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IT Operations and Developers – Can’t We All Just Get Along?

HPE helping IT get along

How to successfully mix oil and water and put an end to the blame game

Alexander Graham Bell famously said, “Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds.” I agree wholeheartedly with Bell’s declaration, but what if the people you’re trying to bring together mix about as well as oil and water?

That’s the challenge of cloud teams. How can you get IT Operations (IT Ops) to work well with Developers (Dev)? After all, the two groups have had a blame and counter-blame relationship for quite some time. Developers want to release features as quickly and efficiently as possible. IT wants to ensure infrastructure (whether it is on-premises or off-premises) is reliable, secure, and meets corporate policies. And as each group tries to achieve their goals, it’s all too easy to blame one another when things go wrong.

Setting aside the blame game – your business’s survival depends on it

Although old habits die hard, IT Ops and Dev need to realize they will benefit from an improved relationship. The survival of your business could very well depend on it. If your company can’t develop and innovate fast enough, your competition will overtake you.

For example, ten years ago, who would have thought you could buy a mattress in a box and have it shipped to your door? Even more surprising, who imagined a service to have your teeth straightened—without expensive and time-consuming dental visits? Just take some pictures, send in a mold, and you’ll be sent a new set of aligners monthly to achieve your perfect smile.

Your IT Ops team needs to understand and acknowledge the efficiency and productivity gains the Dev team needs through feature releases. Likewise, your Dev team knows they need to partner with IT Ops to ensure they have the resources they need to deliver services faster.

So how do you get these two groups to play together nicely? Below I list 5 proven ways to improve innovation and collaboration.

Infuse cooperation from the start

There’s no better time to turn over a new leaf of cooperation than at the start of a new initiative. All parties are embarking upon a different way of doing things, so now is the time to lay down the ground rules. And the first rule mandates cooperation.

The basis of this newly discovered cooperation is communication, a two-way street between all participants. By encouraging better communication at the very beginning, you ensure everyone’s needs are heard. As you run into obstacles, the two groups will be better armed to deal with the give-and-take compromises that are needed to resolve any conflict.

Teach cooperation

Keep in mind cooperation must be taught, as it is not in the DNA of most IT Ops and Dev teams. This lesson is a difficult one, and it may require several different techniques to accomplish.

For example, when controversy strikes, get both groups in the same room to talk it out. Now is not the time for a virtual conversations. It may take some time, but it is time well-spent as you develop groundwork that will help you work through many difficult situations in the future. At the very core of innovation is fluid communication between team members concerning what is working and what isn’t.

At some point, you may need to call someone out – let them know they are blocking the success of the organization. Remember, the stakes are high; innovation requires cooperation and teamwork. Although this step may be uncomfortable, it is important.

Choose your leaders wisely while you shuffle the deck

Don’t forget – great change demands great leaders. These are the coaches who inspire and motivate teams to venture into the unknown. Selecting strong and insightful leaders will mean the difference between success and failure. They will not only help build new careers for themselves and their team, they will be on the frontlines of the success or failure of your business.

Another suggestion is to shuffle the deck and move leaders to other departments. For example, expose an IT Ops leader to development groups – working with them to see how they operate. A fresh viewpoint on a subject will give them perspective and compassion for their counterparts.

Small, combined teams must self-select their roles

As you assign cloud teams, keep the size small. I like to say they should be a 2-pizza box team, meaning the size of the group should be no bigger than the number of people it takes to consume 2 pizzas. You want to keep the size small and manageable, so they remain nimble and leverage automation whenever and where ever they can.

Also, make sure the team members are self-starters, people who show initiative and are excited to be part of a new, transformative process. And once the team members are chosen, let them self-select their roles. Each person needs to feel as though they can contribute maximum value. By letting them self-select their roles, they have the confidence to provide valuable feedback.

Create safety in the group

No one will go out on a limb and suggest anything innovative if they feel emotionally unsafe. Your teams have to be blame-free. So as your IT Ops and Dev groups come together to create more agile processes and, ultimately, a better business, make sure they feel safe. Each participant must be able to speak up safely, questioning traditional tactics or truths without any retribution.

In order to stay competitive, you must rely on your IT Ops and Dev teams to work together. Only through increased cooperation can businesses hope to compete effectively in today’s software-powered, agile environments. As new competitors disrupt your industry, you probably already have the talent you need to succeed – you just need to bring them together.

This article is the third in a series on how to train your employees for a successful cloud transformation. You can the first two articles here: Admitting you have a problem with your cloud transformation, and 5 proven tactics to break up the cloud deployment logjam. For more information on a smooth transition to multi-cloud, visit the CTP website. To learn more about how to ease your digital transformation, click here.


About Robert Christiansen

IT Operations and Developers – Can’t We All Just Get Along? TechNativeRobert Christiansen is a cloud technology leader, best-selling author, mentor, and speaker. In his role as VP of Global Cloud Delivery at Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Christiansen oversees the delivery of professional services and innovation for HPE’s public cloud business. His client base includes Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers, and his team’s leadership model encompasses the entire IT transformation journey, from inception to execution.

To read more from Robert Christiansen, visit the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.

IT Operations and Developers – Can’t We All Just Get Along? TechNative

Five Powerful Ways for Leaders to Unlock Innovation

Boy Sitting On The Big Key Moving Towards The Keyhole With Light

Innovation is about disrupting the comfortable for the sake of improvement

No one innovates to decrease a process or reduce the benefit. People innovate to bring life to a higher plane because improvement is a deeply held instinct.

