By Brad Blumenthal
One of the first questions we discuss with customers in the HP Cloud Discovery Workshop is, “Why should I be moving to a cloud computing model now?” Many customers see cloud computing as just another in a long line of fads: Web Services, Service Oriented Architecture, Rich Internet Applications….
The answer is remarkably simple: Your enterprise is almost certainly already using cloud computing services. Whether it is marketing videos on YouTube, imaging services on SnapFish, project management facilities on Basecamp, customer relationship management services from Salesforce.com, email and calendaring services from Google, compute services from Amazon EC2, or any of a wide variety of other services, there is an extremely good chance that at least one of your business units is sourcing services outside of traditional IT channels.
Lines of business, or what IDC and other analysts call “informal IT sourcers,” are using their budgets to procure IT services without IT approval, and often without IT’s knowledge. A question we like to ask in the workshop is whether the enterprise has audited its corporate credit card accounts to determine how much it is already spending with cloud service providers. One customer that did this found more than $2 million in expenditures with Amazon’s EC2, and used this information to negotiate a better pricing deal.
Contrary to the initial, knee-jerk reaction to enforce a draconian policy banning such sourcing, more forward-thinking CIOs are looking at this as an opportunity to respond to business needs more flexibly. One CIO is analyzing the enterprise proxy server data to determine what services are being used and whether there are common practices that can be exploited more widely or whether there are redundancies that can be removed for efficiency.
By mapping service use to the business processes that the services are supporting, a clearer picture of how cloud computing can support the business can be seen. This is particularly useful since many business processes may be supported by a combination of services from a hybrid of sources—internal IT, public cloud, etc.
HP’s Cloud Discover Workshop is a one-day, hands-on program designed to quickly get organizations up to speed in understanding enterprise-level cloud computing and identify cloud opportunities. In addition, HP has a number of other cloud services to help simplify cloud adoption, including:
To learn more all of our cloud services, visit www.hp.com/services/cloud.