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20

Jun

Looking to the (hybrid) cloud for effective, responsive business enablement

Looking to the clouds… It’s the hottest topic with clients at the moment. Most vendors are telling you to consider their cloud offerings. They tell you about ALL the products and services that they offer. This leads to one of the biggest misconceptions that I see when discussing this topic with clients: that moving to the cloud needs to be an all in scenario. 

A lot of people believe that if they move into the cloud today, they have to move everything straight away and that they won’t realise any value from just a single workload/application. This leads to a number of organisations then getting trapped behind the almighty spreadsheet, working out the ROI and TCO of cloud versus on-premises. As a result they’re then often afraid to dip their toe in the water, therefore slowing down the enablement of their business.

Your business users have already enabled the cloud for you! Users and business units just want IT to be simple, effective and to respond to their current needs, accessible via the methods they find easiest and most productive.

Talking to organisations globally, a large number of them think that they are leading the cloud discussion internally and taking the lead for their business. When you scratch the surface and look into what is in use across the business, IT departments very quickly realise that their users and their business units are already using the cloud to implement a business solution or function and that IT is far too late to the party. This is commonly known as Shadow IT. If you don’t believe you have a Shadow IT within your business, ask the finance team what services people are charging to their credit cards – most of these services will never cross the desk of IT but are in full use and unmanaged.

Your business users have already enabled the cloud for you! Users and business units just want IT to be simple, effective and to respond to their current needs, accessible via the methods they find easiest and most productive.

Let’s be honest, IT is a supporting service to organisations; it is not what the organisation exists for. Even for myself at Intergen, IT is a supporting service to my business which is about providing professional services and solutions to customers who have to provide supporting services via IT to their businesses. IT needs to be seen to be supporting the business, quickly and effectively or else the users will look elsewhere for the solution.

So, how do we become that effective, responsive supporting service for our business? Can we move slowly? The answer is yes – a boots ‘n all cloud solution isn’t necessarily the only – or best – option. Think hybrid cloud, a combination of cloud and on-premises solutions.

Rather than looking to do everything at once and force cloud as the solution to your IT challenges, start to look at how the cloud can be used to provide solutions to the business, alleviating business challenges, enabling the business to sell products and services. Hybrid cloud solutions allow you to quickly realise the benefits of the cloud and consume what you need. Hybrid lets you keep the “today” in place while enabling the “tomorrow” for your business. This can start with something as simple as a collaboration solution.

We are all being asked to do more with less. Hybrid solutions allow us to start looking to the future but leveraging the cloud for any new solutions while we migrate or retire old on-premises solutions. Instead of asking for more funding for equipment on-premises, we leverage cloud capacity as a utility and pay for what we use and need, be it infrastructure or applications.

People who manage IT today often see cloud as the machine that will take their job. They feel that they need to be there to install the patches on servers, do the upgrades etc to applications as this is what enables the business. In fact, these functions will help the business but only by providing the business what they have today and what drove them to Shadow IT. By looking to the cloud, it quickly empowers IT staff to be business facilitators, as the painful admin tasks are moved to the “as a service” provider while IT is able to focus on enabling business solutions that allow the users to sell the products and services of their organisation, which is why we are all here….

As we look to the clouds for the future of IT, it’s important to understand that the steps to the cloud can be as small or big as you wish them to be. As with any solution, there are foundational elements that get you started, but, when done correctly, allow you to expand your use of the cloud as you grow, both in experience and comfort but – most importantly – turning IT into the business enabler.

Posted by: Andrew Kosmadakis, Practice Manager, Cloud Design and Integration | 20 June 2016

Tags: Cloud, Cloud Computing, Hybrid cloud, Business transformation


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