November 18 - Day 2: Applications and Services for Which Clouds Do (and Do Not) Produce Tangible Business Benefits - InformationWeek

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November 18 - Day 2: Applications and Services for Which Clouds Do (and Do Not) Produce Tangible Business Benefits
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@Lorna, not necessarily, it depends upon the value prop. More tomorrow. Thanks all!

Ninja

Ooh, I'm looking forward to hearing more about the DR case. See you guys tomorrow!

Apprentice

We'll dig into the aforementioned disaster recovery case study; we launched cloud DR at our organization well before most organizations, and we'll talk about the market evaluation and risk management. See you then!

Ninja

Well, thanks for the good discussion. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow, same time! Our topic tomorrow: "Business Case Study"

Ninja

Do you tend to favor startups as a general rule?

Author

Lorna, exactly. There WILL be market consolidation eventually but at the beginning of a tech market the best of breed is rarely coming out of the big vendors. You have to do risk management when you use one of them. The fallacy is that "you don't have to do risk management" if you use a big vendor. You ALWAYS must do risk management (pilots, audits) with a new market space.

Ninja

Ah right, I've heard of the concept and saw it in practice but I hadn't heard that term, thanks for clarifying.

Apprentice

As opposed to just buying a startup, a la Cisco

Author

Oh, sorry Wendy. Intrapreneurship is when you encourage people at a large company to innovate as a startup, but INSIDE the company instead of starting something outside.

Ninja

Plus, using a startup, you're encouraging a rich ecosystem of competitors

Author

I don't think I've heard the term "intrapreneurship"... can you explain that a little more?

Apprentice

... and, if we were to switch, we'd have to do the same, lengthy tech & security vetting process -- even with the mainstream vendor -- because it's a different product.

Ninja

Trouble is, the reality of it is that the mainstream vendors are doing "intrapreneurship" and their product is just as raw as any startup's. yeah, they have more resourcing behind them, but fundamentally they're in startup mode, just internal to the big "household" name vendor. So you're going to run into many of the same aches and pains that you would with a startup.

Ninja

Now, a year later, the mainstream vendors are offering the same service, and appealing to their "peeps" in IT orgs.

Ninja

It really could be that reason for a buyout ... the founder just really wants to get out and do something else. Must be nice to be the next Steve Jobs. :) 

Apprentice

So here's an example of "why not to change". Our disaster recovery project was done with a startup vendor.

Ninja

Haha! "The dress codes of technology zealots". Maybe an "IT Life" topic. ;)

Ninja

@Wendy, yeah, you're probably right. No sane executive of a truly healthy company wants to get acquired. Oh, unless there's a $5MM payout right after the deal goes through. :-D

Ninja

Really good observation about "VMware people" etc... I know some of them. Mystery: Why do all the Oracle people tend to wear exactly the same polo shirts and khaki Dockers? Perhaps a topic for a different day. 

Apprentice

OTOH, if you change every 6 weeks, that's really bad for uptime & reliability.

Ninja

Your thought about a healthy company being bought is correct... there's something not being explained to the customer there. Always keep smiling! Fake it until you make it! Etc.

Apprentice

... yet it is so important! How can you change if you are clinging tightly to the status quo?

Ninja

The "neutrality" point that I mentioned is always very hard for IT pros. They tend to become "Oracle people" or "IBM people" or "Microsoft people", instead of "IT Pro people".

Ninja

That "cash infusion" thing is always touted as a big reason why customers should want the merger to go through. BUT, my thought is: if it is a healthy company, why wouldn't they have money to do R&D?

Ninja

I've certainly lived through "neutral" ones. When Dell acquired Kace, for example, there was not a visible positive or negative impact. However, thinking back on it, maybe Kace needed a cash infusion from Dell in order to continue to innovate? Hard to tell.

Ninja

That's kind of a telling observation... I also can't think of a merger that ended better for the customer. Wow, I never thought about that. Not a single one. 

Apprentice

I've never lived through a merger or acquisition on the customer side that ended up being better. Not in 25 years.

Ninja

Good thing for the brokers and shareholders, clearly not always so good for customers

Author

I think they might stir the ire of regulators if they did it quicker.

Ninja

I just heard a piece on NPR about M&A activity being through the roof.

Author

@Wendy, the good news is that the "end of life" announcement of the acquired software gives us at least a year.

Ninja

Lorna, yes, agree re IaaS vs SaaS. IaaS is a relatively commoditized marketplace, SaaS not so much.

Ninja

Jonathan, what's the time to make that decisions/evaluation? How long can you delay taking the leap? 

Apprentice

Yep, in this case this company did a targeted acquisition of another company that was eating its lunch because of pricing. That is now over.. And shinyness!

Ninja

Infrastructure costs are going down. IaaS vendors pass along Moore's Law savings. SaaS vendors, not so much

Author

But shiny is better!  :P

Apprentice

In this case, we are evaluating bringing the system in-house, OR launching it on IaaS. We still don't know if the software itself is deployable to the cloud, or if the "cloud" offering is simply a hosted solution.

Ninja

Which is odd, because why shouldn't SaaS prices also be dropping?

Author

I want to emphasize that this is NOT always the case. Our cloud-based doc mgmt vendor got acquired; the new, new, shiny solution promises to be 4x or so the price of the original one. So, your milage may vary.

Ninja

Yes - AWS particularly but MS is following suit. IaaS, not so much SaaS

Author

So, someone mentioned cloud price drops.

