December 18, 2017
How to Multiply IT Innovation in the Cloud
Technology, Meet Business… Play Nicely You Two
Information technology in the new cloud era is more about business than technology. It’s a critical change in mindset, and the reason why 57% of CIOs chose “customers” as their top business priority this year, up from 45% only a year ago (Forbes). This need to better serve customers is fueling accelerated cloud adoption in order to scale IT resources (CIO Magazine).
A focus on business outcomes is a must, with 78% of CIOs understanding that strategic alignment of IT activities with business strategy is critical to their success. As Forrester analyst, Matthew Guarini, says, “If you stay within the realm of what IT looked like five or ten years ago, there’s a risk that your IT organization will be marginalized” (CIO Magazine).
So, put customers at the center of your focus, digitally transform the customer experience, and harness the speed and agility of the cloud to meet customer demands. Pretty straightforward, right?
You know it’s not that simple.
Working in the cloud is more complicated than many people think. And it’s a GOOD complication—in fact, moving to the cloud can accelerate your business exponentially.
When your infrastructure is on prem, you can innovate “x” amount for your business each year. You’re limited by your available technology, skillsets, and budget. You can advance the company through innovation, but it is typically contingent on resources. On the other hand, when your infrastructure is in the cloud, you can solve business problems so quickly and easily that you can innovate “x” times ten. At least.
But rapid innovation isn’t the problem. The trouble is that with this extraordinary additional value comes the need for additional management. Your once “x” value to the company explodes in its potential to “10x”—a sense of rapid innovation that’s inherently the reason for moving to the cloud in the first place.
To harness this accelerated innovation and compete in today’s business environment, you have three choices:
- Retrain your staff
- Add skilled headcount for each new service you deploy
- Use a managed service provider (MSP) with a breadth of cloud expertise
There are reasons for each of these, but only one allows you to drive the multiples of potential innovation in the cloud.
The Undeniable Value of Cloud Experts
You might have heard the comparison of cloud computing to the electric grid of the 1920s. It’s a simplistic model, but one that draws significant parallels to today’s cloud managed services.
Our version goes something like this. Consider yourself a hat shop owner in the 1920s. At that time, you needed an electric generator to keep your shop lit. There was no power company. You bought an electric generator, cursed at it when it broke, and hired an expert to fix and maintain it—because what did you know about electric generators? You made hats. Really impressive hats.
Then along came the electric grid. The power companies built power plants, put lines in place, and manufactured electricity at scale. You had a subscription service to pull down the electricity and paid monthly based on your use. The power company provided the power, and handled the management and maintenance of the grid. But if you wanted to do something outside the grid, say, install new lighting or use electricity more efficiently to save money, you hired an expert electrician. Because you made hats. Really impressive hats.
The cloud is the new evolution of the electric grid. The internet is the power lines, datacenters are the generators, and you pay for the service monthly based on your use. Your cloud vendor provides you with the power of the cloud.
The difference is, cloud providers don’t handle anything outside their proverbial grid. If you want efficiencies in cloud spend, 24/7 remediation, architectural customizations, or anything else, you need cloud experts. There are literally thousands of potential cloud services and ways for you to accelerate your business. But to scale in the cloud, you need cloud experts who also understand your business goals. Because your business depends on IT. Really impressive IT.
The reality is that cloud is a different game. Yes, you could add more employees with cloud expertise, or budget costly training for existing staff. Or, you could engage with a managed service provider for the cost of half an employee and get all the cloud expertise you need today and as your technology needs change—so you can stay focused on growing your organization doing what you do best.
But this is only part of the story. Read the full ebook to learn how your company can thrive in the cloud by optimizing your IT resources. It’s an insightful, five-minute read covering issues of IT resources—from expertise to headcount—and ways you can overcome common setbacks.