Cloud Strategy and the Role of IT in a Multi-Cloud World

first_imgWho’s driving the cloud strategy in your organization? Recently we had a team of cloud experts join Dell technologists including myself (@NickBrackney) for our #CloudTweetChat. Having a chance to interact with and learn from so many knowledgeable folks with varied backgrounds and approaches is critical for our team as well as our customers. What makes these chats great is we go beyond the buzz words and marketing fluff that permeates the discussion and get right into strategies and implementation. As we prepare for our next CloudTweetChat on March 12th it seemed like a good time to reflect on what we learned in our last conversation.According to CIO.com, the average organization is running applications in at least 4.8 different cloud services, both public and private. It’s a complex landscape (cloudscape).Experts in attendance included:Tim Crawford, CIO Strategic Advisor, AVOA, (@tcrawford)Keith Townsend, Co-Founder, The CTO Advisor (@CTOAdvisor)Eric Kavanagh, Bloor Group CEO, Tech Evangelist, and Media Innovator (@eric_kavanagh)Adam Post, Principal Consultant, IT Partners (@semi_technical)Ned Bellavance, Founder, Ned in the Cloud, LLC (@Ned1313)Bob Ganley, Senior Marketing Consultant, Dell EMC (@ganleybob)Josh Fidel, Principal Solutions Architect, Rolta|Advizex (@jcefidel)Brian Solis, International Keynote Speaker, Thought Leader and Analyst, (@briansolis)Arjan Timmerman, Co-owner and Analyst, TECHunplugged, (@Arjantim)Matt Baker, SVP of Strategy and Planning, Dell EMC (@mattwbaker)Phil Bradham, Azure Stack Applications Architect, Dell EMC, (@PBradz)Who’s driving the cloud strategy?To better understand the role of IT, we need to understand if there is a centralized cloud strategy and who is driving it. I believe that strategy should be coming out of the CIOs office. It could also be a combined effort with the CTO, IT operations, security and developers forming a cross-functional team.Keith Townsend countered that most companies don’t have a CTO, and functionally, enterprise architects fulfill that role. He believes enterprise architecture should be driving cloud strategy. “CIO’s should leave the “how” to lieutenants. They should hire people to make those functional decisions and sign off as a sanity check.”Tim Crawford added that, “the CIO should be the one taking point on the cloud strategy. However, likely others within their org will be more engaged on the execution.” Tim reminds us, “Technology is a team sport. But, not everyone plays the same roles or speaks the same language.” Phil Bradham concurs that input from multiple disciplines should be in the plan.Josh Fidel breaks down ownership this way:Executives (CxO/VP) should set high level strategy based on desired outcomes.Management (Director/Manager) should define use cases to achieve those outcomes.Architects should help choose which cloud technologies and providers meet those use cases.Engineers should train for the chosen technology.Rob Steel also agreed that multiple business leaders should be involved in the process, in order to assure each department’s requirements are met.The benefits of a centralized cloud strategyFrom my perspective, it’s easy to see the benefits of centralizing your cloud strategy. It should help deliver better security postures, accelerate innovation, and improve service levels. You’ll likely see cost savings, too.Adam Post weighed in, “one of the primary downsides of a fragmented cloud strategy is the additional complexity required to both architect and maintain applications across platforms. Having a centralized strategy goes a long way toward addressing this.”Any fragmentation works against efficiency and drives down value, and cloud strategy is no different, as Tim Crawford observed. Matt Baker agreed that a fragmented strategy breeds complexity, drives up costs and slows down the organization.The struggles with creating a consistent cloud strategyGetting the entire organization to support a cloud strategy is key, Phil noted. Saying it’s important to share a clear explanation of the plan in business terms.“A barrier to consistency is commonly the difference in underlying platforms and the methods of interfacing with them. Some tools attempt to abstract away the differences, leaving a lowest common denominator of features. A common underlying platform avoids this,” says Adam.Ken said that he believes multi-cloud in the context of a single application is a myth, or possibly a trap. But Tim countered that most enterprises are using multi-cloud quite successfully.Shadow IT and internal delays were at the top of Josh’s list of challenges. Others chimed in about the struggles with other departments deploying applications without IT. But, Tim observed that transformative CIOs can find value in shadow IT.The Lift and Shift ControversyThe