Enterprise IT: Tear down your walls!

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In far too many of my client engagements, the enterprise IT team remains a siloed, disparate group of technical professionals. The conference room has a clear divide between the server group, storage group, networking group, platform group and security group. Each team is determined to maintain control over their fiefdom, which can cause delays and disputes during a cloud transformation.

As I begin to explain the journey of transforming to cloud, a palpable uneasiness fills the room as each team sees their protected borders coming down. The server team deployed and maintained servers. The storage team maintained Storage Area Network (SAN) and divvied out capacity upon request. The networking team configured the infrastructure backbone and retained control over the IP addresses. The platform group deployed and maintained product offerings for internal use. The security team maintained corporate compliance.  Each of these teams is used to their own roles and procedures, and therefore each is reluctant to change or adapt new techniques.

As the presentation continues, I emphasize everyone’s continued role as subject matter experts (SMEs) and the goal of increasing knowledge in each of their respective areas, all while vastly improving their teamwork. Arms unfold, tension decreases and interest in fitting into the cloud increases dramatically.

For a private cloud deployment to be successful, IT teams must work closely together.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition outlines the following five essential characteristics of cloud computing:

  • On-demand self-service

The server and storage teams must provide robust hardware architecture for the platform team to deploy the self-service software; for example, IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator (SCO) or Tivoli Service Automation Manager (TSAM).

  • Broad network access

Considering the investment required for the infrastructure, the cloud hardware may not reside at each of your physical locations. As such, the network team must ensure the wide area network (WAN) is optimized for users outside of the location to leverage cloud resources.

  • Resource pooling

The centralization of resources is imperative to a successful cloud deployment. Each department cannot maintain their own cloud infrastructure.

  • Rapid elasticity

As demand for cloud resources increases, the IT teams must identify these trends and ensure the resources are available for the business units to meet their objectives.

  • Measured service

Metrics are a vital component of any IT project. In the cloud realm, each technical area will need to understand how their components fit into the overall service level agreement (SLA).

I’d love to hear your stories about enterprise IT integration for your cloud deployment or the current roadblocks you’ve found in deploying your private cloud!  Let’s continue the discussion in the comments below, or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisRosen188

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