Yet innovation doesn’t just happen – it requires cultivation of forces that will disrupt the comfortable. If you are the leader, your number one job is to provide an environment of innovation that will bring your team or business to the next level. Below are five powerful ways for leaders to unlock innovation within their organization.

#1 – Look For and Enlist Your Innovators

Every team has their innovators. They are the ones who speak out by making suggestions on how to do things better, often challenging the status quo. Innovators have big ideas and want to share them with the teams, which can create friction.

As a leader, your job is to enlist these innovators and turn their energy into actions that cultivate results. For example, a manager of one of our professional services groups presented me with an idea to build a new training program. The idea has merit; however, it needs more vetting beyond the “I have an idea” conversation. I asked him to build out the framework of the plan, and develop a model of how it could work within our business. He left the conversation energized and ready to take on the next phase of this innovation.

As a leader, you must have an open door policy of idea vetting. The key is willingness to listen and encourage innovators so they will be motivated to share their creative thinking.

#2 – Create Safety

Leaders create safe environments. Obviously, physical safety is the highest priority, but emotional safety is also important. Emotional safety gives people the opportunity to challenge and question the status quo without fear of retribution.

Strong leaders know that emotional safety is a key leadership tenet and it is not an accident. I recall a situation when two colleagues worked on an idea that resulted in strong results for the team. But during a company meeting, an executive took credit for their work, naming them only as a creative force behind the win. The team that had worked so hard were hurt. To fix the problem, the executive had to go back and quickly correct the misinformation.

Emotional safety is critical to a successful innovation engine. When team members see that action is taken to protect them and give them their due credit, they feel safe to try again.

#3 – Disrupt the Comfortable

Innovation’s job is to challenge the status quo and disrupt the comfortable, which brings with it complaints and dissatisfaction for those being disrupted. As a leader, your job is to get out in front of disruption through strong communications. No one likes surprises and unless you are clear with your messaging, the teams will revolt and hunker down for a fight.

Look for your allies in this process; you will need support to help move innovation forward. Enlist new recruits who see what the innovators see. Your goal is to get people to recognize that although disruption is painful, it is a necessary part of the innovation you need for a more successful organization.

#4 – Sponsor Initiatives

Leaders bring forth initiatives and sponsor them through funding and emotional support. This means you must have some control or influence over budgets, and you’ll need to allocate funds to promote your initiatives.

However, funding is only half of the equation. You will also need to support your team as they run into obstacles. Innovation is about calling out current processes as weak, flawed, or broken. Of course, the people within the current process may push back. Your job is to support both sides and encourage the change so everyone will have the sense of contributing to the win.

#5 – Stand By Failures

Leaders must support innovations — even when they fail. And they will fail. If your team is not failing, you’re not innovating enough or pushing hard enough.

A couple of years ago, I encountered an epic failure rolling out an automated cloud platform technology. My team spent months investing in an innovation that allowed the client to shorten time to success and increase security of the platform.

Yet when it came time to implement, the whole process fell apart because we had failed to take into account all of the customizations the client wanted. I stood before the client and owned the failure. I explained what happened and how my team would fix it. The client was pleased with my transparency, and let us complete the project.

In the end, the client was happy with our work, and my entire team learned from our failure. But more importantly, I stood by my team and owned the failure, even though it was difficult.

Innovation requires strong leaders with a proven strategy

Innovation doesn’t just happen. It is a mindful, overt act that requires a strong leader with a proven strategy for success.

Unlock innovation in your teams by looking for your innovators and creating a safe environment for them to express their visions. Allocate your time and money to support innovation initiatives and look to disrupt your comfortable teams. And finally, stand by the results. Take ownership when things go wrong and focus credit on the teams when they win.

To learn more about how innovation can help with your digital transformation, click here.


About Robert Christiansen

Five Powerful Ways for Leaders to Unlock Innovation TechNativeRobert Christiansen is a cloud technology leader, best-selling author, mentor, and speaker. In his role as VP of Global Cloud Delivery at Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Christiansen oversees the delivery of professional services and innovation for HPE’s public cloud business. His client base includes Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers, and his team’s leadership model encompasses the entire IT transformation journey, from inception to execution.

To read more from Robert Christiansen, visit the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.

Five Powerful Ways for Leaders to Unlock Innovation TechNative

Managing the Next Wave of IT disruption

Million Firefly Technological Modern Neon Light Effect Backgroun

“A world with millions of clouds distributed everywhere – that’s the future as we see it.” – HPE CEO Antonio Neri

When cloud computing first began disrupting traditional IT over 10 years ago, who would have imagined millions of clouds would soon follow? According to industry experts, that is exactly where the industry is heading. The next wave of digital disruption will store and analyze data at the edge and in the cloud instantly, compliments of millions of clouds distributed everywhere.

To cope with this tsunami of widely distributed data, businesses will need to go beyond on-premises environments and multi-cloud deployments. They must connect a hybrid system that stretches from the edge to the cloud and everywhere in-between. A recent report from 451 Research, From Edge to Cloud, Managing the Next Wave of IT Disruption, explains this new reality.

8 Essential Steps for Managing Edge-to-Cloud

The report details 8 essentials businesses need to consider as they enter the next wave of IT disruption.

  1. Proactive cloud strategy

Organizations everywhere are pursuing a proactive hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategy, balancing performance, cost, and compliance. At the same time, they are meeting specific needs of applications and workloads. All of this takes planning, along with time and skills – which are in short supply in today’s fast-paced, competitive environment. Organizations must seek ways to unify access to multiple clouds and simplify management.

