Permission and Proof in Private Clouds
I’m often told that the enterprise customer will take years to implement Private Clouds because the enterprise is slow to adopt new technologies. Yet the private cloud is happening faster than seems practical and there has to be a reason that is driving adoption so quickly.
The Public Cloud is Proof
Enterprises have limited capacity to implement change. A typical IT budget is 80% spent on maintenance and support of existing infrastructure which means limited funds for innovation. Implementing the sort of structural change that is needed for Private Cloud requires significant capital and requires a one-off budget allocation to complete the initial phase before the cost reductions fall to the operational bottom line.
Going to bat with the executives for CapEx budget requires a high level of confidence, proof of delivery and assurances. The accounting review and approval process doesn’t reward risks or unproven outcomes.
The public cloud changes the balance of power in this process. IT Managers can point to the public cloud, highlight the success and costs savings of those services and demand funding to build private clouds. When the discussion turns to risk/reward, a smart manager can simply point to Amazon, Google or Microsoft as success stories that reach the headlines almost everyday. Equally, Facebook and other high profile startups can be used to validate private cloud projects.
In the operational areas, the same method can be used to drive change in the IT organisation and structure. Look at companies like Netflix and use their success as your permission to implement change.
Existing processes built on ITIL / PRINCE2 logic can be discarded when you can demonstrate high levels of success, growth and speed. Plenty of companies have talked about their success in conferences, get out there and find a story that is relevant to your own situation, company and market.
Permission for change in the IT Department organisation and job roles has been granted by the success of others. You don’t need to ask for it.
Using Public Clouds As Driver
Public clouds are here to stay and will be a part of any IT strategy but the simple fact is that the technology that Amazon, Google or Facebook use to build their hyper-efficient, scale up and automate is also available to any Enterprise. Most or all of the software is available as open-source and requires only some skill and planning to implement at the smaller scale of an Enterprise data centre.
Private clouds are the future for Enterprise but the internal change and disruption is significant. A well prepared architect or IT manager should take the opportunity to leverage the success of public clouds as proof that the technology works and is proven. When changing the organisation and staff attitudes, point to examples of DevOps / Agile / Lean as successful references and examples of how other people have achieved success.
One Final Thing
Don’t hesitate to embrace public cloud. An application or service that works on the public cloud will work even better in a private cloud since they use the same foundation technology. Public cloud can be a testing ground for private cloud.