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Continuing the conversation: Amazon is right about the cloud…mostly


cloud from sky.jpg

In a recent blog, The Art of Changing the Cost Trajectory of IT Part 1, I write that the rise in global cloud computing is posing a danger to IT organizations. The fear is that they may become irrelevant to the business if the users can find similar services outside the organization.  Business units are asking IT to deliver a more “cloud-like experience”—similar to the capabilities of their smart phones.  Users want the mobile application store experience delivered from IT—click, buy and use with ease.  They want to benefit from cloud agility so they can spend more of their time and money innovating with technology rather than just operating it.


In a recent article, “Nine Questions for Andy Jassy, Head of Amazon Web Services,” Amazon’s young exec says there are too many gatekeepers between ideas and deployment.  I take a closer look at his thoughts in “Amazon is right about the cloud…mostly”. This gatekeeping is about control and protecting IT turf—turf that could be lost with the convergence of technologies and automation. The goal is to protecting IT professionals’ knowledge around the use of existing technologies in the current environment of “non-agile” IT processes.  These professionals have a resistance to change because of their fear of the unknown.  In Part 2 of the “Art of Changing Cost Trajectory of IT” blog, I challenge IT to embrace a New Style of IT that re-architects how IT services are delivered. 

To remain relevant in today’s global economy, IT organizations must be able to deliver services in an automated way – and in a way that is competitive “in its user experience” to the cloud services offered by global cloud purveyors.  Users are looking for a mobile application store experience from IT.


Only the shadow knows…


In today’s fast-changing global society, businesses must be agile and innovative to remain competitive.  Cloud computing has enabled innovation, and as a result, IT must embrace a hybrid cloud delivery strategy to remain relevant.  Failure by an IT organization to meet the demands of savvy IT business users will give rise to the adoption of a new form of Shadow IT:  The cloud service provider.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud service providers have become the new shadow.


For years I have warned IT organizations about the threat created by services like AWS and have used it as a wakeup call to IT organizations.  I have told them that they can no longer say “no” to the innovation demanded by their businesses.  IT is forced to say “yes”, or the business will walk – all the way to AWS and other cloud service providers.  If you don’t believe me, just ask your finance department to look at the AMEX bills.


Thanks to cloud, we have come to a tipping point in how IT is delivered. You can no longer ignore this demand for change and continue to remain relevant to the business.  Every grandmother has told us, there is moderation in everything and everything in moderation—this applies to IT policy as well.


I have seen this strategy of selective and strategic movement to cloud (instead of an all-in policy) is resonating with customers.  Analysts are projecting tremendous growth in private cloud and cloud computing strategies. IT organizations are beginning to wake up to the clarion call for change.  They will rise up, as they always do, to serve the needs of the business. But, they will not relent to the notion that everything – “in the fullness of time” – will be outsourced to the cloud.  Just like they didn’t relent to the ASP model or comprehensive outsourcing, IT (or a name that is becoming more fitting, “Business Technology”) will transform and will become more valuable to the business.


To help you make the change, I’ve found it helpful to have a change agent in your corner.  HP is standing ready to serve as your change agent, providing thought leadership, experience, hardware, software and services to transform into this New Style of IT.


We have chosen a more open and realistic approach, one that offers our customers choices.  The New Style of IT is a hybrid model that encourages our customers to build and consume services that provide the highest value and security to the business while creating a consistent architecture.  Workloads can easily be moved internally and externally, and without vendor lock in.


Now, I may be the “old IT guard,” but that sounds pretty good to me! I would love to hear your thoughts on Cloud and IT transformation. Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below.


Cloud paint.jpgIf you missed my introductory blog on this topic, I encourage you to read it here.

Here are a few other blogs I have written on IT Transformation:

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About the Author


I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.

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