Josh Klein – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:08:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Unsure about Shifting to Multi-cloud? Follow these Steps https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/unsure-about-shifting-to-multi-cloud-follow-these-steps/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/unsure-about-shifting-to-multi-cloud-follow-these-steps/#respond Mon, 05 Nov 2018 10:00:51 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=36496 In my last post, Why Multi-cloud Can Bridge the Gap between Public and Private Clouds, I talked about some of the benefits for companies thinking about shifting their IT infrastructure to a multi-cloud environment, a new way to build, operate and consume IT services and deliver an experience that drives innovation and growth. Multi-cloud is […]

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In my last post, Why Multi-cloud Can Bridge the Gap between Public and Private Clouds, I talked about some of the benefits for companies thinking about shifting their IT infrastructure to a multi-cloud environment, a new way to build, operate and consume IT services and deliver an experience that drives innovation and growth.

Multi-cloud is far more efficient, flexible, cost-effective, and future-proof in a world where rapid application development and agile upgrades can make or break a business. It’s all about improving what your end users care most about (hint: it’s not another list of speeds and feeds). What they want is an always-on, responsive, high quality application experience.

My view is that multi-cloud makes great sense for pretty much any business. For those of you who are looking to move to multi-cloud, you might be wondering what is next. With this series of steps, you can more confidently make the shift to multi-cloud and rev up your IT transformation journey.

Step 1: Survey the Landscape

Do you have a complete, clear view of your current environment? There’s only way to know for sure, and that is to start with a detailed inventory of your IT infrastructure – hardware and software – before you do anything else.

I hear about a lot of companies proudly proclaiming they have shifted 100 percent of their IT infrastructure to the public cloud. This certainly sounds impressive, but it’s a potentially problematic situation. So, what does your world really look like? What percent is public? How many mainframes are still humming along in the basement, hosting your internal environment?

It’s also a matter of talking to relevant stakeholders to understand what’s working, and what’s not. This is just the tip of the digital iceberg. Only a full current state analysis can assess the myriad variables, ranging from governance to capacity planning.

Step 2: Imagine the Future

Should your company be 90 percent private cloud and 10 percent public? Or was it the other way around? Striking the optimal balance can seem like one of the bumpier roads in the journey to multi-cloud bliss, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you’ve completed the analysis in Step 1, you’re already halfway to the answers you seek. The next step involves assessing and understanding the IT processes and roles as they should be, not as they currently stand. You also need to assess your applications and determine which should be modernized, which should be migrated, which should be retired, and which should simply be left alone.

Step 3: Make a Map

Now that you have a clear view of the before and after state of your environment, it’s time to map out how you get from your current state to your future state.

There’s a laundry list of factors to consider, but four main workstreams stand out: governance and strategy, infrastructure, operating model, and applications. Answering these needs will inform the development of a transformation strategy and a roadmap that is actionable and relevant to your business.

Step 4: Build the Case

With flat or shrinking IT budgets, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to never underestimate the importance of making a strong case for the investment needed for multi-cloud to be successful.

This means determining the key metrics and evaluating the hard costs for components of both the current and target IT environment – everything from software, hardware and networking to facilities, staff and training costs. All of these costs form the basis of a cost-benefit analysis to calculate IT run rates, and ultimately, determine the return on investment and overall savings of the transformation.

Summary

Ultimately, the multi-cloud offers tremendous advantages for many organizations. Taking these steps is a great way to arm yourself with the intelligent insights to know for sure.

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Why Multi-cloud Can Bridge the Gap Between Public and Private Clouds https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/multi-cloud-can-bridge-gap-public-private-clouds/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/multi-cloud-can-bridge-gap-public-private-clouds/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:00:14 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=35501 If you haven’t already started moving there, it’s time to get ready for a multi-cloud world. Many organizations have already figured out that a multi-cloud environment provides the most efficient and cost effective solution for their current and future needs. Simply put, multi-cloud is the combination of private cloud environments and public cloud services from the […]

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If you haven’t already started moving there, it’s time to get ready for a multi-cloud world.

Many organizations have already figured out that a multi-cloud environment provides the most efficient and cost effective solution for their current and future needs. Simply put, multi-cloud is the combination of private cloud environments and public cloud services from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google.