  1. Modernize and automate

Traditional, manual-laden IT processes will become outdated, as orchestration and automation tools transform the data center. Hyperconvergence and composability are providing the agility of public cloud through software-defined strategies, which increases automation and saves time.

  1. Take out the complexity

An ideal hybrid IT environment must be simple and quick to deploy and manage — and capable of seamlessly bridging multiple work­loads across traditional, private, and public cloud infrastructure. A hybrid cloud management platform must allow IT administrators or business managers to view all available infrastructure resources without requiring detailed knowledge of the underlying hardware.

  1. Future-proof for emerging technologies

Hybrid IT must support not only OS, virtualization, and popular cloud options that businesses are using, but also fast-growing new alternatives. These include bare-metal and container platforms, along with extensions to the architecture, such as the distributed edge. Unified APIs will help with the integration of existing apps, making everything easier to manage.

  1. Deliver everything as a service

Enterprises that want to optimize resources are moving toward deploying everything as a service. Software-defined and hybrid cloud management help to integrate off-premises services with workloads that need to stay on-premises.

  1. Deal with the data and gains insights faster

As data explodes from the edge to the cloud, software-defined services and hybrid cloud data management will become vital. Organizations will need to decide where to generate data, how to analyze it quickly, and what actions to take based on their analysis.

  1. Control spending and utilization

Public cloud providers are expanding their portfolios to provide more options, which include more pricing models, increased instance sizes, smaller time increments, better reporting, and competitive pricing. Because the price of cloud is falling only marginally, providers differentiate themselves by offering flexibility in procurement and products. Yet, as more choice is offered, complexity also increases, driving the need for hybrid cloud management solutions.

  1. Extend to the edge

Edge computing marks the beginning of a massive increase in a vast infrastructure of endpoints that will be part of tomorrow’s IT. Moving data centers such as cars, airplanes, trains, robots, and drones will increase rapidly. Enterprise customers need to invest now by integrating their private and public cloud resources with an eye toward expanding to a highly distributed infrastructure in the future.

A world with millions of clouds distributed everywhere will soon become commonplace. While the rest of the world is moving toward the cloud, multitudes of smart endpoints are starting to force computing closer to the edge. Analytics, edge processing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are also on the rise. Combining cloud and hybrid IT models with edge computing—all tied together with a multi-cloud management platform—is an important milestone to combat the next wave of IT disruption.

Read the full report from 451 Research, From Edge to Cloud, Managing the Next Wave of IT Disruption. Learn more about hybrid cloud management here.


About Gary Thome

Managing the Next Wave of IT disruption TechNativeGary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies which include HPE OneSphere – multi-cloud management, HPE SimpliVity – Hyperconverged Infrastructure, HPE Synergy – Composable Infrastructure and HPE OneView – Integrated Management.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog

Managing the Next Wave of IT disruption TechNative

The IT hero’s journey – Embracing Cloud Change, Challenges, and Discovery

Digital composite of Back of business man superhero with hands o

No doubt about it, it’s an exciting time to be working in the IT industry. I’m not just talking about employees of one of the many tech companies, such as Facebook, Google, or Amazon

IT teams around the world are part of a transformation that is turning entire industries into technology-first businesses.

Do you work in IT at an automotive company? Not anymore. You work at a technology company who sells a driving experience. What about healthcare? You guessed it – your company is a tech company who encourages patient-centered interactions for improved health.

To succeed in today’s digital world, every company must be a technology-first company who also specializes in another industry. Organizations everywhere are enhancing digital capabilities to improve customer experiences and accelerate revenue growth. That’s because businesses realize their long-term success depends on it.

A funny thing happened on the way to public cloud

As organizations travel the digital transformation road, they’ve encountered some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Many industry experts originally believed all applications, data, and infrastructure would end up in the public cloud. Yet that hasn’t happened.

Enterprises are now distributing workloads across a mix of on-premises and public clouds. Compliance, cost, performance, control, complexity of migration – all of these factors are playing a big role in the new trend of multi-cloud deployment.

Today, cloud isn’t a destination; it’s a new operating model. It no longer matters if IT places workloads in public clouds, private clouds, or a mix of the two; everyone expects the same thing: fast service delivery, operational simplicity, and optimization of costs.

Train your IT team to succeed on the frontlines of your digital transformation

Although technology transformations are nothing new, transformation to a cloud operating model has been especially disruptive for those working in IT. This new model is a completely different method of IT consumption, challenging existing roles and responsibilities.

Traditionally, IT provided the services that you now outsource to cloud providers. As your organization looks for new roles to meet this new digital reality, a slew of traditional central IT jobs are changing. To be successful, much of your current IT staff will have to learn new skills, new software, and new ways of doing things. If they embrace this challenge, they can become an IT hero in the digital transformation. IT leaders can help by encouraging learning and providing valuable resources.

Simple solutions enable IT to become a digital transformation hero

The transformation to a cloud operating model presents yet another challenge for IT, as working with and managing a multi-cloud environment can be daunting. However, technology can make the complex simple.

Take the history of the car, for example. The first car built for the masses, the Model-T, must have seemed like a complex machine at the time. Today’s cars contain over 30,000 parts and numerous computing systems and are certainly more complex. Yet technology actually makes current driving simpler than driving that first Model-T.

