CxO Series, Part I
Helping CIOs/CTOs Regain Control in 2018
By Tim Cecconi
For many organizations, 2017 started a public cloud tsunami of sorts.
Looking to capitalize on the potential cost-savings and business synergy benefits of the public cloud, CEOs and the leadership teams of organizations across the globe put intense pressure on their CIOs and CTOs to move as many applications to the public cloud as quickly as possible. In fact, from my vantage point as a sales executive within the global technology space, moving applications to the public cloud was one of 2017's top narratives, and I expect it will be again in 2018.
This narrative is being fueled by Senior Executives who want to maximize the potential benefits of moving applications to the public cloud; however, the benefits can be easily overestimated. CIOs and their teams have learned all too quickly about the pitfalls of blanket cloud strategies, including issues with application interdependencies, security and DR as well as unexpected retrieval/usage costs.
The tidal wave of emotion—and expectations—that has ensued has caused many organizations to rush into critical application and infrastructure decisions that will likely impact their enterprise data environments over the long term.
IT Execs Tell All
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an educational forum with more than 80 CIOs/CTOs representing businesses of various sizes, industries and geographies. The purpose of the forum was to give IT Executives the opportunity to talk to each other about the challenges and opportunities they face.
The overriding discussion during the two-day event was how to deal with the public cloud directives being issued by the executive suite. CIOs/CTOs shared their personal experiences with public and private clouds and they talked about ways to regain control of this dialogue.
The conversations centered on helping Senior Executives outside of IT to understand that moving applications to the public cloud isn't something that can be done easily and certainly not without issues. Many success stories were shared, especially with test dev environments and highly scalable applications. However, there were an equal number of stories tied to failures.
One of the more heated conversation threads centered on the hidden data retrieval and network costs associated with public cloud options. IT Executives swapped stories about how they hadn't seen any cost-savings moving some applications to the public cloud—and, in some cases, how costs had increased significantly.
Others shared accounts of the challenges they faced with business continuity and interdependency losses with other applications. Many issues were attributed to the loss of control over the platform on which their applications were delivered (e.g., SaaS, specific hardware, cloud, etc.).
No Silver Bullet
Unfortunately, many of the IT Executives I talk with feel that if they don't show incredible progress in moving applications to the public cloud, their jobs are in jeopardy. They are completely stressed out. Their Senior Executives are saying public cloud, public cloud, but the results of proof of concepts tests, as well as actual application moves, indicate that there are no silver bullets. Instead, a lot of hard work is needed to determine the best cloud and or hardware fit for applications.
Within every complex IT environment, there are great application fits for public and private cloud as well as other platforms. Our job is to help organizations develop a plan that the Senior Executive suite will understand and that the IT team can implement for true advancement and improvement of the overall environment.
As partners, I am sure you, too, are helping your customers navigate this new "cloud" world. Over the course of the next few months, I will use this blog to explore how Sungard AS can help CIOs/CTOs build a plan that looks at the entire environment—at both the current state and future states—and then helps them determine the best delivery fit for applications within that environment.
By doing so, I believe, together we can help change the narrative.