The reality is that IT pros who embrace this changing paradigm can propel their careers by supporting companies’ transformation to the cloud.
As an IT decision maker, here are four things you can do to enable in-house IT staff to add value as you transition to a cloud-based model that leverages a systems integrator (SI) or managed service provider (MSP):
1. USE YOUR PARTNER TO ARCHITECT THE NEW ENVIRONMENT. It’s not easy to build out a cloud environment that will meet an organization’s specific needs. But it’s even harder to fix one that has been architected improperly once critical business systems depend on it. By leveraging the experience of a partner, you can avoid some of the common architectural pitfalls and build out a cloud environment that works for you the first time.
How internal IT can help: Existing IT staff will understand how granular business requirements impact technical requirements. IT pros can play a pivotal role in ensuring that these requirements are taken into consideration as new environments are built.
2. USE YOUR PARTNER TO BUILD STANDARDIZED TEMPLATES AND POLICIES. Most seasoned IT pros who have built their skills in an on-premises environment can learn how to build systems that will support their business in the cloud. But if it’s not done in an organized fashion, every new environment can be configured differently, leading to a lack of standardization and excessive time dumped into activities that could be automated. A good partner can establish a foundation for standards by building a library of templates and an operational run book with a checklist of key activities. This will drive standardization and consistency that reduces costs and increases reliability in the long run.
How internal IT can help: Once environments, templates, and processes are built, internal IT pros can start to carry out the operations. They can also gather feedback from their business counterparts about how the systems are working for end users. This feedback is vital to making the proper architectural or procedural changes to better enable the business through the technology.
3. USE YOUR PARTNER TO EXPLORE NEW FEATURES AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES. Whether you’re trying to deploy the Internet of Things (IoT), deep learning, real-time analytics or any other emerging technology for the first time, leveraging the help of a partner who has done it before is tremendously helpful.
How internal IT can help: Because they work at the intersection of technology and tactical execution, in-house IT is always a step closer to the business than any external entity. These skilled professionals can apply their knowledge to amplify the organization’s core competencies. With this knowledge, they can provide key guidance to help ensure that emerging technology is implemented in a way that makes sense for that specific organization’s short and long-term goals.
4. USE YOUR PARTNER TO MODERNIZE LEGACY APPLICATIONS. As part of your cloud migration, you likely will want to update some applications built to run on your on-premises servers. Your partner can help you through this process so that your applications take full advantage of the broad feature set, global infrastructure footprint and scalability of the cloud.
How internal IT can help: There are six ways to deal with your existing applications as you move to the cloud: retaining, retiring, re-factoring, re-platforming, re-purchasing and re-hosting. The most logical approach for each application is dependent on several factors. Your IT staff can work to understand the business impacts of each potential approach to ensure that you choose the correct one.
Having the right partner by your side can help you minimize risk and friction as you adopt new technologies. An internal IT department that understands how technology can help achieve business objectives is a critical conduit between end users and your SI or MSP, ensuring that technical changes lead to real business outcomes.