Ninja

Personally? Like Lorna, I think if the CIO is reporting into the CFO it's the embodiment of the "Career is Over" Sword of Damocles over your head.

Apprentice

Lorna, exactly. If you view IT as a cost center, you're pretty much done. Outsource it and be done with it. If you view IT as an innovation enabler, then there is a point to having internal IT.

Ninja

Seriously, though, unless you have a visionary CFO -- one who can see beyond short term financial benefit -- it can be a real problem to invest in technology. Good IT is VERY expensive compared to other per-capita internal services.

Ninja

Cost center vs. partner and innovation enabler

Author

If I were a CIO and had a line of report to the CFO, that would tell me a lot about how the company views IT

Author

@Wendy, it's got to be a blip. That, or they are making bean counters differently these days. ;)

Ninja

@Lorna, so true. "Can't we all just ... get along?" LOL.

Ninja

Jonathan, I agree! I'm surprised to see that so many CIOs are now reporting that they are under the CFO. Do you think that's a blip or a sign of things to come?

Apprentice

@Tony, if it makes you feel better, I sometimes have the same type of problems on our corporate network... "SECURITY" trumps all, as it (mostly) should.

Ninja

Sadly though, it's often true that ppl lose sight of common goals vs. it's about me. That is what distinguishes a good coworker from one you want to throw under the bus.

Author

@Wendy, IT reporting to Finance always creates problems. Two very different internal service orgs. Finance totally understands the principles of cash flows and ROI... but sometimes does not do well with business agility

Ninja

@Curt, it is ALWAYS better to under-promise and over-deliver. That's essentially financial conservatism.

 

Ninja

THAT is why I don't look at the comment stream during the preso, I would have snorted water out of my nose. ;)

 

Ninja

You guys are cracking me up! :)

Ninja

Rats in a cage ... nice analogy @Wendy.

Author

@Lorna, one would think that would be the case, but often mini-factions arise and it's like too many rats in too small a cage... lots of bites and guilty looks of "Who, me?" (but perhaps I'm cynical)

Apprentice

Tony, you just go back to the original URL for the class. The player should pop up and start when you hit the page.

Strategist

What is the URL for listening to the serssions afterwards?

Apprentice

Everyone is working toward the same goal - business success

Author

I think it's always better to underpromise and overdeliver by a little bit, where you can.

Author

@Lorna, do you think this is a case where it's best to "under-promise and over-deliver"?

Strategist

FWIW I always think CIOs should make BFFs with the CFO... if only because they might end up reporting into the CFO at some point. ;)

Apprentice

Seems like with cloud price drops, you may end up underpromising savings

Author

Jonathan, would you suggest underpromising the budget and then delivering more ROI in the long run? Don't you take a risk of not getting approval for something you really know will be a home run?

Apprentice

Jonathan is a budget ninja

Author

OK, he just referred us back to slide 5 -- so I had us in the right place!

Strategist

And thanks for hanging in here with us -- I think you're going to find Jonathan's lectures very worthwhile.

Strategist

Tony, I think we're on slide 6: I'll let you know if I'm wrong...

Strategist

So sorry to hear Tony. You can listen to the presentations immediately after as archives

Apprentice

What slide # are we on?

Apprentice

@Tony try using Chrome. We had issues with another browser during yesterday's discussion

Apprentice

Finally working with personal WiFi hot spot.  Not using corporate network.  Thans\ks

Apprentice

@tony.castellano, is it possible that there's a firewall that's shutting down your access to the audio? It does rely on Flash...

Strategist

Two days, three machines, four browsers later, no audio.

Apprentice

Hi all -Audio is live! If you don't see the audio bar at the top of the screen, please refresh your browser. It may take a couple tries. When you see the audio bar, if it doesn't start automatically, hit the play button. If you experience audio interruptions and are using IE, try using FF or Chrome as your browser. Many people experience issues with IE. Also, make sure your flash player is updated with the current version. Some companies block live audio streams, so if that is the case for your company, the class will be archived on this page immediately following the class and you can listen then. People don't experience any issues with the audio for the archived version.

Apprentice

@Wendy, I've spoken with Jonathan on a couple of occasions: I think that "limited resources" is a condition with which he's very familiar!

Strategist

I'm Wendy Schuchart and a cloud enthusiast. I tend to be very interested in small business and midmarket/start-up interest when it comes to cloud. I know that Jonathan comes from a government background, but I'm hoping to hear about limited resources (something we have in all IT spaces, it seems like)

Apprentice

The audio has started: If you aren't hearing Jonathan's lecture, then you should refresh your browser window.

Strategist

Are we live with sound?

Apprentice

If you are snowed in, grab a cup of something warm and soothing, then join us here for a great class!

Strategist

Hi everyone!Please intro yourself. I won't be monitoring chat during the live preso, but Curt will be, and can flag me with a question if you have one.

Ninja

We'd love to have your voice in the discussion here. To take part, just type your comment or question into the "Your Post" box and then click on the "Post" button below the box. Feel free to introduce yourself before the class starts -- I think you'll find that we're a very friendly community here! 

Strategist

Hey, everyone, we're glad you could join us! When the class is scheduled to start, at 2:00 p.m. EST, an audio player should appear above the "Your Post" window. If it doesn't appear, you might need to refresh your browser until it does. If it appears but doesn't start playing, then you may need to click on the "play" button on the far left of the player. 

Strategist

I couldn't agree more than to follow this approach, thanks for the invitation.

Carlos Urquiza

Apprentice


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