November 20 - Day 4: The Cloud Broker Role: Why it's Critical - InformationWeek

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November 20 - Day 4: The Cloud Broker Role: Why itís Critical
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And Jonathan's most excellent cover story: http://www.informationweek.com/gogreen/20140820td?cid=smartbox_techweb_gogreen_20140820td

Author

@eholmes, here is one report on the topic: http://reports.informationweek.com/abstract/5/10955/Cloud-Computing/Why-You-Need-a-Cloud-Service-Broker.html

Author

1) When I obtain a broker what does that service or product provides the customer.  For example:  broker tool, professional services-labor, etc.  

2)  How do you cost out Broker related services/products?  I'm having difficulty getting pricing info.

 

 

Apprentice

You are very welcome. Have a great one!

Ninja

Nice info - will definitely pass some of those tips along....

Apprentice

Well, it's been fun, folks. Thanks for a great conversation, and thanks for sitting through my presentation. Hope to see y'all tomorrow at the "Writing the Contract" final installment of Cloud's Tangible Business Benefits! Have a great day!

Ninja

Well, sometimes.   For a long time I was in service delivery, DR and BCM so my job was to interact with the business.  It was hard to drag say....my network and system peers to meet the business.  Most of the time the response is that's why you are here so we don't have to... ;-)

 

Apprentice

@Adrianne, one final note on nervousness. It IS all about leadership. Leaders need to paint a vision of where the organization will be. Leaders need to communicate early and often about what their expectations are. Leaders need to highlight what future roles will be. And most importantly, leaders need to underscore their words with actions. Promote people who jump on the cloud bandwagon. Give out bonuses. Whatever is needed!

Ninja

PS Lorna, I think that the maintenance/innovation trap is more like 80/20 or 90/10 in many shops. :(

Ninja

I agree with you @Adrianne, that it is WAY scarier to bury your head in the sand!!! But do you think that is a personality preference?

Ninja

oooh...that's an interesting comment....

Apprentice

Middle managers are more disconnected!

Ninja

I am fond of saying that front line techs are the ambassadors of ITS.

Ninja

@Adrianne, I think it's because both worker bees and upper management interact all the time with business leaders.

Ninja

I think it's scarier to bury their head in the sand but I've been beating my head against this wall for quite some time. ;-)

Apprentice

That's scary though for some, don't you think?

Author

I think I've been seeing progress at the senior level i.e. CIO and the worker bee level i.e. we want to work for the business but I still see middle management not embracing "we need to add more value to the business".  Why is that?

Apprentice

RIGHT. If IT has less crap to take care of, IT can actually start focusing on solving business problems. Yay!

Ninja

In survey after survey we continue to see that 60/40 mintenance/innovation trap. Cloud is the answer, if ppl will just take the leap. But of course, then they need to actually INNOVATE!

Author

Hey thanks Adrianne. :)

Ninja

@Curt, right on. It's got to be about adding value, not tweaking firewall rules or sending out patches. These things are operational, and they are the base of the trophy, not the trophy itself.

Ninja

@Adrianne, if the leadership isn't giving the staff the answers they need, maybe connect the staff with ANOTHER organization's IT staff? (One that is further down the road of cloud.)

Ninja

Adrienne, I think much of the nervousness stems from a trap IT has fallen into in the last couple of decades: Justifying expenses only by showing how much can be cut out of the organization (often in the form of head-count) because of the purchases. I've been encouraged by the number of CIOs moving toward a "value added" justification for their department's existence and continuing investment.

Strategist

@Lorna, you are on the money. Transparency is so rare because lawyers tell us or imply to us that we should not be.

Ninja

'... this brings up the question, "Will we get laid off?" The only possible answer is the one that is true for all of us: Not if we con- tinue to be useful. And part of being useful is to embrace new, more efficient technologies like cloud to benefit the organization.'

Ninja

I just posted a quote from the report but it seems to have been eaten by this web platform... LOL

Ninja

Ah yes, communication. Transparency is a rare thing lately. I am not sure why, perhaps the litigiousness of our society.

Author

And that nervousness almost argues for the broker to come from finance, or the PM side

Author

I don't but I have expectations that the leadership provides better communication than they are currently giving.

Apprentice

Check this report out. http://dc.ubm-us.com/i/418272

Ninja

@Adrianne, the nervousness is totally not unusual.

 

Ninja

Adrianne - Can you blame them?!

Author

The comparison between Cloud broker and PMO was interesting.  I think I will use that with a client next week.  They are in the middle of restructuring and there are people that are nervous they will have nothing to do if the organization embraces cloud.

 

Apprentice

Right! I love that kind of HR. I have been lucky over the years.

Ninja

@jfeldman, it sounds like your relationship with HR is similar to the one I had when I was running a tech organization. HR was an advisory and support group -- not the team that led or dictated the process.

