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Accidental Cloud Leader – Stealth Cloud Followers – Which Cloud is your IT On?



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November 30, 2010 5:15 pm

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Are you leading your organizations cloud roll-out or are you reacting to it? It is happening, better to lead than follow!

The WorkloadIQ post and the article Richard references on the Stealth Cloud from a CIO article reminds me of a previous artilce about the Accidental Cloud Leader from a Networkworld article. Both of these articles point to the cloud is coming, the choice facing IT organizations is whether to lead, control costs, mitigate risk, deliver quality service and manage costs or to follow with rising costs, reactive IT, high risk and poor service quality. Richard hits the nail on the head, IT is traditionally change averse and insecure with the concept of outsourcing services. Technology is evolving faster and faster and the very organization that should adopt, deploy and lead with technology continues to lag.

In almost all cases when it comes to sourcing decisions they are done to create change that an organization has difficulty bringing to the organization, not for cost reasons. Commodity functions are best suited for outsourcing, driving standards and managing costs. However, outsourcing the service does not remove accountability for managing service delivery.

Cloud providers are popping up faster than service providers during the dotcom boom days of web hosting, application hosting, etc. There are several key factors to consider as pointed out in these articles and blog posts:

  • Availability of service
  • Risk of a secure service
  • Reliability of the service provider
  • Cost of support

Availability of Service and Reliability of the service provider
The dotcom bust of service providers in the early 2000 era came down to lack of mature management processes. Many providers today are one significant outage away from being out of business. Is this who you trust your services to? Who’s managing and leading this due diligence in contracting for the services in the leader / follower scenario?

When seeking service providers, it is important to understand their management processes and capabilities. You do not want to define them, but the lack of management transparency and process indicates maturity of the service provider and their ability to delivery availibility of services. One thing to note here is not to ask for inappropriate service levels and/or penalties. Investigate their typical services, leverage the cloud and service providers for the commodity and take advantage of the economies of scale they offer.

Risk of a secure service
Security as an obstacle in going to the cloud or leveraging an as-a-service provider is, quite frankly, IT noise. As described in these articles and blogs, this is the service providers business and they know it is their number one objection. In many cases, they may offer a far more secure environment than most IT organizations and thus the rise of IT insecurity and noise. However, again, it is an area that must be investigated as it relates to the mature management practices of a service provider.

Cost of support
Organizations are expressing frustration with their IT organizations as a perceived obstacle to agility and innovation when they go to the cloud directly. As Richard’s blog points out, this costs your IT organization more in the long run to support, the service will go down, the business will call support for help, the provider most likely may not be reliable and in the worst case, data and security can be breached.

Management generally lags new technology and this cycle to go to the service providers directly for a defined service and defined cost is more appealing to the business. Management lags both with IT internally and with the service providers compounding the risk of an outage or security breach.

Novell Operations Center (a WorkloadIQ solution) provides the ability to monitor, manage and measure technology services both internally as well as the performance and availability of the service provider insuring quality service delivery. Service enabling your infrastructure could not be easier today and would provide the control with agility your organization is screaming for from your IT organization. Management does not have to be an afterthought and the right platform can future-proof your services with technology adoption agility!

Check out these articles and then answer: Are you following or leading your organizations cloud rollout because it is happening and coming . . . Are you Stealth or Leading? What are your challenges and concerns? Join the discussion and comment here!

Michele

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