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How enterprise grade cloud changes everything? One organization’s cloud journey


A road less travelled: Adapt so you continue to add value!

Recently, I have been writing about where IT is going as a business function. I got a lot of responses to my last post on the topic, “Announcing the death of traditional ERP, shared services, and the owned datacenter,” and I have continued to keep my eye on the market and current trends.


Last week, I met with an architect at a major financial organization. He said that his company is going through major changes as its business and IT strategies have converged. He had been leading his firm’s internal cloud initiative, part of their hybrid cloud strategy. The firm was using external cloud providers including Amazon to manage development, testing and Web servers—and it was developing an internal cloud option to manage just about everything else. Last month, internal cloud development was stopped.


IT leadership and business management have decided that it makes better business sense to move as much as possible to external cloud providers. This will result in the closure in a number of datacenters. The architect said, in passing, that Amazon is going to do a very good thing for his organization. He said it will force standardization on the business demand and, for the first time, the business will be able to consume our infrastructural blueprints. This will drive future business agility whether they use our capacity or someone else’s.


Then he dropped a bombshell: “When you close datacenters, the cost drops—so the external vendors actually cost less.” He meant that, as long as IT retains its duplicate infrastructure, external service providers are additive to the IT bottom line. The problem heretofore has been the redundancy of the firm’s datacenter. This limited the ability to save on cost. I asked if his firm was going out of the datacenter business altogether. He said his firm will always have a datacenter to protect clients’ personally identifiable information, but I was left feeling that, as enterprise-grade cloud options permeate, with SAS-70 compliance, it will only be a few years before his financial institution eliminates all of its datacenters.


Computing is clearly going through a sea change as it enters a new epoch. I asked this IT leader if he worried about his job. He said, “IT during my career has been about managing change. I will have a new job next month and one the year after this. The trick is to adapt and continue to add value. Cloud will clearly, in the end, change what I do. And adding value today is about learning how to manage what vendors are doing that I used to do.” I agree.

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Solution page: HP Cloud

Twitter: @MylesSuer

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About the Author


Mr. Suer is a senior manager for IT Performance Management. Prior to this role, Mr. Suer headed IT Performance Management Analytics Product Management including IT Financial Management and Executive Scorecard.

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