Strategist

I can say that I made alot of effort to partner with HR when I was a hiring manager.  It was worth the effort, the bigger challenge came when they tried to put in a "blind" contractor hiring system like VMS. 

 

Apprentice

HR doesn't know enough about IT to do the filtering. Sorry. I am not moving off of that point. :-)

Ninja

And why not defend HR? IT should be friends with HR as well as Finance. ;)

Ninja

@Lorna, what we say is: GIVE ALL THE RESUMES TO US. We will filter them. Vet our process, make sure we're not breakin' the law, whatever you need to do. But we're driving.

Ninja

I really think that IT leaders need to understand that THEY should be in the driver's seat of that hiring process. (Much like business leaders should be in the driver's seat when choosing new business tech).

Ninja

Not to defend HR, but seems like there needs to be SOME filter. If not certs, what is simple and granular enough for HR to "get"?

Author

Adrianne, absolutely!

Ninja

Agree very much with you on the hiring process.  I do think that Certs are being used too much as part of the "filtering" process in HR.

 

Apprentice

PT Barnum might have a thing or two to say on that one. :)

Ninja

Also, I think using a third party is more likely when the organization is at a low level of cloud awareness and usage... and therefore might not yet NEED a cloud broker, LOL.

Ninja

I don't think it is a terrible idea to use a third party service to broker the organization's cloud usage. However, be aware that it will likely be pretty expensive.

Ninja

I know that there are MSPs styling themselves as brokers. Do you think it's better to have that role be internal if possible? As a preference.

Author

BTW, I read the comments below, and I agree with Curt's assessment that the cloud broker [role | person | capability team] needs experience, though I always say that it's the milage not the age. ;)

 

Ninja

@jfeldman, I absolutely agree with your view on how the hiring process should work in IT. I've just heard from a lot of folks who say that HR uses the certs to week out resumes before they ever get to IT. I believe that organizations allowing that to happen are putting themselves in a dangerous position when it comes to necessary skills and talents in today's market.

Strategist

Agreed, though I do wonder how many attendees at these big vendor shows pay their own way.

Author

wow, the book looks cool!

Ninja

If it's important for that person to go, we can pay for it.

Ninja

@Lorna, it would NOT be ok.

Ninja

Jonathan, Brian Chee and I wrote this one a few years ago: http://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Computing-Technologies-Strategies-Ubiquitous-ebook/dp/B0073D7CFS/ref=sr_1_2?

Strategist

Heck, maybe the cert will be the "everything else being equal" factor that makes you get the top nod.

Ninja

So say you DID hire a cloud broker and that person said, [vendor] has invited me to [vendor's big annual show] all expenses paid ... what's your response?

Author

That said, @Curt, I don't think it HURTS to get a certification. But don't put the cart before the horse. Be great a technology. Be business friendly. On your resume, focus on what solutions you've developed and problems that you've solved more than the certs.

Ninja

Curt, my firm opinion is that good IT organizations have HR help them out with recruiting. Great IT organizations take advice from HR and heed it, but they "own" the recruiting and steer what is being looked for. Therefore, great IT orgs generally are not looking for these certs unless they are truly crucial to solving a business tech problem.

Ninja

Lorna, I have _never_ seen the cloud broker role on a resume. That doesn't mean we don't ask about it. :D

 

Ninja

Jonathan, in your hiring role, have you ever seen "cloud broker" on a resume?

Author

Curt, I didn't know you wrote a book re cloud brokering! That is so cool!

Ninja

OK, @jfeldman, here's a career question: I hear you (and other CIOs) talk about the need for general IT professionals. That's great, but all the certifications that HR departments love are vendor specific. How is a professional supposed to be a generalist while building the certs required to actually get a job?

Strategist

Right, you need a well-developed BS detector

Author

Well, as Jonathan said, I think you do need some background and history in technology if you're going to be an effective broker. I'm not suggesting that every broker needs as much gray hair as I've got (or would, if I actually had hair), but I don't think it's a good fit for someone in the early stages of a career in IT.

Strategist

@Curt, seems especially relevant for someone in a broker role

Author

Raise your hand if you ever over-clocked a Z80 to 2 MHz!

Strategist

I remember PCs in the 80s. Heck, I remember personal computers in the 70s...

Strategist

@Lorna, that's a great question. When there is so much to know and keep up with, where are ethical lines drawn when it comes to education and information?

Strategist

do you have ethical issues with vendors paying an IT pro's way to a show, like VMworld?

Author

It does seem like almost a FT job to keep up with just the new offerings.

Author

Jonathan is showing his age!

Author

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Apprentice

Brian Chee and I spent a lot of time on cloud brokers in our book on cloud computing. That was, errrrr, five years ago, and the market (so far) has agreed with us.

Strategist

Hi all! Welcome. Please feel free to ask questions during the live portion of the show, I won't be watching, but Curt will be. :)

Ninja

Hey, @jfeldman! Looking forward to a great class today!

Strategist

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Strategist

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Strategist


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