“Don’t put the cart before the horse.” This bit of sage advice, which has been attributed to the Roman politician Cicero, speaks to the importance of order and natural progression. It certainly applies in technology, an industry that is pillared on the idea that one thing (a version of a software application, for example) was preceded by a lesser version of itself and will presumably be proceeded by a greater — faster, cleaner, more efficient, more functional, more powerful — version.
An organization puts the cart before the horse when it tries to skip steps in its learning or development, in a mad rush to have or use the latest technology. Unfortunately, this happens far too often among companies in the process of moving partially or completely to the cloud. Although part of the problem lies in the pressure organizations are under to stay current and keep pace with competitors, it is also about their refusal to acknowledge that old truism that before one can walk, one must crawl.
Putting everything together
A company that has just started on its cloud journey might go through some small chaos, for reasons such as: lack of supporting tools; inconsistent levels of buy-in across the organization; and insufficient or still-raw skills. Companies that struggle to overcome these early-stage challenges may end up leaving the cloud for their old friend: the comfort and familiarity of physical infrastructure and traditional hosting providers. As the adage goes, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
To move beyond this first chaotic phase, an organization must first achieve that first of many holy grails: visibility over its entire infrastructure. This comes not by trying to accomplish everything at once, in one grand sweep, but by first completing those tedious-but-necessary housekeeping chores, and then working to tighten up infrastructure inch by inch, and reviewing critically its existing security policies.
It is vitally important at this point for an organization to avoid falling back into old methods and practices. Although an organization may have more visibility now than before, individuals must not let their guard down and return to the old ways. Backsliding can easily lead to painful gaps in the performance, cost, availability, performance, and security of the cloud infrastructure.
Before an organization can begin optimizing its cloud infrastructure, it must identify a standard “reference” operating environment. At this point, the company aims to develop a kind of blueprint — a plan for how the infrastructure will be provisioned and operated going forward.
Webinar first in series
On Wednesday, May 31, at 2 pm EST, CompuCom will be hosting the first webinar in its Hybrid Cloud Exploration webinar series, “Optimizing Your Cloud Environment.” Join Frost & Sullivan Analyst Lynda Stadtmueller and CompuCom’s VP of Products & Solutions, CompuCom Cloud Technology Services, Chad Atchley, as they explore how to achieve success in your cloud environment by choosing and implementing the right mix of storage, hardware, security, and infrastructure components.
You can find out more about CompuCom’s Hybrid Cloud Exploration webinar series by clicking here.
To register for “Optimizing Your Cloud Environment,” click here.