The theme for next week’s Gartner Data Center conference, “Taking Charge, Leading Change — Your I&O Transformation Can’t Wait, is a real wake up call for today’s I&O leaders. Gartner’s focus on operational excellence highlights how the line-of-business and information technology (IT) management are being entangled by the fast-moving and ever-changing technology landscape. It also showcases today’s leadership challenge of how to transform that entanglement into an interweaved value producing process. Continue reading
From where the IT channel started to today, there have been many changes and evolutions. The traditional IT channel started as a marketing and service delivery arm for tech vendors, with the internet it moved to the age of the Managed Service Provider, and now with cloud it is entering the stage of the Cloud Services Broker. As channel partners (IT Solution Provider – ITSP) move to this next generation, I would like to dive deeper into how we got here and how the channel can adopt the Cloud Services Brokerage model to be profitable.
The pioneers of the American West were the cowboys — rugged individuals who didn’t care much for laws or process. Similarly, the pioneer users of cloud computing have been app developers looking for a quick way to get the resources they need to do their work. Rather than waiting around for IT to deploy the infrastructure resources they needed, they were able to whip out their credit cards and buy virtual machines on Amazon Web Services or other public cloud providers. Rules? Process? Who needed that?
While cloud was easy for app developers, it was a different story for mainstream IT. They couldn’t just buy cloud resources — they had to procure them. They couldn’t just run something in any arbitrary cloud — they had to worry about cost, security, SLAs. Developers can look like heroes for getting the app done quickly, but IT has to worry about the whole lifecycle of the app.
Over the years of helping companies with their cloud strategy, one of the most common questions we keep getting asked is “Is the Cloud right for me?” — and they won’t take “It depends” as an answer.
In spite of the large number of variables that impact this answer, here at Gravitant we have been able to summarize them into two basic dimensions:
Cloud Readiness – the state of being prepared for operation in the cloud (driven by architecture feasibility, platform/OS popularity, and application complexity)
Cloud Benefit – the degree of improvement derived by operating in the cloud (driven by TCO savings, application performance, and network performance)
In other words, a higher readiness index means there is less effort needed to “get to the cloud,” and a higher benefit index indicates better agility once you are in the cloud. While these dimensions are orthogonal to each other, they need to be studied together in order to answer the question!
Next week, Gravitant’s Analytics team will travel to Minneapolis to oversee the Cloud Computing sessions at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) annual meeting. With more than 1,000 sessions and 4,000 papers, INFORMS covers advanced analytics research and industry practices. Every year, INFORMS invites top experts to organize and manage a group of sessions under their specialized topics. The cluster chairmen conducting these sessions are highly recognized for their research in the community as well as their influence in the industry.
Gravitant’s Director of Advanced Analytics, Dr. Ilyas Iyoob, will chair the Cloud Computing sessions at the INFORMS conference for the second year in a row, conducting a number of sessions on the topic of cloud computing from large Fortune 500 organizations and global Tier 1 universities. Alongside Dr. Iyoob and presenting Gravitant’s research for the first time is Aaron Yan from the University of Texas. Aaron has worked directly under Dr. Iyoob conducting research and building algorithms for the topic he’s presenting: Capacity Reservation Policies in Cloud Computing Marketplaces.
The 2013 Cloud Computing Survey by North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOm Research of 843 respondents confirmed that while accelerated growth is projected for cloud services (like IaaS, SaaS and PaaS), technology buyers are struggling with increasing IT complexity driven by the cloud, interoperability issues and cost challenges. The survey showed that CIOs are poised to invest significantly to address these issues. However, I believe it’s critical for CIOs and CFOs to ask a few important questions before they open their checkbooks.
As a former CTO of a large enterprise IT organization, I know that the traditional IT management framework does a great job in obfuscating cost and increasing complexity. Indeed I saw that attempts at cost and complexity management barely worked despite a lot of bodies and point tools being thrown at the problem.
The IT framework prevalent in most enterprises is almost impossible to adapt to successfully operate in the complex cloud ecosystem, pictured below. Without a complete rethink of skills, processes, management platforms and performance metrics, I believe cloud adoption will struggle.
While working as the CTO of a Fortune 500 size organization, I always wondered what could be done to make the enterprise IT supply chain more flexible and efficient. We constantly struggled with how we could more effectively control the IT cost curve while at the same time more quickly deliver business value and innovation. I dreamt of having an Expedia-like interface that enabled my business partners and IT staff to collaborate, specify and select the best solutions quickly with a clear understanding and comparison of costs, risks and quality of service – all across different combinations of providers and technologies, but with a clear sense of architecture. I also wanted a single financial system of record and spend management capability like Ariba. Finally, an ability to continuously optimize IT asset utilization, cost and IT/business operations like Sabre systems for the airline industry. Continue reading
VMware introduced x86 server virtualization and ushered in a radical change in the architecture, operations and economics of enterprise data centers.
Virtualization improved x86 server utilization from below 20% to above 60% while significantly improving service delivery using ITIL automation tools.
This was a massive transformation from first-generation data center architecture from IBM, HP and SUN (now Oracle) with vertically integrated hardware/software stacks.
Last week’s top story in FEDConnects says that “General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) and NJVC are leading the way when it comes to helping agencies meet the Cloud First mandates” in the US. Wait a minute… didn’t the CATAAlliance just launch the G-Cloud First for Canada campaign a few days ago as well?
What if we leverage the success of GDIT and NJVC for successful G-Cloud First adoption in Canada