Why companies should adopt a Hybrid Cloud model
I believe that IT Admins must have a hybrid cloud strategy or they will be unintentionally outsourcing their jobs to automated cloud providers, AWS, Azure, Rackspace to name a few.
We have all heard the story 80% of IT spend is going toward maintenance and 20% is for new projects. However the converse is true of time with 80% on new projects and 20% on maintenance. We also know that IT spend is moving to the Line of Business, I have read this can be as much as 40% of IT spend. Your IT staff is already working above capacity.
Here is the scenario;
Departments with money want their projects done now and no one can effectively prioritize projects. There is no one in the company who is aligning IT projects and spend with business goals and priorities. Now the department head is tired of hearing from his people that IT is so bad and won’t get to their project. So in a staffing meeting He/She says this project will save the company x millions a year.. The CFO, who traditionally IT reports up to see’s savings cannot refute this number and bumps the project to the top of the list.
Well IT does not get to this in a timely manner and the department manager goes up the chain and says if IT can’t do this I am going to get it done. So the project champion, hires a consultant, gets a cloud account, spins up a VM and the consultant does the project in the cloud. Every one cheers because the project is done quickly and under budget.
Fast forward 3 months and this wildly successful project is now a mission critical app and EVERYONE relies on it to do their job and are singing its praises. Then a Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend something happens, the app becomes slow and unresponsive. Everyone is freaking out as this has to be fixed so an IT ticket gets opened. IT says we know nothing about this app, it was done outside of our process and standards and was done by a shadow IT department. The CEO comes back and says I don’t pay for shadow IT I have one IT department so fix the problem. Well it gets better. The department who had the product built did not buy 24/7 support as it was too expensive and would have caused the project to go over budget. They went the cheap route with Monday through Friday business hours only. They also never got any documentation from the consultant who did the project. That was an extra cost as well. What they do have is the media and manual from the company that built the product and a link to the web site.
IT spends all weekend diving into the project and gets it limping along. During this process they realize there is company sensitive data or compliance data on this application, which was never meant to be there, but because the department now owned this server they just put it there. There is no dedicated circuit to this cloud provider so all communication is going over an un-secured connection. None of this data has been backed up either. Now this project that was main stream and under budget has been moved to the TOP of IT’s project list. IT needs to bring it back in house build to company standards all within a secure zone.
The above store is something that happens every day in business and IT but it does not have to be this way.
However, if IT departments take the time to build a self-service portal for their business counter parts, build true hybrid-cloud environments, businesses and IT departments can have the best of both worlds. When IT truly does not have the time or infrastructure to do all of the projects on their plate, departments can still hire consultants to do the work. It will still have IT governance and standards built in and security can be addressed with IT having visibility into all projects. Furthermore, IT can now do a show back model. It can truly show where IT spend is going by department and can have a business discussion with the business.