Why is your private cloud initiative stalled?

By John Richardson
3/20/2013

Private cloud initiatives are moving up the CIO’s priority list, but very few seem to get to production in a timely manner. Here is a list of some of the headwinds these projects encounter:

Internal Resistance – While your business users are eager for the self-service and faster provisioning that a private cloud would offer, your internal team might not care for this paradigm shift. If your most senior leaders haven't bought in, they could undermine the case for change.

Technology Focus vs. Service Focus – Decades of IT evolution have been based on IT providing technology to the business, but private cloud dictates that services, not technology, are what you need to provide. Your strongest players in the old model could be the most challenged by this shift.

Vendor Politics – Hardware manufacturers have become aware that private cloud decisions are likely to create a winner-take-all scenario, and are creating more than the usual FUD to keep from being eliminated. This overemphasis on technology exacerbates the challenges you face in leading a shift to a services orientation, where vendor labels don’t mean as much.

Operational Maturity – The most challenging part of private cloud isn't the virtualization or the orchestration, it’s the packaging, dispensing, measuring and billing for IT as a service. You’ll need a service catalog of offers and associated service levels, successfully deployed monitoring tools to measure and report on SLA attainment, and in-depthcapacity planning to ensure that you have enough resources to meet demand.

Capacity – We see very few IT shops with any excess capacity, and yet a private cloud initiative can require concentrated, coordinated planning efforts from your best people in each silo. Even with the best of intentions, finding the cycles for teams to meet, plan, design and execute can be challenging.

Skills – Private clouds use some of your existing skill sets, but require many that you may not have in house, such as orchestration tools and process, service catalog/offer development and management, lease management, etc.

Leadership – It’s easy to underestimate the significance of the change that private cloud represents. More than just a new technology platform, it’s a new role for IT in the business, and a way to compete with public cloud providers who would prefer to sell directly to your customers and cut you out.

At Datalink, we see the urgency to get private cloud initiatives moving quickly, and we bring a number of cloud enablement services to the table to help you, including:

Cloud Enablement Strategy – from understanding your infrastructure’s readiness to developing new processes to building services and chargeback mechanisms, you can take advantage of the experience we've already gained.

Cloud Architecture – design your cloud based on your vision, legacy footprint and constraints in tandem with our team. We’re familiar with the market offerings, but don’t have an axe to grind on any particular platform.

Cloud Visioning – use our Datalink on Demand platform to get a taste of how your private cloud will work before you make major platform investments.

Proof of Concept – Datalink on Demand Labs can host your private cloud POC, allowing you to envision how much infrastructure you’ll need to meet your internal customer requirements.

Private Cloud Fast Start – Datalink can rapidly deploy a private cloud, and provide the tools and experienced management you need to get started quickly. After it’s up and running, we’ll provide your team hands-on training on managing the new platform, then turn the controls back to you.

Ongoing Support – Datalink will stand behind your team with 24 x 7 expertise as your private cloud matures, ensuring that you’ll have the skills you need when you need them.

Bringing in Datalink’s technical, operational and transformational resources to help your private cloud move forward can significantly speed up your private cloud initiative.