Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, Automic Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: 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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri, Inc, a leading provider of enterprise cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Tintri offers an enterprise cloud platform built with public cloud-like web services and RESTful APIs. Organizations use Tintri all-flash storage with scale-out and automation as a foundation for their own clouds – to build agile development environments...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...