Windward Insights

The Journey to Cloud is a Marathon, Not a Sprint!

Published Mar. 10, 2015
Written by Michele Darwin

Silhouette of man running at sunset.

Every week we have conversations with our customers that are largely driven from Cloud computing. The demand continues to grow, yet in almost every case we probe, we realize that customers are not prepared to deploy Cloud, and in most cases they still don’t understand what the use cases they’re trying to solve. There is no doubt that ROI reports makeCloudsound seem so good, and because of that everyone wants to be responsive to the business. But the truth is most companies just aren’t ready. Over and over again we see that our customers have no ITSM maturation and lack automation, both of which must exist, to move to a full-blown cloud.

As a runner, I do a lot of 5k and 10k runs. When my friends start talking about the 26.2 marathon they are going to do in a couple of months, I just want to jump on the bandwagon and join them. After all, I run and I know what a marathon is, so how hard can it be, right? I’m not ready? Say who?

Nobody wants to be told they’re not ready. But building an enterprise Cloud, like training for a marathon, is a journey. In order to be successful, one requires planning, organization and commitment. It doesn’t just happen. Cloud isn’t something that you buy; it’s something that you do. Likewise, training for a marathon is something that you do.

Our goal is to make our client’s Cloud aspirations successful; however, we start at a disadvantage when we have no idea of the current state of their process disciplines and very little (if any) visibility of any integration that exists in their technical architecture. So, how do we get them to a state of process discipline and automation/virtualization that will make the move to cloud possible?

We partner with our customers, as a personal trainer would work with a client wanting to train to run a marathon. We understand our client’s current environments and the processes that they currently have in place. If they have stand-alone systems that aren’t very extensible then they are hardly ready for a cloud management platform. After this clarity of understanding, we can begin to determine whether simple or complex IaaS, PaaS or SaaS exists and help them realize that their IT organization is really becoming a service provider to their organization.

The journey to Cloud has some hard-core dependencies. It is a multi-year strategy that requires base lining the current organization, processes, and technology, and developing a roadmap to allow organizations to begin the process to implement Cloud. As the title says, Cloud is a marathon, not a sprint.

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- Michele Darwin

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