Thursday, October 2, 2014

Captain Kirk, to the Bridge! No! Wait, Go to Engineering!

Apologies to +William Shatner (@williamshatner) for the title but let's talk about V'ger (@_vger), I mean The Cloud.

Cloud discussions may not come from IT, in fact, it seems IT is the last to know about the idea sometimes. While asking some fellow consultants and Business Partners, we are seeing an interesting situation arise and hope this example helps you to not find yourself in the same predicament.

Business leaders are making choices, then telling IT. The opposite of the way things have been done in the past. Not a bad thing entirely.

Is this a step forward for business and one back for IT? Have we finally reached the tipping point where the next generation of business leaders are technically proficient enough to make their own decisions? (If your decision makers at your company are not including you, that is another blog post.)

Let's presume you get included in a decision making meeting about moving email, IM, collaboration or whatever to a Cloud. But you are not invited to provide options and ideas, rather to be told,  "we are moving to this vendors Cloud".

Huh? What? You are knocked across the head like a hangover the morning after drinking some Saurian Brandy. Questions come to your mind, ideas fly from your tongue. All you can say is "Is this a done deal"?

Sound familiar? Is this how your company is going to The Cloud for mail and collaboration? Around you entirely?

When did the business leader get all technical? Or is this a case of someone handing you a carburetor and saying you need one of these because they heard cars have them? When did the leader become Captain Kirk? Let me explain.

Kirk, as many will know, could often be found doing engineering work on the ship, or patching a rocket launcher out of sticks and stones. I did not attend Starfleet Academy, but from my reading, it seems that a Captain does stints in all types of areas of the ship. They also get  class room training time, not just the Kobayashi Maru simulation, and first hand knowledge about other areas as time moves along once the cadet was shown to be captain material. Once you are a captain, evidently you know every Jefferies Tube in your ship and every panel/wiring circuitry in case you need to do some amazing things and save your ship, usually, all withing 50+ minutes. 

Surprisingly, the business leader is not a captain, although they may have the ability, does not have the depth of knowledge of all of your infrastructure to know what is or is not running. Making a decision to go to The Cloud should not exclude your trusted and knowledgeable IT staff or partners/vendors. Each situation is different but moving your email, may or may not break numerous applications.

How can moving your email break applications? Many ways! Here is just one example. 

If other applications rely on a specific directory of your employees for security, how will you access it once it is in the Cloud? If you can access it, what will happen to the application, if the Cloud is down? Or your ISP is down (Spock says this is statistically more probable) how will people work? Is there a size/usage limit for the number of requests sent back and forth before you get charged some exorbitant fees? It is not always about the money, sometimes a little planning goes a long way.

All we ask of you business leaders is you keep us in the loop and work with you.

Let us help you reach your goals without causing problems to your services.

May your company live long, and prosper.