Steve Newell, sales engineer for Co-location and IaaS provider Voonami, brought a message to the November 30 Peer Incite meeting, and it was, “get rid of the 20th Century attitude that ‘I have to own everything.’”
The question he asks CIOs is: Why are you still running infrastructure? What benefit do you get from it? And while this is an obvious sales pitch, his point, that CIOs should move their applications to the Cloud (and in his case specifically Voonami), eliminate all the headaches of running infrastructure, and focus on the applications that are the real source of value to the organization, is valid.
Moving applications to the Cloud provides several important advantages. CIOs no longer have to worry about hardware problems, backup and recovery, security, or predicting growth and demand three-to-five years ahead. They no longer have to justify hardware upgrades to CFOs who don’t understand the need. They no longer have to compete with much larger companies for rare talents such as virtualization experts. They can reallocate staff to focus on higher level issues that create value. And of course it replaces Capex investments in hardware with Opex monthly payments that are predictable and that can be managed as demand changes. And for most midrange companies in particular, it costs less, because they can share the very large servers that provide economies of scale as well as the expert staff, and highly efficient operations they enable, formerly only available to large enterprises.
CIOs also should not look on the Cloud as a virtual server. Cloud computing provides important advances in computing including superior connectivity and the ability to automatically increase or decrease resources to match changes in demand. That means companies with monthly or annual demand changes do not have to maintain idle equipment for three quarters of the year to be ready for the demands of the fourth.
Action Item: Stop thinking in 20th Century paradigms. Reexamine your company’s compute loads to identify which, if any, must absolutely stay in house and create a plan for migrating the rest to one or more Cloud service providers, either IaaS or SaaS, and let them manage the infrastructure. That plan should include transitioning internal staff to higher level functions focused on building closer integration between IT and the business.