• 2 min read

Solving for the cloud

Want to know how to maximize the value from your cloud strategy? Microsoft, Forrester and Rackspace talk all things cloud.

Want to know how to maximize the value from your cloud strategy? Without question it’s a paradigm shift for your enterprise but what are the best practices for yielding the greatest outcomes?

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Bill Martorelli, principal analyst for infrastructure and operations, Forrester Research and Jeff DeVerter, chief technologist at Rackspace. We talked all things cloud ranging from: the changing motivations for using it, migration versus IT transformation, hybrid, the value of managed services in the cloud and getting security right. You can watch the whole conversation here.

Think cost savings are the primary driver? No more, as Bill, Jeff and I discuss in our first segment. While you can certainly save money – as I discussed in my last post – the principal motivation these days is agility. How can you use the cloud to quickly bring new services to your customers, and just as rapidly respond to real time feedback? Check it out!

Is the goal migrating all your applications to the cloud or effecting an IT transformation by leveraging the cloud? As you plan your strategy, it’s a great time to think about refactoring or consolidating applications, replacing expensive on-premises applications with SaaS or having a managed service provider (MSP) like Rackspace take over management of your hybrid state – so your team can focus more on returning business value.

What is the real meaning of hybrid cloud, and how can you best take advantage of it? It’s not just about having some applications on-premises and some in the cloud; increasingly, it’s about using many different clouds for your needs. Perhaps you’ll use a SaaS CRM application connected to an on-premises ERP application which feeds a custom cloud-based digital marketing app. Your future (and your present) is hybrid. We’ll talk about this, and how you manage it all, in our third segment.

A managed service provider can free up resources in your organization, enabling them to focus more on value-added business activities. Instead of performing the rote functions of application management like adding users and doing backups, by using an MSP your people can focus on unmet business needs and new disruptive innovations. Because if you aren’t the one doing the disrupting – then you are the one being disrupted. What CIO doesn’t want to be a better business partner? Listen to what Bill, Jeff and I have to say on this topic.

Finally, no conversation about the cloud would be complete without mentioning cloud security. Cloud providers like Microsoft spend billions on securing our infrastructure and ensuring we have all the appropriate regulatory certifications. But does that mean your application is intrinsically secure? Of course not. Your developers and DevOps teams must still focus hard on security, and MSP’s like Rackspace can help you with sophisticated tooling to make sure your app is secure. Check out what we have to say about security.

I hope you’ll take the time to watch this conversation, or listen to the podcast. I certainly enjoyed it and I think you will too. My special thanks to John Engates, CTO of Rackspace, for arranging our talk and for providing an introduction.