proponent of the cloud’s promise of innovation and speed.

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