“Cloud” is undoubtably the most common buzzword in todays IT-landscape. And the reasons are obvious. The concept promises incredible things: cost-reduction, lower to no risks of data-loss, centralized innovation and optimization-possibilities and much more. But it comes with a lot of question-marks too. Many, if not all of them were discussed and answered in the “Cloud & Virtualization”-Track-Sessions at the EMC CIO Connect Summit 2014 in Istanbul.
In recent years the pace of “change” got a whole lot faster. Technology changed dramatically – and the people with it. Through technological innovations like the smartphone, peoples’ habits like when, how and to which extent they use, consume and create data has dramatically changed. Looking at those changes it may be easy to say that they are true for only a relatively small number of people though; those “early adopters“ or those so-called “digital natives”. But it is exactly these people to whom the future belongs to. In some countries such as India, you can buy a 7” Tablet for just $30,- as of today. And that’s just one example for the omnipresent trend of wide availability of home-electronics and computers used for accessing and creating data. This confronts companies with a series of problems:
- Their business models are in danger of becoming outdated – especially as there are thousands of dynamic start-ups in Silicon Valley alone, who’s only goal is to be more innovative and simply better then all those big players around … and to take their space.
- Most employees are used to be working and living with MUCH better hardware, then they have access to in their jobs, which could lead them to bring their own devices, causing security-concerns.
- Data-amounts are constantly rising, be it because of ever-innovating CRM-actions or just new or extended business models, causing data centers to face their limits
The verdict is simple: Transformation is needed and the journey to the Cloud is your best bet.
This perception was already present in most if not all of the CIOs who attended the sessions of the Cloud & Virtualization-Track of this years EMC CIO Connect Summit. This also meant, that they shared a common ground which enabled them to discuss and examine ideas on how to tackle those problems mentioned above as well as a number of other related questions and concerns. The discussion that followed wasn’t all that technical … and that’s no surprise. Just like Mohammed Amin mentioned in his first Blog on the CIO Summit already: We at EMC want our customers to concentrate on their business. We’ll handle the technical details that enable their transformation. So what were the main points of discussion at the Sessions? Simple: People, Roles and of course Cost.
IT departments are quite used to changes: software updates, hardware-upgrades, new features and the like define their everyday business. But now, it’s the data-center itself that’s changing … and the people working in and around it. Two entire sessions in the Cloud and Virtualization track heavily focused on this very point, examining the people- and the process-perspective of the cloud-transformation. Travers Nicholas (Manager System Engineers LEMA) and Giuseppe Fortunato (EMEA Cloud Practice Lead) from EMC Consulting were especially focused on this topic, stressing that new roles like the “Cloud architect” need to be created, new “rules of governance” between CIOs and CMOs have to be agreed on and new processes need to be defined in order to cope with the new IT-structures, which are based on Cloud-principles – be it Public, Private or Hybrid. How this is to be solved exactly, Fortunato emphasized, will vary of course as every business is different, so every process should be too. Our EMC Consulting teams are of course always glad to help – based on their extensive experience in helping organizations of all shapes and sizes to transform their IT.
Another hot topic with the attendees was of course that of cost. Switching to cloud-solutions, hiring new experts with new specializations, working out new processes … sounds all very expensive. But the truth is, that it’s not so much about increasing your IT-budget, it’s about altering it. For conventional Data-Center Setups, you approximately have to calculate with $3 to annually spend for every $1 you invest on hardware. With Cloud & Virtualization-Actions, this model of CAPEX/OPEX drastically changes, while giving you completely new business-possibilities.
But just as Nigel Moulton (EMEA CEO of VCE) said in his Session “The Road to Innovation: Unlocking potential in the Cloud Era”: “Cloud will be a 10-15 year journey.” The switch won’t happen over night. Its just as complex as it is promising – but one thing is clear of course: we at EMC are glad to accompany you on your journey.