A recent IDC CloudView Survey shows nearly 80 percent of large organizations with 1,000 or more employees already have a multi-cloud strategy in place. The same study also revealed that 51 percent of those same organizations are currently using both public cloud and private cloud infrastructure, with an additional 29 percent of organizations expecting to do so in the next year.

A multi-cloud approach offers numerous benefits, enabling IT departments to provide faster, more flexible and potentially more affordable capabilities for their end customer, the business owners.  In companies of every size and industry, the rapid development of new applications and their near constant upgrades has become the most important differentiator for business success.

In most cases, a multi-cloud environment provided by corporate IT enables the application development teams greater flexibility and a faster time to market.  As companies invest in public clouds as well as their own private ones, it’s essential to determine which workloads are appropriate for which environment. This can be a complex task in and of itself. No less complex is the effort of managing these multiple environments and their associated workloads once these determinations have been made.

As I alluded to, one of the biggest challenges I see is companies struggling to decide which workflows are best suited for which cloud environment. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to unleash the full potential of a multi-cloud environment before you start moving essential workloads around.

Among the first steps is application discovery. It’s critical to know your overall application portfolio and have a deep understanding of the applications that are interrelated from both a data as well as a hardware standpoint. The configuration management database (CMDB) is a good place to start, although it’s rarely up to date to the point that an IT executive would hang their hat (or career) on them.

The next phase involves turning a more critical eye to each application to understand, whether or not they can effectively exist, or be modified to exist, in a public cloud or should be kept private. The decisions made here should happen through the lens of security, cost analysis and ease of use.Prevailing opinion is that applications like email and test and development environments are well suited to public cloud environments. Full production workloads, meanwhile, are generally still the domain of private clouds. While this line of thinking is beginning to change, as we see more and more companies expanding their footprint in the public cloud, most companies still maintain their ERP and other production environments; the “crown jewels” of their workloads, internally.

From there, it’s a matter of optimizing applications for the right cloud. Need low latency and responsiveness? Private may be the best option. Other uses such as analytics, meanwhile, may be better suited to the public cloud.

One thing is for sure: no matter where your workflows live today, a multi-cloud strategy can deliver the critical flexibility your business will need to remain competitive in today’s world.

In my next post, I’ll share some of the key multi-cloud implementation considerations

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Is the Cloud On Your IT horizon? Consider This First https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/public-cloud-horizon-consider-first/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/public-cloud-horizon-consider-first/#comments Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:00:52 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=30561 In my role as Dell EMC’s consulting services leader for the East, I routinely get all sorts of questions from customers and clients about the biggest challenges and threats impacting IT. Among the most common question is this: “How can I leverage the cloud to solve my IT problems?” A common refrain is that public […]

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In my role as Dell EMC’s consulting services leader for the East, I routinely get all sorts of questions from customers and clients about the biggest challenges and threats impacting IT.

Among the most common question is this: “How can I leverage the cloud to solve my IT problems?”

A common refrain is that public cloud environments can deliver numerous benefits to IT departments seeking to transform or even get out of the data center business altogether. Amid the drive toward digitization that is happening in many industries right now, IT departments have an opportunity to utilize the cloud as both a platform and a catalyst to help streamline their costs and operations and drive innovation through an array of services that benefit the entire organization.

While the public cloud does offer substantial opportunities, it’s also new territory for most companies with some key questions and concerns that need to be addressed before a business jumps into a cloud based IT model hook, line and sinker.

While the right cloud solution can be a powerful way to help IT departments to start thinking and acting like a service-based organization within the larger company, implementing a cloud solution should be approached wisely. If the public cloud is on the horizon at your IT shop, here are some simple but important issues to consider first.

Avoid the “lift and shift” urge.

Much like traditional IT outsourcing, the temptation to simply shift all existing data center workloads over to a public cloud solution may seem faster and easier at first. It’s not. The long-term reality is that this approach often just makes it harder to properly consolidate, integrate and streamline IT infrastructure, because you haven’t really made the tough choices necessary for improvement prior to moving the workloads to somewhere or someone else.

Get the lay of the land.

From better performance, to easier maintenance, to increased cost savings, the benefits of cloud solutions are many. But not everything in the data center should go to the public cloud. Before you start a cloud migration strategy, it’s important to decide what should stay and what can go. In my experience, things like test and development environments make a lot of sense to move to the public cloud, as do things such as email solutions or backup environments. Mission critical items or the “Crown Jewels” of the company, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems meanwhile, may make more sense staying in-house in an internal or hybrid cloud environment.

