Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Saar Bitner, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Security

Cloud Expo: Article

Enterprise Cloud Computing Adoption

IT Professionals Become Strategic Partners

IT professionals including server and storage managers often think that the adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise puts their jobs in danger. To the contrary, the role of the IT professional is evolving into a more strategic position as more organizations adopt private and public cloud, with many using a combination of the two, which is often referred to as hybrid cloud. Recent reports suggest that the cloud will result in increased career advancement for IT professionals both in terms of responsibility and job opportunities.

IT professionals should embrace the cloud, not fear it. Consider surfers who once rejected surf board leashes as "kook chords," dismissing them as unnecessary. However, as is the case with many innovations, the "kook chord" has gradually become a reliable standard used by virtually every surfer today.

Let's be blunt: IT is a terrible place for old-school purists. To succeed, IT professionals must continually refine their skillsets to evolve into the role of strategic IT advisors for the enterprise on cloud initiatives. Rather than being just elbows-deep in motherboards and memory, they are moving from a tactical role into a more strategic role that requires a combination of hands-on work and sourcing, depending on the type of cloud environment that makes sense for the enterprise. The IT professional may manage storage arrays in the data center, in a private cloud, or choose a cloud service provider and manage the relationship while keeping in mind things like performance, integration with existing IT infrastructure, and avoiding vendor lock-in. In the case of a public cloud, direct operations become less of a task, while management of cloud vendor relationships moves to the forefront. IT professionals can build on their indispensable expertise to find the best types of cloud storage, evaluate providers, and create a business case for choosing one over the other. With a private cloud, IT professionals retain a more hands on role while in a hybrid cloud environment IT professionals must balance the two. In either case, the evolved technical role is critical.

Becoming Strategic Partners in the Enterprise
Many IT professionals have already had a taste of choosing providers strategically. Very few corporations own their entire network. Many IT professionals are already familiar with the role of the consultant, offering up the business case for choosing, say, AT&T, Orange Business Services or NTT. As cloud computing evolves, IT professionals can take their careers to the next level by positioning themselves as cloud specialists - e.g., cloud architects, cloud security specialists, cloud developers, cloud infrastructure managers, and provider specialists - using their existing knowledge of systems and updating their skillsets.

For example, consider a bank executive who wants to develop a mobile application for her customers. The executive can make the business case for the application, but she may not know how the application runs on the back end - how much data it requires, or what kind of network the bank will need for the application to work. She will turn to an IT professional knowledgeable about public, private and hybrid cloud. In turn, the IT professional, a cloud specialist, can offer several options that meet the bank's requirements for the application and make a recommendation to host the application in a public cloud but store data in the bank's private infrastructure. A cloud architect can assist with building the application so that it is optimized for the cloud. The cloud specialist becomes a strategic partner, rather than the person tasked with building an application and deploying it on the server.

With the trend toward deploying public cloud applications and applications built in private clouds, the cloud architect plays a vital role in the success of the software, eliminating the need to deploy complex software and manage updates on each workstation. IT professionals specializing in cloud architecture now support the backbone of a company's operations, optimizing performance, improving security, increasing reliability, and ensuring easy access to mission-critical applications. As a result, the IT professionals gain greater insight into the inner workings of the business as they gain a better understanding of the technology with the goal of aligning IT with the business goals.

As strategic partners in the organization, IT professionals also can examine new ways to provide services that benefit the business, end users, and the IT organization. The benefits also extend to partners and consumers. Given the expansion of cloud computing and its rapid adoption, IT professionals are now better positioned to recommend which computing, storage, and virtualization resources to choose and how to deliver it. Due to the lower capital investment in public cloud-based solutions, IT professionals are positioned to provide scalable services to the business that otherwise may be struck down. The cloud gives IT professionals the opportunity to expand services delivered at a lower cost, which pleases executives and end users who expect their applications to run smoothly and their storage resources to be abundant.

For example, many vendors offer solutions like computer-aided engineering and productivity suites that are deployed across private clouds and accessed through web browsers. This approach adds up to significant cost savings for the business and significant power for the IT department - who keep access open to the software and optimize performance.

