As an IT professional, you need to stay current on all things tech; with articles from industry experts and GreenPages' staff, you get the info you need to help your organization compete and succeed!
[youtube]http://youtu.be/JJnml_gcNro[/youtube] A particular sore spot since the beginning of the rise of cloud infrastructures, even the advent of utility computing is this: how do you forecast and pay for resources and justify costs for problems you don't have yet? After all, the entire premise behind funding the acquisition of compute resources is that you are solving an already identified need (problem) which you then attach a cost and an ROI to in order to convince management that they should cut a check. That model doesn't quite work in a cloud environment because usually the funding request is future looking (to solve tomorrow's need) therefore ROI is difficult if not impossible to predict. Here at GreenPages, the more we talk to customers about cloud and cloud technologies, and as the technologies themselves evolve into ever greater levels of sophistication and capabilities, we're finding some very interesting and innovative ways to help solve exactly that.
As you may remember from part 1 of this 2 part series, I talked about how IT organizations typically use people as the gap fillers between silos or domains within their systems (i.e. to approve provisioning requests, measure capacity, transfer data from one application to another, etc.) and that as they transition to cloud infrastructures, more and more of those holes are being filled with software using automation and orchestration to accomplish the same tasks faster and more accurately. So now I want to talk about what happens after they plug those holes with software and what they then have to do with the people…and, no, it’s not fire them.
Part 1 of a 2 Part Series It’s a well-known fact that most IT systems are operated as silos of activity where separate departments or divisions are each responsible for their own events/outcomes and run with their own sets of rules, roles and responsibilities. Operations, engineering, application development and so on; they all have their own way of doing things and basically support the goals and objectives of the business. Where those silos, or domains, overlap however, there are hand-off points…I call them holes… where people are plugged in (and are used to bridge the gaps). These people do things like approve provisioning requests, use tools to measure capacity, transfer data from one application to another, install software, etc. Plugging people in to these holes is an easy fix and usually seen as a stopgap measure until the organization comes up with a long term plan…that somehow never arrives…regardless of the fact that people are fallible and prone to make mistakes, forget process steps, miss deadlines…essentially, are human.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/7-Btso_GQL8[/youtube] I’ve spent a lot of time lately in front of customers trying to help them understand what cloud technology means and, more important, how it can help their businesses be more efficient, effective and better able to meet or exceed their goals and objectives. In most cases, prior to speaking, the reactions I see are vacant stares and furrowed brows (sometimes on the same person…which is just a little disconcerting) as there is just way too much conflicting information that these businesses have to deal with. In today’s technology landscape, at least the one where some tech company is trying to sell you something, the overriding buzzword is cloud and it’s attached to just about everything and anything.
Before you left click that mouse to go to that other “work related” page, wait a few seconds while I explain what I’m talking about. While there is a ton of hyped up, blown out and super hyperventilated information out there about how the cloud makes your life better, reduces your workload and ultimately makes your coffee and butters your toast, not much is said about how the cloud can help your company save or make money. Real money…not that kinda-sorta-maybe-coulda money, but real put-it-in-the-bank money.
I think we’ve talked before about what it means to be a cloud technology, or, more precisely, what people mean when they call things cloud technologies, cloud-like, or even just grossly label some form of computing “the cloud.” In this post, I want to take a few minutes discuss the way we at GreenPages look at this space and how we define and describe cloud technologies and the rising ecosystems that surround them.
Some of the biggest complaints I’ve heard (mostly from the SMB crowd) around the idea of the “build it and they will come” methodology of planning for cloud infrastructures, is that no matter how great the actual business value might be:
If you’ve been following my last 3 entries, you’ll know that I have been discussing my experiences talking to senior management at some of the largest financial, insurance and banking companies about cloud infrastructures. I’ve related stories about the different kinds of customers I’ve met (the “Huh?,” the “Been There, Done That” and the “Dessert before Dinner” folks). Finally, I get to tell you about the best customer in this series which is the kind of customer who not only has a clear understanding of what they want and where they eventually want to be; they also harbor no illusions about the cost and effort to get to that place.
So continuing my discussion about my experiences talking to senior management at some of the largest financial, insurance and banking companies about cloud infrastructures, I’ve told you about a couple different kinds of customers (the “Huh?” and the “Been There, Done That”). In this installment, we’ll cover the particular kind of customer who thinks that simply wanting something strongly enough will allow them to negate the laws of business (and physics) and get what they want.