When the business asks for cloud, start the conversation with automation

By Michael Zuber

HP Cloud Leader, Americas

 

So “The Business” wants Cloud. They hear it’s fast and inexpensive. Of course, most IT executives are already well on their way to at least evaluating, or deploying some flavor of Cloud – IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, Public, Private, Hybrid, or quite possibly actually delivering some value already. So how should an IT leader respond to such a request?

 

I recommend that IT professionals partner with business executives to assess what benefits they expect from the cloud services. A good way to achieve this is to break down the overused word of “Cloud” into its base components.

 

Cloudsystem enterprise.pngStart with the notion of “fast”

Business executives believe that Cloud is fast and it’s your job to highlight how IT can use this speed to the advantage of the business. Within the data center, IT can achieve this speed by automating routine and repetitive tasks delivering consistency and reliability and higher quality.

 

Help your business understand that delivering Cloud services is only as fast as the level of automation implemented in the underlying systems and processes. In the game of IT, the winners are those who can automate and eliminate human intervention from most tasks and processes associated with the lifecycle of infrastructure, database and applications. The lifecycle also includes alert monitoring, ticket creation and closure. (Special Note: Only HP provides this complete end-to-end automation from infrastructure through platform and the delivery of applications.)

 

Demystify the portal

To a lot of business executives, the primary benefit of Cloud is a user-friendly interface where they make requests and understand costs and, hopefully, service levels. This part can be a sticky point for IT to educate their business-side clients on because many popular public cloud providers don’t offer enterprise-level SLAs at an acceptable or even decipherable price point. IT needs to separate the front-end portal from all the business discussions that are camouflaged or under-appreciated by the business.

 

IT also needs to ensure that the Cloud portal can actually leverage all the automation highlighted above! A front-end user interface that doesn’t integrate to leverage the full lifecycle automation is, frankly, almost useless.

 

What it takes to run business applications

Finally, IT needs to educate their business executives on all the tools and technologies that go into deploying and running the applications they use. You can highlight how heterogeneous hypervisors, application performance monitoring, system monitoring solutions as well as the service and change management tools all work together with automation and orchestration. Very few business users have the understanding to appreciate all the different components that IT uses, and even less understand how those components work together to ensure proper performance of applications. Without that context, it is difficult to grasp the real advantages that building and managing a cloud service provides to the business.

 

In most cases, organizations should support Cloud projects by first standardizing and automating the full IT stack—which includes physical and virtual entities of servers, OS, storage, network, databases, and middleware. In this way, Cloud can be the compelling event that bolsters your automation and orchestration efforts, if you can position these solutions  to help the business succeed. The business will thank you, even if they don’t fully understand how you provided the efficiencies for them.

 

Learn more

 

Find out how HP offers the most complete automation stack and the industry’s leading orchestration platform, both designed to integrate with your existing and future IT investments:

 

Leave a Comment

We encourage you to share your comments on this post. Comments are moderated and will be reviewed
and posted as promptly as possible during regular business hours

To ensure your comment is published, be sure to follow the Community Guidelines.

Be sure to enter a unique name. You can't reuse a name that's already in use.
Be sure to enter a unique email address. You can't reuse an email address that's already in use.
Type the characters you see in the picture above.Type the words you hear.
Search
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
About the Author
This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.


Follow Us
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation