Plotting a path to the cloud based on a solid business case

Declan Hussey, DNA IT Solutions

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28 August 2018 | 0

For growing numbers of organisations, bringing their IT to the cloud is a popular destination, but few know what the path looks like or what they will need on the journey. As the old adage has it, ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there’.

Many of the businesses we deal with, in sectors ranging from financial services and insurance to pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, are more aware than ever of technology’s growing importance. With that knowledge comes a recognition of the complexity involved when the time comes to change or upgrade essential systems.

We have always taken the approach of trying to build roadmaps for our customers. This is part of our ethos, and we call it ‘the DNA way’. That is because it is more vital than ever to plot a course to the cloud in a way that aligns with what the business is trying to achieve. Some organisations are well informed but want to know more about the available options; some have understandable concerns about such a move, and others are simply unsure of where to go.

What is clear from our conversations with customers is that the public cloud does not answer all of their questions or address their needs. Many industries are highly conscious of information security, data integrity, governance and compliance. Putting sensitive data into the public cloud is not for them.

For us, the business must always lead IT; not the other way around. Rather than prescribing a particular technology to match an agenda, we are more interested in doing the right thing in the right manner and at the right time. This involves having a strategic discussion with a customer, to get to the heart of the business imperatives that are driving their planned change. Understanding those levers is essential to developing the business case. That way, what emerges from this conversation is not a ‘cloud strategy’ but a broader IT strategy.

“It is more vital than ever to plot a course to the cloud in a way that aligns with what the business is trying to achieve”

Allowing for the concerns of some businesses, cloud is now a proven technology. Expectations around IT have skyrocketed and now everyone expects enterprise-grade IT — the cloud can deliver this. When we go through an information-gathering exercise with a customer, we focus first on questions like whether the timing is right for the business, and whether the move is in line with company protocols. We have developed an independent cost of ownership model that focuses on the value that various options can deliver.

Staying with an on-premises environment carries risks such as ageing equipment and ensuring sufficient security. It also requires ongoing operational costs that the business has to bear, such as power, cooling, rental of space, as well as needing to run backup and DR. That is before considering the staff resources needed to run this infrastructure in-house or through a third party.

What is more, if an organisation commits to on-premise infrastructure for a five-year period, this could limit its ability to respond to a change in its business strategy. None of us can tell what the future will bring, but that unknown quantity has a business cost.

The way organisations consume technology is constantly evolving. We have seen this change in moves towards managed IT services for centralised system monitoring, backup and recovery, administration and even IT resourcing. As organisations’ appetite for technology adoption has increased, they want to consume these services on a strategic, managed basis. The cloud has enabled this, by removing many of the obstacles around buying physical hardware and networking equipment. One of our recent customers had spent just over €1 million in the past six years; moving to the cloud has saved the business €300,000.

When the time came to evaluate cloud offerings we could present to our customers, data integrity was a critical issue that we needed to be able to address for our customers. This is one of the reasons why we have chosen to become a cloud partner of IBM. Its ability to offer multi-tenant or completely dedicated bare metal environments gives organisations the assurance they need. More than just a technology option, the IBM Cloud is built to solve business challenges.

Through a partner like DNA IT Solutions, organisations get rapid access to leading-edge technology and a fast on-ramp on the road to the cloud.

 

Declan Hussey is chief solutions architect with DNA IT Solutions

 

On Thursday 6 September, DNA IT Solutions will host a free breakfast briefing about moving to the cloud with IBM at IBM’s Innovation Centre in Mulhuddart, Dublin 15. Registration and networking begin at 08:00 and the event will finish at 09.40.

As well as featuring speakers from DNA IT Solutions and IBM, attendees will hear from Blue Insurance and its story of how IBM cloud services have replaced the old systems that had been holding the business back, and are delivering manageable costs, higher performance, flexibility and security.

The presentations will run for 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A.

Places are limited; to reserve your place, visit http://www.dnait.ie/ibm_event/

 

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