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3 challenges that can keep you from maximising cloud benefits

‎05-02-2013 10:26 AM - edited ‎05-16-2013 12:38 PM

Nearly a year ago HP introduced its Converged Cloud strategy at Discover in Las Vegas, and since then we’ve watched adoption of cloud services grow significantly. I want to share some of what we’ve learned from customers and from our Professional Services experts about how to avoid common pitfalls.


The 3 customer challenges of cloud

What I’ve seen recently suggests that customers do not find it that difficult to move to private cloud environments. (And HP has a number of services such as Cloud Maps, which can accelerate the transition and time to ROI.) But as I talk to customers I do see them facing three main challenges.


  • Cloud represents a change in operating model in terms of how services are provisioned, managed and monitored. The opportunities here are to move to a DevOps methodology and eventually to continuous deployment. Those on the journey to implementing cloud need to automate provisioning and management to gain benefits. But although many enterprises might be using cloud, they haven’t automated it yet. If you’re in that camp, you’re not going to achieve the flexibility and agility you could with automation.


  • There’s a huge change management challenge. At HP Software Professional Services, we’ve built up a considerable body of best practices regarding management of organisational change. What we often see is that leaders underestimate the importance of proactively managing change, and as a result, individuals, teams and the organisation itself take longer to fully commit to the new way of doing things. That lost time (and productivity) can go right to the bottom line.


  • The underlying technology is quite different. Customers have to transition from a monolithic approach in which their perspective is on technology categories and a hierarchical stack, (e.g., servers, network, storage, etc.). Cloud forces them to shift to a different perspective entirely, one that focuses on integrating and managing services. They have to ensure they have the skills to manage, broker, govern and monitor services instead of just technology. Contract management and SLA negotiations become priority. What we’ve found from customers who are grappling with this change to multi-vendor, multi-supplier environments is that they need a way to maintain governance and control, while still adding value to the business. (It’s to address this problem that we developed, HP SIAM, our Service Integration and Management solution.)

Bottom line: Don’t focus on the cloud, focus on the value

The business propositions that cloud enables are the significant issue, not which type of cloud you embrace. I tell our customers that, bottom line, the cloud is just a delivery model—it’s not a service or a product. But by paying attention to potential challenges, you’ll be in a much better position to reap the benefits of whatever type of cloud you choose.


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