In my work, I travel extensively and talk with hundreds of clients, industry experts and other interested individuals about enterprise cloud and automation technologies. Regardless of the presentation or meeting, I often find myself wondering why we rarely focus on what I believe is the top question.
A case in point. I may be talking to an analyst, journalist or speaking on a panel with other experts and the discussions always seem to focus on some nuance or sliver of specific technology. Conversely, I may be speaking with clients, where the conversation inadvertently dwells on questions about prior IT investments, historical projects or competitive pressures. At no time though, has that ONE key question been posed. It is the most important question to start any discussion for IT Automation and too often overlooked.
That question is simply “Why … Why are you embarking on this IT Automation project?” …
It’s a simple yet critical question to ask, and sometimes it needs to be asked more than once. Trying to answer it will ensure that clients, partners and project teams all eventually get on the same page. Coming to consensus can sometimes take time, so don’t rush a decision. Key stakeholders frequently have very different motivations related to any IT Automation project. The sooner the team can get these out in the open, the sooner they can start working as one to meet their goals.
Here are just a couple of common reasons I hear:
“I want to lower cost of running my IT organization” — Seems straightforward initially, but this needs further delving. In qualifying this further, maybe we find that the budget is being slashed by 10 percent without commensurate reductions in service levels. Perhaps the real issue is that employees are burning out with all the manual, repetitive tasks they have to execute.
“We need to move X percent of operations to the Cloud” — Another response that needs to be investigated deeper. Perhaps the user base has complained that they are slow and expensive which explains the rationale for the project, or maybe they’re doing it in response to a competitor that has already launched a key money-saving cloud-based program.
Either way, an effective cloud strategy needs to address the real issue, with a plan that helps all parties exceed expectations. I recommend that you keep asking “Why?”— this is the only way to uncover the real drivers and opportunities behind each IT Automation project. When the team has a single, clear understanding of the “why”, it becomes much easier to get started, stay on track and ultimately complete the project on schedule and in scope.
Meet your HP advisors at the Solution Exchange during VMWorld 2013 :
Do you need help in learning more about your inner motivations? Are you looking for an understanding as to why you are considering IT Automation projects to start with? Then come visit us at Solution Exchange area during VMWorld. Ask your HP advisors about succeeding in today’s new style of IT, and start a CIO Discussion on Hybrid Cloud Delivery.
As you have that discussion, gain a first-hand look of the Automated Data Center and Cloud Management solutions shown at the HP demo stations. At the Automated Data Center demo station, examine the critical issues leading up to use of the 3 simple steps to automate your IT. When exploring the Cloud Management demo station, learn of the driving forces that exist in the hybrid cloud environment, and the need of getting control of IT’s complexity.