In the same way, newly available tools now allow IT to manage a multi-cloud environment more simply. In order to achieve a successful cloud transformation, enterprises must adopt software-defined technologies and unify compute, storage, and networking to ensure simple-to-use, cost-effective, multi-cloud operations.

IT leaders can help by choosing technologies built for a simpler hybrid cloud experience

Inside the enterprise is a dedicated group of IT experts who are accepting the digital transformation challenge. As I mentioned above, the heroes of your IT team are the ones that are increasing their skills as they embrace a new cloud reality.

In addition to enabling learning of new skills, IT leaders can help these IT heroes by choosing technologies that make the transition simpler. The right technology will help IT implement a simplified hybrid cloud experience. This type of solution includes the following features:

  • Speed, agility, cost profile, project governance, and control – all provided in a self-service model where IT and developers can compose the services they need in minutes.
  • Template-driven catalogs for workloads, allowing IT to compose and scale private clouds without specialized skills.
  • Open access to any toolset and freedom to innovate with any cloud.
  • A consumption model where customers only pay for what they use – everything as a service.

Helping the enterprise with the IT hero’s journey

In literature, the hero’s journey involves adventure, crisis, learning, and finally victory – allowing the hero to return home transformed and triumphant. In real life, the IT hero’s journey can be equally successful. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is helping to transform businesses to become technology-first companies by working with IT leaders and IT heroes all over the world.

Let HPE help you simplify your hybrid cloud experience with modern technologies and software-defined solutions such as composable infrastructure, hyperconvergence, infrastructure management, and multi-cloud management. Additionally, Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a HPE company, will work with your IT team to enhance learning, conquer cloud challenges, and accelerate your successful digital transformation.


About the Author

The IT hero’s journey – Embracing Cloud Change, Challenges, and Discovery TechNativeGary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog

The IT hero’s journey – Embracing Cloud Change, Challenges, and Discovery TechNative

Transform the Traditional: The Multi-cloud Enterprise

Cloud networking concept: Cloud Network icons on Digital

Companies large and small are changing in order to innovate faster, provide better customer experiences, and achieve greater cost efficiencies

British philosopher Alan Watts has a suggestion for dealing with this type of disruption: “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

Sounds simple, right? It is not.

Many businesses are dancing straight into the arms of public cloud because it enables them to meet time-to-market deadlines by scaling quickly and easily. Yet, others find that certain workloads are not appropriate for this type of Tango due to cost, performance, compliance, security, or complexity issues. And a growing number of enterprises are looking for a mix of IT deployments to attain ideal results. In order to adjust quickly to changing business needs, IT wants the flexibility to place some applications in the public cloud and others in a private cloud on-premises – sort of like choosing to enjoy both hip-hop and ballet.

Transforming the traditional

As organizations try to select the best deployment options, they are finding that cloud is no longer a destination; instead, it is new way of doing business that focuses on speed, scalability, simplicity, and economics. This type of business model allows cloud architects to distribute workloads across a mix of on-premises and public clouds. No matter where IT places the workload, everyone in the enterprise expects fast service delivery, operational simplicity, and optimization of costs.

If this scenario sounds too good to be true, it actually is…for the moment.

IT is struggling to achieve this type of cloud transformation due to a number of constraints typically found in data centers. Most people acknowledge that much of today’s data center infrastructure is slow, complex, and manual, which means that IT can’t properly deliver the services needed for a modern, cloud-based deployment model. Yet, the challenge is actually much bigger – it involves legacy thinking, which can be harder to change than technology.

Out with the old way of thinking … in with the new

Many developers in the past routinely used a type of waterfall model for project management, where the project leaders define the project at the start, and then it goes through a number of sequential phases during its lifecycle. This model has its roots in engineering where a physical design was a critical part of the project and any changes to that design were costly. Changes occurred infrequently and all at once. IT operations was comfortable with this process, because the old way of thinking believed that if the frequency of change is reduced, risk is also reduced.

Modern developers have discovered that the opposite can be true. If something goes wrong with a massive change, it could very well bring down the entire company. Therefore, the new way of thinking is to implement small changes much more frequently. That way, if something fails, it is a small failure – and the team can quickly change course without causing major problems.

A transformed data center needs a new mindset that embraces an agile set of principles, similar to how application developers work – delivering and accepting project changes in short duration phases called sprints. During each sprint, continuous change is encouraged, creating a more agile and flexible environment. And failure is allowed, because that is when learning – and adjustment – occurs.

Another big change involves capital spending and total cost of ownership. The old thinking involved inflexible consumption models that forced the organization to pay for everything up front. Again, IT believed that this model was less risky because they knew the costs upfront and could accurately plan accordingly.

Yet this model can be more risky because it is not agile; IT could not increase infrastructure for a short duration during a critical need, and then dial it back down when the need no longer existed. Today’s new way of thinking about IT infrastructure involves a flexible, as-a-service consumption model, where customers only pay for what they use when they use it.

Creating a composable cloud experience across your enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is working to solve your legacy thinking challenges in the data center and in the public cloud. Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, will help your team learn the mindset changes your business needs to succeed in a digital transformation and the steps you need to make toward a truly hybrid model.

HPE is also creating a perfectly choreographed series of solutions that will quickly modernize your data center and public cloud infrastructure footprint. With the help of HPE’s industry experts and innovative infrastructure, you can quickly turn your legacy data center into a hybrid cloud experience that combines modern technologies and software-defined infrastructure such as composable infrastructure, hyperconvergence, infrastructure management, and multi-cloud management.

