For several years the Wikibon community has discussed how disruptions in technology often are not the most challenging factor within business technology environments. Thinking about people, process, and technology, practitioners almost universally cite people and process as, by far, the most difficult aspects of IT.
Moreover, in the past 24 months we’ve seen the “Amazon Effect” underscore innovations that cloud service providers (CSPs) are bringing to the industry. Often, the budgets within CSPs are growing rapidly, whereas most IT shops face belt-tightening. A natural byproduct of budget cuts is organizational tension, and, because they are profit centers, CSPs tend to cope with such friction better than many IT shops.
At this week’s Wikibon Peer Incite we heard this theme again from Voonami, a CSP providing IaaS. Steve Newell of Voonami told us that his organization moved from a traditional storage infrastructure to one that utilized a hybrid approach from Tegile. Perhaps more interesting than the technology discussion was the organizational impact of this move and the process changes it enabled.
In particular, Steve Newell, Voonami’s sales engineer for co-location, told us that the admin who owned storage management saw time spent managing storage go from 30-40% down to 5% once everything was up and running. Moreover, Voonami went live inside of a week, including installation, testing, storage migration, and offering services to customers. A critical enabler, according to Newell, is that Voonami had the cloud architect, the cloud sys admin, and the storage sys admin involved in the project, plus the networking team to accommodate basic connectivity.
The key takeaway was that by focusing on the business value and organizing a cross-functional team, Voonami was able to see more immediate value from its infrastructure refresh and simplify its management process.
Action Item: Running IT as a business won’t completely eliminate organizational tensions, but it will focus teams on driving value. IT organizations intent on managing infrastructure in-house should take a page from for-profit CSPs and think IT-as-a-Service first and make protecting organizational turf a lower priority item.