The Voice of the Channel


Collaborative Selling, Part I

4 Common Pitfalls of a "Move Everything to the Cloud" Strategy That Every CIO Needs to Know

By Tim Cecconi

As the cloud market matures, it presents opportunities for organizations to accelerate initiatives, expedite processes and save money. But only if organizations take the time to do their homework and make cloud decisions based on a thorough understanding of their application and enterprise needs.

As I pointed out in my last post, organizations that move forward with cloud directives too quickly may not see the expected benefits and find themselves knee-deep in problems. They may learn that the applications they have moved to the public cloud belong in a hosted private cloud or, vice versa, that applications they have are running on dedicated infrastructure belong elsewhere.

Few organizations are doing the type of intelligent analysis needed to ensure a "right fit" today and prevent costly "retrofitting" three to five years down the road. Blame it on executive direction, changes driven by the application companies, lack of knowledge about the interdependency of application and infrastructure or complicated/non-existent recovery processes, but it's not happening.

This is a big gap, especially given the scope of the challenges organizations will face as their cloud environments expand.

Where most organizations stumble in the following four areas:

  1. Not having a long-term view of their application environments: This includes a three- to five-year view from the application provider itself. Does the application provider plan to move to a cloud or SaaS model? Does the provider have plans to change hardware platforms? Asking these types of questions forces a conversation about where the platform itself will sit long-term and minimize the need to make significant changes to cloud architectures as a result.
  2. Not understanding if the applications they're running can work on a cloud platform. What are the technical requirements for the applications being moved? Many organizations will tell you their applications are cloud-enabled, but without tangible POCs, how do they truly know? Moreover, how can organizations calculate the true savings of moving to the cloud if they haven't factored in data movement and retrieval costs or considered peak times, variances, networking issues, etc.?
  3. Not having a clear understanding of the interdependencies of applications: How will running certain applications in the public cloud, in a hosted private cloud or on dedicated infrastructure affect the relationships among applications? Without first testing applications in a POC environment to see how they perform, there is no way to know how they will do in a production environment. Period.
  4. Not looking at recovery of that application based on these interdependencies: As organizations implement cloud strategies in complex hybrid environments, recovery strategies and automated and manual change management become increasingly important. Bottom-line: If an organization doesn't test its environment, it won't know how its mission-critical Tier-1 applications running on a cloud platform will react when a lower-tier interface application goes down, etc. And that's just one of many "if-then" scenarios that need to be considered.
What Does This Mean?
Most organizations today are still stovepipes (or they are struggling not to be). They operate in functional vacuums. Business owners are looking to drive revenue or function; they aren't looking at the "how" behind the "why" that a move to the cloud means. Application owners are looking to meet specific business goals; they aren't looking long-term and they don't generally know how one application impacts others well enough to know what the enterprise cloud implications are of running applications on various types of infrastructure.

Bridge the gap!

There are good-fit scenarios for hyperscale public clouds, hosted private clouds and dedicated infrastructures. Arm your customers with analysis and plans tied to fact-based cloud migration options that will allow them to select wisely. If you don't have this capability in your arsenal, partner with someone who does.

Doing so will enable CIOs and CTOs to take back control... all the way down to the individual application. And that's a huge win! .

Tim Cecconi has 22 years of experience in Global Enterprise Technology Sales and has spent the last 12 years at Sungard Availability Services as a senior vice president of sales responsible for Global Channels and ITOs, NA Healthcare, NA Government and NA South East. Tim has a BA and MBA from the University of Central Florida, where he also played college football.

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