A new hybrid cloud operating model built for speed, agility, and spend optimization is upon us. Make sure you have the right partner to “plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

Advisory services at Cloud Technology Partners can help you understand how to take advantage of today’s new, modern multi-cloud technology. To learn more about how composable infrastructure can power your digital transformation, click here. Visit HPE OneView and HPE OneSphere to read how to simplify and automate infrastructure and multi-cloud management.


About Gary Thome

Transform the Traditional: The Multi-cloud Enterprise TechNativeGary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies.

To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.

Transform the Traditional: The Multi-cloud Enterprise TechNative

5 proven tactics to break up the cloud deployment logjam

Log jam in a small creek

As trees and other debris float along waterways, logjams can accumulate and obstruct water flow, causing flooding and other problems

Breaking up log jams can be hazardous, requiring professionals with heavy equipment and even explosives.

Many enterprises all over the world are embarking on a cloud transformation journey, and risky logjams involving people and processes are starting to threaten to disrupt their forward progress. Every organization is different, but certain tactics break up logjams in almost all situations. I’ve described several strategies below that should provide helpful insights for your organization.

  • Find your hand raisers (some actively looking to learn)

Your greatest assets are the first movers and innovators on your teams. These people are the hardware staff who are willing to learn how to write code for the new cloud world. Alternatively, they’re the self-starters who are going to meetups after work to learn new skills. Or they may be the motivated employees who are getting certified in new cloud technologies. These team members are your change agents – so encourage and support them.

To support your hand raisers, create safe environments for them to try and fail within. Yes, failing is critical to the new cycle of cloud deployments as it is in all new technologies. Think about your infrastructure as code, and code has to be tested and retested to validate it works, which means people need space to practice failure. If your employees have never coded before, testing and failing is a critical part of this learning process.

  • Disrupt from within

After you find your hand raisers, organize your cloud team around them. Name a leader and create new roles within the group, which will not be the same roles you have now. Next, ring fence them – separate and protect them from being pulled away on other projects, while giving them the support and authority they need to push forward, break paradigms, and truly innovate. This transformation team will become the force needed to disrupt from within.

  • Promote a new mindset

Once you have your team established, now begins the process of educating and promoting a new mindset. The role of your central IT team must dramatically change – from a maintenance mindset to a service provider model. Services IT used to provide are now outsourced to cloud providers; and new roles need to be created within your organization. Once this is accomplished, your transformed IT team can start to provide common core services the business can consume. Instead of building and maintaining, IT becomes the expert facilitator, which is a role critical to the success of the business.

  • Get help from project-based pros

Clearing the cloud transformation logjams is difficult work and often takes a professional – someone trained to come in and help you navigate these choppy waters. An outsider with experience dealing with a variety of project-based cloud logjams can often see more clearly and offer invaluable advice to get things moving again.

A constantly changing economic landscape is forcing enterprises to move from professional service retainers to project-based consulting engagements. According to a 2017 study, companies are now 58% project based and are shifting away from retainer-based engagements for more value-add project-based consulting services. The shift to project-based engagements provides greater transparency and ROI justifications. These spot engagements are serious power for your teams.

  • Share the knowledge

The last tactic you can use to break up a cloud transformation logjam is to share the new cloud mindset and knowledge with the rest of the company. The cloud team must reach across the cubicles, hallways, and conference rooms to join forces with the development community. This type of collaboration is where the vision of DevOps meets real world implementation – two groups working hand-in-hand to solve a problem. IT operators must educate developers on how to maximize cloud resources, implement best practices, manage costs, and ensure reliability. And developers must share their knowledge on application architectures and how they are interlinked with the infrastructure. Both teams have to come together as a joint force (Dev+Ops) in a way that provides the highest service quality for the user.

Breaking the logjam – a real life example

I recently worked with a well-known insurance company whose cloud transformation journey was at a standstill, hung up by a huge logjam of legacy infrastructure and legacy thinking. The rumor mill had kicked into high gear – permeating the company with fear and resentment. The biggest problem was getting them to move forward. Once the company implemented the first two tactics, identifying hand raisers and creating a cloud transition team who were eager to move forward, the logjam was broken quickly.

I then coached the IT leader of the cloud program to build a solid communication plan for the rest of the team, quelling the rumor mill of distractions threatening the program’s failure. This IT leader continues to place people issues as his top priority, providing him with on-going success.

The right people will lead your cloud transformation

Breaking cloud transformation logjams requires you put the right people in the right roles – employees who know how to embrace a new way of thinking. Rest assured, you’ll still face disruptions along the way; but if you employ these tactics, your journey to the cloud should flow more smoothly.

This article is the second in a series on how to train your employees for a successful cloud transformation. Read the first article, Admitting you have a problem with your cloud transformation.

For more information on a smooth transition to multi-cloud, visit the CTP website. To learn more about how to ease your digital transformation, click here. To find out more about simplifying and automating your cloud with multi-cloud management software, go to HPE OneSphere.


About the Author

5 proven tactics to break up the cloud deployment logjam TechNativeRobert Christiansen is a cloud technology leader, best-selling author, mentor, and speaker. In his role as VP of Global Cloud Delivery at Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Christiansen oversees the delivery of professional services and innovation for HPE’s public cloud business. His client base includes Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers, and his team’s leadership model encompasses the entire IT transformation journey, from inception to execution. To read more articles by Robert, visit the Shifting to Software-Defined blog.

