In my previous blogs confine and clover, I spoke about determining the scope of your business problems as well as defining your measures of success when planning a Cloud solution. Now, I would like to help you understand both the cost you will incur for the work necessary to achieve your defined cloud goals and how to avoid unexpected fees.
Because of all the hype around Cloud, we hear (sometimes disproportionately) about how Cloud can transform your business. However, the cost of that transformation is often not fully understood. Careful planning and awareness can save you money along the Cloud journey. Be aware of and consider the following hidden costs:
Last week, I introduced my concept of the 3 C’s of Cloud: Confine, Clover, and Cost and began outlining a simple strategy for maximizing your benefits during the process of adopting a cloud solution by confining the scope of your business problems. What comes next?
Let’s now talk about the second of my “C” concepts—Clover.
Before you can ‘roll in the clover’ of a successful cloud implementation you need to address one of the most common pitfalls to success: failing to build an appropriate business justification for migrating to cloud. If you enter the process with the attitude that “I’ll just experiment with this new Cloud thing and see what happens; maybe it will give me what I need,” you may not end up ‘in clover’ but in the weeds. So, what do you need to do?
Feeling frustrated among all this chatter about Cloud? Want to implement a cloud solution quickly for your business, but don’t know where to start? I can help you understand how to maximize your benefits during the process of adopting a cloud solution. It’s as simple as 3 C’s: confine, clover, and cost.
Today, I will focus on the first “C”—Confine.
Before you can determine what cloud strategy you want to implement, you need to narrow down or “confine” the business problem you want to solve with Cloud. Once you have confined the problem, you can begin your roadmap for success with clear goals and expectations.
But how do you confine the problem? I suggest you take a good look at the market forces that are pushing you to consider cloud. Internally, it may be cost efficiency: reducing IT investment or managing staffing costs. Externally, the forces could be government regulations or competitive differentiations that are leading you to consider a cloud solution.
Being at Cisco Live was a very different experience for me this year. Previous years I spent most of my time in the Intelligent Automation booth discussing functionality in the areas of service catalogs, portals, and orchestration workflows. It was mostly a technical conversation of how to build private cloud catalogs and how to provision infrastructure. This year my Cisco Live experience started off in talking to about 80 partners at the Cisco Connected Architecture Forum Summit; a very interesting crowd. It was here that I talked about what Cisco IT and our Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit experience was in deploying private clouds for end users. I discussed Cisco’s private cloud CITEIS, and our new product release Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition. I discussed Physical and Virtual Clouds and there was much interest in the concept of a services portal and automation construct for both Physical and Virtual clouds, something that is enabled very elegantly with the UCS Manager API. Partners asked great questions: How quickly can they deploy this starter cloud? How do customers chart out their journey to the cloud? Where do they start and what do they do first? Great conversations ensued…
Service Delivery Partners are a key strategy for the deployment of Cisco Cloud software stack. Watch the following interview with Sydney Morgan of Cisco IT and Dave Kinsman from World Wide Technologies, a partner of ours in this area as we talk about the Journey to Cloud and our experiences on the deployment side.
I spent the rest of Cisco Live talking to some great IT organizations about their cloud plans and journey that they are on. Some interesting examples are:
Financial Services: This customer of ours was focused on the deployment of cloud and the changes to the organization as they were coming off of Mainframe centric workloads, deploying them to x86 architectures on UCS. How the application developers would use the newly minted cloud was top of mind.
Service Provider: Many Cloud Service Providers are right at the intersection of business and technology: what service offers can I offer out of the chute to differentiate my company? Discussions around how our IA for Cloud technology stack and pre-built services and automation can make that easier. We also discussed the need and desire to train up their staff to become service designers and workflow authors.
Manufacturer: This customer is focused on operational efficiency and how automation software can reduce the mundane and routine tasks in operations. Replication of system configuration in a standardized way allows their deep application support teams to focus on differentiating their business.
The cloud battle lines have been drawn out over the past 2-3 years. Is your company getting your CRM from the public cloud? Most definitely! Does your IT shop use one site Service Desk tools or are they using a public cloud provider? Maybe. Did you click the button and put your music in the cloud. Probably.
Many 10’s of billions of enterprise CAPEX and OPEX dollars are spent on enterprise compute and the tools to manage and automate that. IT shops have a very difficult question: Do I invest in building my own private cloud, or do I leverage the public cloud? Many say that a well run private cloud can be cheaper, more secure, and more in tune with internal requirements. Private and Public clouds are vying for your spend and mind share. Who will this battle? How much of a war is this?
Let’s understand that management and automation software has become just as important as your hardware selection as the key ingredient in your compute strategy. This is a war over close to 100B dollars of enterprise and service provide spend.
There is indeed a 3rd player in this war: a company and a service offer that is both pragmatic and in a leadership position. I personally spent close to 6 years in the managed services business earlier in my career and every lesson I learned in managing on-premise, hosted, and private infrastructure for clients all pointed to the most pragmatic approach for how to address client needs: Customer Choice.
News Flash: CSC has selected and is deploying Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud as the cloud automation engine behind their on-premise private and public cloud offering running on VCE vBlock technology. This is a significant market statement about where infrastructure as a service is going and how to get there. Leveraging the lessons from Cisco IT usage of Intelligent Automation for Cloud (self service, catalog and orchestration) for private cloud management and automation and all the knowledge based best practices that our business unit has harvested over the past 10+ years of experience in automation in public and private clouds, CSC and Cisco and have joined forces in the war. Many other service providers are as well.
If you would like the benefit of a private cloud, but want someone else to operate it, give CSC a call. It will be an intelligent choice for Intelligent Automation from Cisco.