Inventory your apps.

Today’s IT infrastructure essentially exists to serve up applications and related information to their end users. As noted in the January edition of Cybertrend, internal customers want applications made easy. They want to be able to utilize a service center approach with offerings like analytics as a service. They want it delivered in nimble fashion to deliver a maximum return on investment. The resulting sprawl of various applications must be inventoried and understood before a decision can be made about where they should reside. Some applications may serve the entire organization; others may exist for a single employee. Understanding the best approach to this application transformation is key to making an informed choice.

Ask for help. Really.

I hear from IT departments every day who are trying to crack the code on cloud, all by themselves. It’s true that IT has always been the group that solves other people’s problems. But the cloud is different, so ask for help. Implementing a cloud strategy correctly is just too important as it opens up a new world of options, possibilities and risks that didn’t exist before. You will benefit from working with a trusted partner like Dell EMC to get some counseling and guidance.

The cloud is a powerful tool for today’s IT leaders, but it’s not a one size fits all solution. It takes a great deal of planning, savvy and care to effectively deliver a cloud solution that can provide clear, compelling and responsive value to the larger organization.

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How My Navy Career Informs My Work At Dell EMC https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/navy-career-informs-work-dell-emc/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/josh_klein/navy-career-informs-work-dell-emc/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:00:52 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=30572 Years before I became Dell EMC’s consulting services leader for the South, I was in charge of another complex and very rewarding enterprise: ensuring the essential functions of a surface guided missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy. For more than two decades, I devoted my life to this and other Navy endeavors, deploying to various […]

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Years before I became Dell EMC’s consulting services leader for the South, I was in charge of another complex and very rewarding enterprise: ensuring the essential functions of a surface guided missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy.

For more than two decades, I devoted my life to this and other Navy endeavors, deploying to various places around the world and growing and learning as an officer.

The Navy gave me plenty in return. I learned that teamwork and collaborating for a greater good is how you build real trust. I understood that true leaders communicate by listening instead of talking. I realized the best way to motivate a team was to show rather than tell.

As anyone who has served in the military will tell you, the transition to the private sector can be interesting. Suddenly, the common mission isn’t always as clear. The capabilities of your colleagues aren’t as obvious because civilian clothing isn’t pinned with badges, medals and awards.

Instead, ambiguity is the norm and the problems that need solving aren’t always obvious. Today, I see these challenges as an asset in my role with Dell EMC.

Across the nation, I use my new role at Dell EMC to talk to IT executives who are struggling with constantly changing business pressures. Fortunately, the skills I’ve learned in 21 years with the Navy have made this a familiar process.

Whenever I meet with a new or potential customer, communication is nearly always the most critical elemental to get a successful digital transformation project up and running. The IT staff at organizations big and small know they need to become digital, but they don’t always know what that means or how they will fit in this future.

It’s a simple question: Do they want to be the true innovators – a valued part of the company – or do they simply want to exist as digital plumbers only needed when someone’s e-mail goes down?

Fortunately, the answer is just as easy. Most IT departments want to be relevant and ready for the future. The process of getting from point A to point B is where the battle is often won or lost.

For me, getting to the finish line simply requires a dose of Navy experience.

Whether it’s a military mission or an IT solution, the first part of solving a problem is understanding the problems at hand. That means being a good listener and digesting as much information as possible before taking any action. As all great leaders know, you can’t move forward until you’ve lifted the fog of war as best as possible.

Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to be decisive and figure out the best approach. Does it make sense to attack the IT challenges head on, or is a more subtle approach the key to victory?  Either way, why is that strategy the right one? A clear, creative and articulate vision is crucial to this success. The bottom line is that a road map is essential. Big changes are scary enough – they’re even more frightening when nobody really knows where they are going.

Of course, any leader can have a great vision for success. That doesn’t mean anyone else cares. Effectively communicating it with stakeholders who matter most – employees, customers, shareholders, for example – is the only way to ensure the vision can become a reality. In my experience, managing the expectations and the coming changes are the most important aspects of a successful or failed Navy mission or IT transformation project.

A big part of this is clearly defining the benefits. What does victory look like? Cutting costs is certainly a powerful reason in the business world, but there may be bigger intangibles worth pursuing, such as changing the perception of IT from a “corporate tax” that is slow and unwieldy, to a data-fueled engine that helps drive innovation and additional revenue.

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