5 proven tactics to break up the cloud deployment logjam TechNative

Setting a New Standard for Hyperconvergence

Data Speed

“I feel the need … the need for speed.”

I hear many conversations from businesses about the need for speed, and it always makes me think of this quote from the movie Top Gun. The latest thinking is that for businesses to succeed, you need to innovate faster, disrupt faster, and respond faster.

While this is all true, I think it’s too narrow. To be successful in the digital world, businesses need to think beyond just speed and consider how to increase efficiencies—leveraging innovation to deliver the right capabilities at the right cost to drive growth. As I travel around the world and meet with customers, the question I hear most from CIOs and CTOs is not, “How can I make things faster?” but instead, “How can I make things simpler?”

Making things simpler and more efficient through automation

It is humbling to realize that, despite all the advances that have been made to simplify IT, more improvements are still needed. The Gartner report, Look Beyond Network Vendors for Network Innovation, highlighted this anomaly. It states that, despite the promise of software-defined networking, “it is common for data center network requests to take days to fulfill.” Why? Because “networking vendors often market their products to the enterprise as ‘highly innovative,’ but the innovations have not delivered dramatic improvements in network operations.”

Gartner recommends that infrastructure and operations leaders “reprioritize data center networking investments by focusing primarily on manageability, automation, and broader orchestration capabilities.” The report also states that a major principal should be to “automate relentlessly and standardize ruthlessly.”

I fully agree with Gartner’s findings that we need more automation, especially in the area of networking. That’s why Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently acquired Plexxi, a leading provider of software-defined data fabric networking technology. The technology HPE gained from Plexxi enables composable fabric, which will be included in HPE’s integrated software-defined and hybrid cloud solutions.

HPE Composable Fabric will simplify and automate the entire stack under a single infrastructure management application. Self-optimizing capabilities will dynamically allocate network bandwidth as new workloads are added, eliminating administrator involvement and accelerating deployment across the board. This automatic allocation, deallocation, and re-balancing of network bandwidth—based on the specific needs of each workload—will allow companies to accelerate business insights and deploy new applications faster within the simplified IT infrastructure that they need.

What’s next? Setting a NEW standard for HCI

One technology that deserves immediate attention is hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). To date, HCI solutions across the industry have just focused on delivering compute, storage, and virtualization resources within a single, tightly-integrated system. Networking—a critical component of the overall solution—has been left out, along with the ability to automate the entire stack through a single management interface.

Customers have had tremendous success deploying HCI solutions for virtualized environments. By combining IT infrastructure and advanced data services into a single, integrated all-flash solution, at a fraction of the cost of traditional and public cloud offerings, customers have seen significant application performance increases and cost savings. Now it is time to simplify and to take the next step.

HPE has already incorporated composable fabric into a hyperconverged infrastructure solution. Not only will it simplify and accelerate deployment, but it also extends the level of automation to include management of the network fabric. That translates to simplifying the end-to-end experience, eliminating the need for additional integration, and reducing the cost of enabling a true on- or off-premises cloud experience. It will also give VM administrators control of the full stack, eliminating the costs associated with involving network administrators in deploying virtualized infrastructure.

The new era of HCI is here. It’s simpler, faster, and more efficient than ever before—and it’s just the beginning. You now have the speed, efficiency, and automation you need to be more competitive in the digital race.

To learn more about the future of networks and how they can boost the performance of your business, download the Gartner report, Look Beyond the Status Quo for Network Innovation.

You can learn more about HPE’s approach to hyperconvergence and composable fabric by visiting the HPE Composable Fabric webpage.


About McLeod Glass

Setting a New Standard for Hyperconvergence TechNativeMcLeod Glass is Vice President and General Manager of HPE SimpliVity & Composable at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of the product lifecycle across HPE Software-Defined Infrastructure. This includes HPE Composable Infrastructure, Hyperconverged and Cloud Software product lines. McLeod has held positions in engineering and product marketing across multiple HPE business units managing server, storage and software product line.

Setting a New Standard for Hyperconvergence TechNative

Admitting you have a problem with your cloud transformation

Silhouette of helping hand between two climber

Too often your cloud transformation is all about the technology. Don’t forget about the people – your biggest asset.

It’s frequently said that the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. In the midst of a high-stakes cloud transformation, all too often a business can’t clearly see the problem before them.

Here’s a typical scenario: You’re six months into your public cloud transformation; everything is slowing down, and you’re not meeting your key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs could include things like:

  • The number of workloads moved from the data center to the cloud is too low.
  • Automation has not been implemented, and your headcount is too high.
  • Your cloud bill is growing without a corresponding decrease in operating costs.
  • Employees are struggling to understand how they can meet the KPIs.
  • DevOps practices are not being implemented.

What’s wrong? You haven’t equipped your employees with the tools they need to be successful in your digital transformation.

As VP of Global Cloud Delivery at Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) company, I’ve seen these struggles first-hand. Businesses all over the world are embarking on a cloud transformation journey, but they’re finding that it is challenging. And the problem stems from one area – people.

First things first: Deal with the permafrost layer of management.

The key decision makers in your digital transformation are your cloud program owners and sponsors. These employees typically make up what I call the permafrost layer of leadership within an IT organization. In many companies, these are the people that have been around for a while; they can appear to be frozen in place because they’ve been doing things the same way for years.

Cloud has redefined the IT industry and job market — again. Yet, this particular displacement is unlike any in history. With the new outsourcing model comes a completely different method of IT consumption that is counter to existing roles and responsibilities. The permafrost must be thawed…I’ve outlined a few thoughts below.

