I had an interesting conversation the other day with a former colleague of mine, whose organisation is looking to move into the Cloud yet is facing some staunch resistance within IT itself. I think everyone will agree, the maturity and economics of cloud computing are compelling, so from a business perspective it makes absolute sense. But what about the technical perspective?
The thing that struck him most, was that technical teams were all looking at like for like replacements for on-premise technology they have in place. Can the Microsoft Cloud, for instance, fully replace SAN management or virtualisation as it is today? Well, simple answer is, not really, not in that respect. But in reality, what is driving adoption of cloud computing? Economics: – therefore, the business itself is the driving force as opposed to IT itself.
We all want stuff done cheaper, faster and with more flexibility than ever before so I suppose the question we should be asking in our profession is “how do we take full advantage of the opportunities that the Microsoft Cloud can bring?”
Let’s look in the first instance at the traditional methods of project delivery within infrastructure, as an example. The first thing we do on all IT projects is gather our requirements. Once we have completed this activity, off we go and explore the market place to source products that match our requirements. In reality, all we are doing is conducting research at this point. It can be time consuming, complicated and not without an influx of sales teams from product organisations which can turn the head to the point where it’s more like watching tennis at Wimbledon as opposed to managing and delivering a project.
So where does the Microsoft Cloud fit into all of this with particular reference to the problem my former colleague is experiencing? Consider this. As of June 30th 2015, Microsoft R&D expense stood at $3.09B. Yes, that’s 3 billion of Uncle Sam’s greenbacks. And that is just the expenses. In 2011, the overall R&D budget stood at just over $9B of which 90% was allocated to the Microsoft Cloud.
With research like that, why do we need to explore like for like replacements for technology we use in business today? Simple answer is, we don’t. Instead, let’s focus on getting more out of the Microsoft Cloud, taking full advantage of that huge expense Microsoft makes on our behalf and change the way we think when it comes to large scale transformation projects to the cloud. risual, being at the forefront of Microsoft technology can assist organisations in maximising investment into the Microsoft Cloud.
It’s a one stop change, where once the organisation has adopted cloud computing, that organisation stays ahead of the curve. Check out the fact that Microsoft’s online offerings nowadays front-run their on-premise solutions, so from the perspective of the business, this is highly advantageous and again, pulls on the vast R&D that Microsoft commit to their cloud solutions.
So, in answer to my former colleague’s problem, why look for the same, when the future has that much R&D latched onto it? Also, why try to re-invent the wheel, when the wheel has Formula 1 Pirelli tyres wrapped around them and have clear direction and capability to design the future? From a technical perspective, there may be other conversations to have but certainly from a project delivery and business perspective, the Microsoft Cloud gives me what I need, keeps me on track for the future and also reduces the overall complexity and cost of future projects because, as Microsoft will no doubt say, “it’s a new feature” as opposed to “a new product”.