Is the Cloud On Your IT horizon? Consider This First

Josh Klein By Josh Klein East Sales Leader, Consulting Services April 4, 2017

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.

Josh Klein

About Josh Klein

East Sales Leader, Consulting Services

Josh Klein has enjoyed a long and successful technology career helping guide organizations of all sizes through transformational technology challenges, from strategy to execution and performance.

Today, as the East Sales Leader for Consulting Services at Dell EMC , he brings an informed perspective to clients seeking transformational change with powerful approaches like Big Data and IT as a Service. He believes a holistic perspective of an organization’s IT challenges is the best way to unleash a company’s full potential.

Prior to Dell EMC, Josh Klein worked at companies including IBM Global Services, Ernst & Young, and Glasshouse Technologies, Inc., helping customers achieve operational excellence through world-class consulting services.

His approach to implementing successful technology solutions is built on his 21 years of experience in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a Surface Warfare Officer. He is also a father of one wonderful son and three great daughters, an avid world traveler, and a World War II history buff.

When he's not travelling the country to help customers solve their IT problems, he can often be found in the Boston area performing rock hits as the lead singer in the band the Hip Replacements.

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One thought on “Is the Cloud On Your IT horizon? Consider This First

  1. Josh Klein makes a couple of very good points in this blog entry about adoption of cloud.
    If you lift and shift you’ve missed a critical opportunity to streamline and consolidate. Doing it the right way will ensure the right applications and workloads go to the cloud (private, hybrid or public) and are fit to do so.
    Don’t try and solve the cloud question on your own. It makes such an incredible difference to how users and customers access and consume IT, and the options open to them, as well as the risks and opportunities it creates, unless you’ve done this before, recently, you’ll burn costs, make less than perfect choices and miss opportunities along the way. Reach out and ask for help. That’s what we’re here for.