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Up Against the Cloud?


4 Strategies Your IT Department Can Adopt in Order to Shine


BY PHIL GOODWIN M 8


ANY CORPORATE IT organizations investigating cloud storage companies


come up against a hard reality: senior business-side stakeholders may see the cloud as a way to cut IT costs and staff. But IT organizations can beat the


cloud crowd at their own game if they adopt some of the same strategies the vendors use and distinguish themselves as team players who can make a real difference during a move to the cloud. What follows is a list of ways


your IT organization can steel itself against the inevitable questions about whether a cloud storage implementation should mean a shift in IT resources.


1. Develop a Service-Oriented


Attitude Listen to the business owners


and treat them like a customer. Ask what their pain points are and, above all, what you can do to help them be more competitive. Sound too soft and mushy for your IT discussion? Well, that’s exactly what the cloud sales reps are doing and business leaders appreciate the attention. What can you do differently? For starters, IT people have the advantage of seeing the business leader—the point of contact—anytime they want. As a result, your IT team should have a far deeper understanding of the business; but this is only an advantage if the IT department uses it.


2. Establish


Concrete Metrics Cloud providers clearly state their


uptime objectives, recovery objectives, provisioning objectives, and other policies. There’s no reason why IT organizations can’t do the same thing. Of course, that means they have to be measured and managed. Often times, IT can serve as the voice of reason. If there are latency issues or legacy application concerns, these could be glossed over in some higher-level vendor meetings. Knowing your data storage needs better than the vendor will help you work with them, not against them.


3. Virtualize The only way to spin up an


application environment on short notice is through virtualization. A virtual machine and a logical unit number (LUN) can be provisioned in a matter of minutes compared to weeks or months for a physical server. Sound change control, security, and systems management must still apply, but satisfying users’ requests within a matter of hours will have them singing IT’s praises. Besides, that’s the way the cloud guys do it.


4. Provide Cost Certainty and


Predictability Business units love having a rate


card. It gives them a way to know in advance how much an initiative will cost and to budget accurately. There’s no reason why IT can’t publish its own rate card. This requires IT to adopt infrastructure standards and have a strong understanding of their cost structure. It’s also a way for IT


Take Your Infrastructure


to the Cloud Leveraging a SaaS model for backup, recovery, archiving, and DR means the most current version of the software is always available, eliminating the need for IT to maintain upgrades and patches. This reduces time spent on these types of tasks, allowing IT to focus on innovation, rather than maintenance. And backup is automatic—providing reliable access to resources whenever they are needed. With SaaS-model cloud computing,


you can provide a scalable, reliable, and secure infrastructure with low start up costs and quick deployment.


Call your Account Manager to learn more about choosing the right cloud computing solution for your organization. 1.800.800.0014 www.pcconnection.com/SaaSstorage


organizations to avoid runaway costs and unreasonable user demands. When users clearly know how much they’ll be charged, they'll demand only what they need. There may be numerous reasons


why an organization would choose to host its applications in the cloud, including up-to-date facilities, pay- as-you-go models, and unlimited scalability. But poor IT service should never be among the reasons. Solid IT groups can provide valuable service to the business regardless of where the infrastructure is.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Phil Goodwin is a storage consultant and freelance writer.


WWW.PCCONNECTION.COM


VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1


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