5 min read
September 21, 2020
Either you modified your applications to support the cloud so you could use PaaS (Platform as a Service), or you just did a lift and shift. If you just did a lift and shift you will have to start refactoring the application, if not you cannot probably really take advantage of why you would go to the cloud. While you are refactoring your application you really should start thinking about a few things:

  • What is your WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Level?
  • Does ADA apply to the internet, and if so what does that mean for me?
  • Should I be concerned about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?
  • Reflect on what you have.
  • Learn from others.
  • What cloud features should you be using?

Do you know your WCAG Level? Have you even cared about it? This goes with does the ADA apply to the internet. Depending on what you read you will probably find a hard yes, maybe, and some no. It seems to be mostly on the maybe side. I know companies are being sued over it. Now with everything going on with COVID, it’s even more important. Without ensuring your site is accessible, you are missing out on potential customers. You also could be causing more issues for some of your employees. The people that help support your company. Leading into GDPR, unless you have customers in Europe, this might not even be on your radar. However, as more companies add this, this could just be expected. I know as I think of sites I use, I think if they are GDPR compliant.

More than likely you are now wondering about proof. You probably really haven’t heard about many sites being sued because of ADA.


The site was deemed in violation of the ADA because it wasn’t built or maintained to meet WVAG 2.0 AA standards. Some of the exact callouts that it was missing are:
  • No alt-text coded into images
  • Lack of prompting information on forms
  • Denial of keyboard access
  • Lack of Accessible drop-down menus


Source: forbes.com

This was seen as the first of its kind. The suit was done on the basis that anyone with visual impairments couldn’t access the website using screen reading software. Again, the site was failing to meet WCAG 2.0 AA standards. To quote the source:

“One of the main questions Scola was tasked with deciding was whether the website is a “place of public accommodation” under the ADA. Because the site is “heavily integrated” with Winn-Dixie’s stores, it is, Scola ruled.”

You can see how this could be seen as what others could use as a base for their lawsuits. Winn-Dixie set aside $250,000 to update their site.

Burger King

Site: bk.com

The person was using a screen reading software to try to interact with the website. However, the site was laking several key features, like no alt-tags, the plaintiff had some major issues in accessing basic information on the site. The four major issues where:
  • Lack of alt-tags on images
  • Empty links
  • Redundant links
  • Linked images without alt-tags

Domino’s Pizza

Fox News Network


Learn from others and reflect on what you have done well already. What do people who are using your application think you are doing well. Can you improve on it, or accent it. What do those same people think your competition is doing well, or what do they like about other sites. Some of the things you might not think about aren’t features. For example, does their site load faster than yours or respond quicker? Do the images look to load quicker or have better caching? That last one could be a CDN that you can probably tell by looking at the source code. The site loading quicker might be they are using multiple servers in multiple data centers. You might be able to tell based on the cookies the site has. Can you use those features as well? This ties into why a cloud architect is so important. They can help you to look at what your app could use now, and then start having the conversation about refactoring your app to smaller apps (12 Factor App).

In the future, we will revisit this, as it is an important topic. There is one more section to finish out this series.