Realize the core obstacle of success –- your people.

The bottom line is that your people are not ready to do this work. Let’s examine why.

The fatal flaw in most digital transformation journeys is legacy thinking by many of those I mentioned earlier — the permafrost people. Typically these people are scared of change, because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. Others think that they are too close to retirement to change. They’re thinking, “Reinvent myself 5 years before retirement? No way! I’ll wait for this whole cloud thing to blow over.”

To be successful in your cloud transformation, you need to change from a legacy mindset to a new way of doing things – and that takes education. Employees need to know how to organize, deploy, and use the cloud.

So what do permafrost people typically do to solve the problem? Instead of trying to fix it, they point to the cloud itself as the problem. I’m even hearing about enterprises moving their apps back from the cloud to on-premises. This type of confusion occurs when the cloud team doesn’t clearly understand what they are doing. But, with the right training, you can better determine which workloads to keep on premises and which ones should be kept in the cloud.

Real life story: Thawing the permafrost

Let me give you a real life example. A cloud team in the financial services industry launched cloud services to their clients – the business units. The managers in the business units looked at the new, slick cloud services and said, “Thanks, we’ll take it from here.” Unfortunately, the managers weren’t given basic training in cloud deployment, such as migration strategies, financial controls, and resource scheduling. Six months later, the bill for the cloud program was way out of hand! AND… the business units had yet to deploy a single production app!

The problem was that the business units were consuming the services with no knowledge of how to use them. Much like a mobile phone provider, the consumer must know how to operate the device or else risk getting hit with costly bills, security problems, and poor experiences.

To solve the problem, the cloud team established a training program for the business units that covered Cloud 101, governance, financial best practices, and basic security. Once the business units better understood the services, they regained control of their bills, and the release rate of production applications accelerated.

All is not lost

Businesses all over the world are struggling with the same cloud deployment issues. Although the problem seems complex, the fix is simple. Businesses need to concentrate on people, their most valuable assets. Proper training is the key to a successful cloud transformation, followed closely by automation software that simplifies management of your multi-clouds.

This article is the first in a series on how to train your employees for a successful cloud transformation. In the next articles, I’ll discuss how to improve your cloud deployment, bring people together in a new DevOps team, empower employees, and implement long-term cloud success.

For more information on a smooth transition to multi-cloud, visit the CTP website. To learn more about how to ease your digital transformation, click here. To find out more about simplifying and automating your cloud with multi-cloud management software, go to HPE OneSphere.


About the Author

Robert Christiansen is a cloud technology leader, best-selling author, mentor, and speaker. In his role as VP of Global Cloud Delivery at Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Christiansen oversees the delivery of professional services and innovation for HPE’s public cloud business. His client base includes Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers, and his team’s leadership model encompasses the entire IT transformation journey, from inception to execution. To read more articles by Robert, visit the Shifting to Software-Defined blog.

 

Admitting you have a problem with your cloud transformation TechNative

Marriage of Inconvenience? DevOps & ITSM

Psychology Of Communication And  Marriage Counselling Concept As

Time and time again I’ve heard the phrase, “DevOps doesn’t understand ITIL; they are so different and don’t really have anything in common.”

Before I can delve into all the ramifications of this statement, let me start out by defining the three terms: DevOps, ITSM, and ITIL.

  • DevOps is an enterprise software development phrase that is used to define an agile relationship between development and IT operations, which encourages better communication, collaboration, and continuous delivery.
  • IT Service Management (ITSM) is all about how an organization plans, designs, implements, operates, and governs IT services for its customers.
  • IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices for ITSM in order to maximize efficiency, effectiveness, and cost optimization.

Opposites attract: why DevOps and ITIL work well together

As a mature CIO with legacy ITSM experience, when I first came across DevOps, I was attracted to it precisely because it was different. Sadly, these differences initially confused and annoyed me. In fact, I began to think that my approach to ITSM was generally right and that DevOps was wrong. Therefore, I did what any good CIO would do, I tried to “fix” DevOps based on my own pre-conception of IT processes. I did this in order to make DevOps more like ITSM. Not surprisingly, this failed dramatically.

What I forgot was that there’s a reason opposites attract: it’s good for both sides. Take marriage for example. If you married someone just like you, then you wouldn’t have to grow, get out of your comfort zone, or have to enter into someone else’s world. The same applies to the marriage of DevOps and ITSM — the differences can add richness, depth, and texture — if you embrace the union.

DevOps versus ITSM Basics

If you put the basics of each concept side-by-side, a stark contrast of key tenants appear within each approach. Looking at these differences, they appear to be totally disjointed and conflicting. Especially when considering the ever rapid rate of innovation and new product delivery that our Web-based world demands.

ITIL

DevOps

Planned Iterative
Process-based Incremental
Procedure-based Collaborative
Documented Experimental
Waterfall/Sequenced Lean/Agile

I would argue that ITIL as a framework for service management focuses on delivering fit-for-use products and services. Likewise, DevOps is a philosophy/culture that promotes collaborative and agile processes — also focused on delivering fit-for-use products and services. By merging these together, an organization can produce an effective hybrid DevOps/ITIL environment.

DevOps addresses the inherent inefficiencies that ITIL has in time propagated due to the increasing complexity in technology and service management. These include communicating in silos, not focusing on the customer, and lack of collaboration across the business. And ITIL will play an important role in DevOps by providing rigor, audit, governance, and credibility in its final delivery.

