When Hybrid IT fails

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21 April 2016 | 0

Billy MacInnesIs it an accident that when people talk about ‘opportunity’, the words ‘exploit’ or ‘benefit’ are often in close proximity to them? I don’t think so. The fact is an opportunity is nearly always created by someone else’s need for something. And where there’s a need, someone has to help fulfil it. That someone is usually a channel partner.

I thought of this when I was reading a press release from a company called The Bunker on a survey of 100 mid-market and large UK organisations which found 90% of organisations had implemented some kind of hybrid cloud infrastructure but 70% “had experienced some level of failure, preventing them from achieving their business goals, with the most-commonly reported problem being a lack of in-house skills”.

Phil Bindley, CTO of The Bunker, said that while CIOs and IT decision makers recognised hybrid cloud as “a compelling model for IT service delivery”, many were “unable to handle the transformation with the skills that are available in-house as IT changes rapidly, and staff experience difficulty keeping up”.

How many times have we heard that before about all manner of IT trends since it’s become something of a truism that IT changes rapidly? Hybrid cloud is just the latest example. And how many times has that been interpreted as an opportunity for channel partners with those skills to plug the gap? How many times have vendors used these gaps as an incentive to spur channel partners into ensuring they have the required skills to help their customers?

You could say that vendors, channel partners and customers are in a continuous loop that moves from one technological trend to the next. That being the case, you could argue vendors and partners in particular should be ready, willing and able to step in and help plug whatever the latest skills gap happens to be. Often, they are.

Bindley also brought in the other big issue that helps to focus the minds of customers when implementing new technology: security. “Data security is always one of the most sensitive and immediate concerns of IT leaders,” he noted, “so when we find that nearly a third reported that a lack of skills had resulted in failure, business leaders need to ask serious questions about how secure their data is”.

There’s nothing like data security concerns to create an opportunity for vendors and partners to start a conversation with their customers. It’s nothing as crude as ‘exploit’ but if companies don’t have the skills in-house, it’s only natural they should consider looking outside the organisation for help. As long as they continue to do that, partners need to be in a position to provide the help and support they need.

It’s no accident this model has worked so well for so long and that hybrid cloud should merely be the latest instance of that trend. Why shouldn’t it when it’s to everybody’s benefit – customer, partner and vendor?

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