WAN Optimization: An Opportunity to Showcase Consulting Expertise
WAN optimization is now being offered in a variety of form factors including physical, cloud, and virtualized instances. A newer option IT professionals can consider as they move towards cloud computing is choosing WAN optimization-as-a-service. WAN optimization-as-a-service is particularly attractive to organizations that prefer the predictability of an operating expense, and provides all the same de-duplication and application optimization benefits of traditional WAN optimization appliances.

WAN optimization-as-a-service providers may offer WAN optimization solutions integrated with value add solutions such as application and network performance management tools to pinpoint, understand, and troubleshoot performance issues in modern IT environments. Instead of standalone WAN optimization, IT professionals can optimize, manage, and monitor the WAN with one service. As cloud specialists, IT professionals will be able to provide metrics on application performance and network performance to demonstrate the value of optimization as well as better allocate bandwidth.

The shift to the cloud, particularly private clouds in the enterprise, calls for an optimized WAN that can deliver applications with speed and agility. Users do not want to wait for their applications or data to load, and they expect that moving to the cloud, private or public, will provide the same computing experience as using the desktop.

IT professionals can seize opportunities for cloud computing by examining the IT infrastructure from every facet. Instead of fearing for their jobs, they can embrace the cloud and use it as an opportunity to sharpen their skills, challenge themselves, and play a strategic role in delivering the next generation of the enterprise network. Cloud will make IT professionals vital to the success of the organization.

More Stories By Miles Kelly

Miles Kelly is senior director of product marketing at Riverbed. Riverbed delivers performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session a...
"Ulunsoft is a start-up that focuses on how enterprises build cloud-based IT infrastructure for business," explained Haibo Zhu, President of Ulunsoft Corp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in San...
As enterprises engage with Big Data technologies to develop applications needed to meet operational demands, new computation fabrics are continually being introduced. To leverage these new innovations, organizations are sacrificing market opportunities to gain expertise in learning new systems. In his session at Big Data Expo, Supreet Oberoi, Vice President of Field Engineering at Concurrent, Inc., discussed how to leverage existing infrastructure and investments and future-proof them against e...
“The year of the cloud – we have no idea when it's really happening but we think it's happening now. For those technology providers like Zentera that are helping enterprises move to the cloud - it's been fun to watch," noted Mike Loftus, VP Product Management and Marketing at Zentera Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Desktop as a Service is emerging as a very big trend. One of the big influencers of this – for Esri – is that we have a large user base that uses virtualization and they are looking at Desktop as a Service right now," explained John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Application monitoring and intelligence can smooth the path in a DevOps environment. In a DevOps environment you see constant change. If you are trying to monitor things in a constantly changing environment, you're going to spend a lot of your job fixing your monitoring," explained Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
"SOASTA built the concept of cloud testing in 2008. It's grown from rather meager beginnings to where now we are provisioning hundreds of thousands of servers on a daily basis on behalf of customers around the world to test their applications," explained Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“We are a managed services company. We have taken the key aspects of the cloud and the purposed data center and merged the two together and launched the Purposed Cloud about 18–24 months ago," explained Chetan Patwardhan, CEO of Stratogent, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core...
"Verizon Digital Media Services is responsible for the broadcast, video and content delivery network that accelerates, scales and helps our customers reach end users with all kinds of video and web content," stated James Segil, CMO of Verizon Digital Media Services, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Creative Business Solutions will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Creative Business Solutions is the top stocking authorized HP Renew Distributor in the U.S. Based out of Long Island, NY, Creative Business Solutions offers a one-stop shop for a diverse range of products including Proliant, Blade and Industry Standard Servers, Networking, Server Options and...
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. But what about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today's databases are anything but agile - they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application an...
“We are strong believers in the DevOps movement and our staff has been doing DevOps for large enterprise environments for a number of years. The solution that we build is intended to allow DevOps teams to do security at the speed of DevOps," explained Justin Lundy, Founder & CTO of Evident.io, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.