Actually, DevOps and ITSM are the perfect union

By leveraging both methodologies via a marriage of convenience, an organization can create lasting value through collaboration and continuous improvement. Consequently, I strongly believe that ITIL and DevOps are compatible.

ITSM is a crucial part of building and maintaining a platform for sound DevOps practices based on people, processes, and technology. The language and terminology used may be different but the outcomes are the same – delivering value to the business where it needs it most.

Remember, differences are often the biggest asset when combining two different people or groups. If you learn how to merge them successfully, your IT teams will have the ability to embrace the best of both concepts.

Aligning these practices to accommodate true service management for a hybrid cloud/IT environment is the goal of HPE’s World Wide Strategic Transformation, Governance & Operations Center of Excellence (CoE). The CoE runs customer centric transformational workshops to develop strategic roadmaps that provide customers with a cohesive view of DevOps and ITSM.


About the author

Marriage of Inconvenience? DevOps & ITSM TechNativeMario Devargas is a CIO Advisor for HPE, consulting with organizations in the adoption of collaborative working processes — not just in IT, but across the entire enterprise. With over 30 years at an executive level, he is a passionate and visionary CIO with an extensive record of achievement across the private and public sectors within the corporate and commercial markets, banking, manufacturing and most recently public sector.

To read more articles by Devargas, visit HPE’s Transforming IT blogsite. To read more about Digital Transformation, visit HPE’s Shifting to Software-Defined blogsite.

Marriage of Inconvenience? DevOps & ITSM TechNative

Attack of the Cloud Killers: Fending Off Threats to Cloud Ops Success

Abstract Futuristic Cyberspace With A Hacked Array Of Binary Dat

For many companies, the cloud model is no longer an option – it’s a mandate

Yet, the transition to public cloud can be challenging. You’re up against all sorts of governance and insight issues, along with numerous change management demands. These potential cloud killers are not so much technology challenges as organizational and cultural ones, and they all stem from the fact that cloud operations (Cloud Ops) is a wholly different kind of IT world.

Below I list three principles that I’ve found useful while working with companies on the front lines of cloud rollouts:

  1. Understand the need for a completely different governance model.

What I have in mind here is not your classic governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) processes – though those are crucial for cloud success too. Cloud Ops governance is all about how do I maximize value? It’s about having deep visibility into the financial health of the assets.

Finance controls are the number one thing that needs to be done differently from the beginning. As my colleague John Treadway pointed out in a recent post (3 Ways HPE GreenLake Hybrid Cloud Drives Hybrid IT Success), “if you’re not paying attention to what you’re using in a public cloud, you can easily end up overpaying.”

What’s more, the acceleration of consumption is much, much faster with cloud than with the classic model–with all its POs, contracts, legal involvement and so on. Within a very short time, you can end up with uncontrolled, unmonitored usage and zero visibility. You’ve got spend that you can’t answer for, so what likely happens is that your finance department steps in and kills the project.

Then you have a wrecked cloud initiative, and IT blames the business or falls back and says, “our cloud program costs too much” without actually looking for the root cause of the problem. This issues all could have been avoided by putting the right controls in place from the start.

  1. Recognize that your Cloud Ops team can’t be the same team that’s running your classic model.

Your cloud ops team and your on-premises IT team need to be separate and differently dedicated. And the decision as to how to populate each team is a tough one. But I’ve worked with quite a few companies that originally tried to merge their on-prem operational teams and their cloud operational teams in the hope that they could act as one. It hasn’t worked well at all.

The on-prem operational teams may not understand how the new model works. They’re probably not familiar with the technology and the new software platforms that you’re deploying. The cloud folks may lack the depth of experience needed to manage the on-prem assets. This is where the friction starts, with team dynamics issues, turf battles, and silo building. I’m a convinced advocate for bypassing these problems by the simple expedient of keeping the two teams’ workflows distinct and separate.

  1. Target your training.

The two-team approach is also useful in your training programs. Cloud Ops training will be very different from your on-prem op training or your developer training.

Cloud Ops training should be oriented more towards managing spend controls, enabling or disabling services, and supporting users who are consuming cloud services. Importantly, it should also focus on the DevOps relationship and the benefits it delivers to IT service consumers.

The ideal training should also focus on the DevOps relationship and the benefits it delivers to IT service consumers. A tight connection between development teams and operations teams is pivotal for maximizing the value of cloud implementations. That partnership needs to be carefully fostered, and a big part of that is through training.

Building a top-flight Cloud Ops function is a demanding task, but an essential one for companies that want to see the best results from this innovative, agile paradigm.

Get Started Today

HPE has experienced consultants to support you through every stage of the cloud lifecycle. Get the expert assistance you need to bring cloud computing services to your business quickly and efficiently. Take a look at the  HPE Cloud Services website and get started today.


About the author

Attack of the Cloud Killers: Fending Off Threats to Cloud Ops Success TechNativeRobert Christiansen is a cloud technology leader, best-selling author, mentor, and speaker. In his role as VP of Global Cloud Delivery at Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Christiansen oversees the delivery of professional services and innovation for HPE’s public cloud business. His client base includes Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers, and his team’s leadership model encompasses the entire IT transformation journey, from inception to execution.

To read more articles by Christiansen, visit HPE’s Transforming IT blogsite or  Shifting to Software-defined blogsites.

Attack of the Cloud Killers: Fending Off Threats to Cloud Ops Success TechNative
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