Well, it's been a busy month and it’s time to post a new BLOG. It seems most IT shops are investigating the implementation of Cloud, planning to implement Cloud, or implementing Cloud. It's definitely a very attractive direction for a lot of companies and IT shops. We do have to remember though, that IT manages a portfolio and right now at least, Cloud is just one part of that portfolio. We have to continue to balance the service we are providing our business against risk, costs, and business needs. Cloud services are not going to fit every business or application. There are pluses to Cloud, of course, including web available services and very elastic cost and capacity. Like with anything though, there are also downsides. With Cloud this includes some lack of flexibility when it comes to customizations (IT has traditionally "built to order"), potential performance in the way of latency for remote areas, and security remains a concern.
Now as you and your company approaches Cloud services think about a matrix. On site computing versus offsite computing. Then Dedicated services versus Shared services (including private cloud), and Native Cloud (externally provided Cloud). Then start mapping your applications including business requirements to the matrix to determine how best to meet your company's business needs. From here you can determine if Cloud is right for you and how it should be hosted.
Remember, IT services must always be equated to business value and should be hosted in a manner that provides the service to your business users.
That’s all for now.
So this week is the HP IT Forum in Austin TX and I will be one of the HP attendees. For those of you that aren't familiar with this event (sorry, it is by invitation only), it is a great forum run by HP's IT team. It is a non-sales event; in fact HP sales people are not allowed to attend. Only HP IT personnel and HP people that deliver HP's data center transformation services are allowed to be there. The customers that are invited are large customers that are interested in, or executing, transformational initiatives. The focus of all of the speakers is the latest news from HP IT and an update on recent accomplishments driven by our internal transformation. Now the reason I share this isn't to make people that aren't invited jealous or to advertise but to comment on what interests the customer attendees. Although many people have signed up to hear about End User Services, Transformation, Virtualization, and other sessions, far and away the most popular sessions are on Cloud. As I've stated in a previous post, Cloud is exciting and all the major technology companies are producing offerings in the area. The services range from identifying cloud candidates to selecting cloud suppliers to managing cloud environments. But again, I'll restate that I think people are spending a lot of time and effort on a technology that they might not quite be ready to implement. I don't think people should (or will) slow down but we have to be thoughtful as we go forward. Is your IT Management team ready to not only embrace Cloud technologies but able to manage it? This is true managed shared services and it takes a LOT of organizational change, process change, and cultural change. We have to move fast and be ready to enable this technology and we must make sure our businesses don’t start implementing without us. It has been a long, hard journey to stop our businesses from buying technology and then handing over to us to run - some are even still fighting this battle. We don’t' want business groups selecting Cloud providers without working with IT. Otherwise, your business will have multiple Cloud solutions that may not be safe, may not be cost effective, and may not be sustainable. So absolutely run to your nearest Cloud session and learn all you can but PLAN what you will do and make sure business needs are really being addressed.
Are you going through mergers, acquisitions, continuous cost cutting pressures turning consolidation into a continuous program? Well.. have you seen worsening IT-business relation in the process? Little hostility from business may be because you took away their servers, retired application, decreased support? Ok what have you given back other than 'cost savings'? First lets ask this qustion to ourselves as IT.
Are we missing any opportunity to do something better here while consolidating? IT executives who have cultivated a broader business-IT perspective realize that achieving IT agility and operational excellence requires not only cutting costs but also transforming IT so it focuses on service rather than technology management, on customers instead of users, and on integrating people, process, and technology.
At the same time, IT departments must reassess their core competencies, changing them to enable the delivery of new services. The process may require rethinking and restructuring services and underlying infrastructure to position their organization for the future. HP has just announced a revolutionary architecture and services for converged infrastructure (www.hp.com/go/ci) to help organizations move to shared service model.
A converged infrastructure matches the supply of IT resources with the demand for business applications in an optimal way. By transitioning away from a product-centric approach to a shared-service management model, customers can accelerate standardization, reduce operational costs and accelerate business results (link www.hp.com/us/go/CIServices )
Simply put, transforming an IT organization into a service provider requires a return to the basics. From an internal customer’s perspective, transforming IT into a strategic service provider means aligning the IT organization with business goals, focusing on the value-added services that businesses want, and delivering them. If you like to know more, HP has developed number of best practices in this area based on years of consolidation and shared services project experience (www.hp.com/us/go/CIServices).
Hi, did you go through one of these business case development processes that just seemed like an endless exercise to you? is it really important to spend couple of weeks collecting data, facts and building financial business case for your infrastructure investments? After all economy just stabilized and budgets are little more relax now. I know how that process can be a hassle when analysis turns into paralysis or your light weight business case is simply not taken serious because you just used the all the default numbers from an online tool. Well, CFOs key role in infrastructure investment decisions are not going away any time soon AND they will question your numbers, assumptions, model. Data center costs, including facilities, energy, server, storage, and networks are almost 60% of the total IT budget.
Every dollar counts. As IT manager looking to invest in infrastructure technology modernization, put yourself in your CIO or board’s shoe. There are number of competing projects from application side that are dear to your business. Shorter and unpredictable business cycles are disrupting business side and more than ever they need to change processes faster, launch new products and services more quickly. All they want is an infrastructure that supports this flexibility and change. Have you heard of HP’s revolutionary converged infrastructure architecture and services announcement (www.hp.com/us/go/CIServices)? No worries, this is not a rip and replace alternative.
A converged infrastructure (www.hp.com/go/ci) matches the supply of IT resources with the demand for business applications in an optimal way. By transitioning away from a product-centric approach to a shared-service management model, customers can accelerate standardization, reduce operational costs and accelerate business results. Even if you have all the good reasons to invest in converged infrastructure you may still not make the winning business case because a) you don’t have the time, data expertise to create the financial case b) Even if you have the business case you just don’t know how the get started with solid plan and roadmap to get you one step towards a converged infrastructure.
First, add some financial acumen to your techie skills. It is important to understand how your company evaluates proposed IT projects. With few exceptions, all companies have a formal process whereby a budget committee approves (or denies) proposed capital appropriations for significant capital expenditures. This process applies to both IT and non-IT capital expenditures and is tied to the company’s budgeting process. The budget committee typically consists of financial and operational leaders who, in many cases, do not have deep technical backgrounds. If you like to hear more about business case development best practices go to HP ROI Services website and download the whitepaper: http://h20219.www2.hp.com/services/us/en/infrastructure/datacenter-consol-virt-roi.html?jumpid=ex_R61_us/en/large/tsg/go_smbcat20