conversation shifted when I commented that I think lift and shift can still offer value, but absolutely agree that loud native and using HCI and API driven architectures on-premises is helping IT to deliver IaaS capabilities everywhere.This kicked off a spirited debate between our participants. Tim disagreed: He considers lift and shift only useful in specific use-cases with a very defined time frame. He doesn’t recommend making it a core strategy. But  Keith noted that this has been the historical use case for cloud.As a result of these approaches, Phil observed that companies are moving back to on prem to save money, and that the cost to run old architecture on the cloud was too expensive for many.Matt also added fuel to the fire with a controversial statement, “cloud is ALWAYS more expensive because renting assets is ALWAYS more expensive…However, that doesn’t mean Public Cloud isn’t critical and important.”I think where we landed on is cloud not done properly can limit the benefits of this model, and the idea cloud saves money is largely inaccurate. Mike says the cost narrative is only true if you treat cloud as a data center. This brings us back to the key strategy points:What do you need to run where?What are the economics for your organization?How can technology partners make it easier for IT to drive innovation with cloud?My thoughts were that technology partners must embrace openness and support customers on whichever cloud they need/want to run on. The idea of a single source for IT just doesn’t work in the as-a-service economy, because no one vendor has all the answers.Arjan Timmerman advised technology partners to “listen to the customer and sell them the product(s) they need, not what has the biggest profit.”Adam agreed, stating “partners should take the opportunity to help customers re-evaluate their requirements and be open to a change in approach, where it makes sense.”Tim echoed the other sentiments in the group: “Technology partners need to clearly understand their customer’s business objectives, challenges and current state,” he says.“We now need (trusted technology vendors) to help tell us how to solve business challenges. Public cloud enables businesses to do tech, vendors should enable IT to do business,” Keith concluded.Bonus RoundFor the bonus round, we asked: In organizations where developers or lines of business (LoB) units have led the charge, how can IT regain control? Eric Kavanagh suggests launching a Kubernetes instance and having an IT director take the lead.Josh Fidel sums up a winning strategy:Stop playing politics.Have conversations.Understand business needs from the views of the stakeholders.Work TOGETHER to find solutions.Consider the importance of what is already in place, and don’t try and move mountains overnight. Instead, build a sustainable cloud strategy that is staged to avoid undue risk or halting innovation.Make sure you join the 3/12 Cloud Native #CloudTweetChatDo you have a favorite cloud discussion topic? You can join the conversation anytime using #CloudTweetChat and tagging @DellTechCloud.Mark your calendar for the next #CloudTweetChat on 3/12 . Our topic is: Kubernetes and Cloud Native.You can follow @DellTechCloud for insights anytime for always-on insights and discussions on cloud.last_img read more

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Pennsylvania Moves Forward with Governor Wolf’s Plan to Control Methane and Other Air Pollution

first_imgPennsylvania Moves Forward with Governor Wolf’s Plan to Control Methane and Other Air Pollution Environment,  Press Release Pennsylvania took a step forward to reduce air pollution, including methane, from natural gas wells and pipelines with the approval of changes to the state’s air quality regulations. Guided by Governor Tom Wolf’s Methane Reduction Strategy, today’s action marks another step in the commonwealth’s efforts to address global greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.“Pennsylvania has seen major reductions in pollution since I came to office and our focus on increased reliance on clean energy, improved energy efficiency, and improved oversight of emissions of potent greenhouse gasses such as methane, have all been critical in helping to move Pennsylvania forward,” said Governor Wolf. “I am proud to announce that we’ve taken another step in implementing my Methane Reduction Strategy. The new regulations will help identify and prevent leaks from existing wells and infrastructure, while protecting the environment, reducing climate change, and helping businesses reduce the waste of a valuable product.”The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB), an independent board responsible for adopting environmental regulations, approved revisions to air quality regulations for existing oil and natural gas wells and pipelines. These regulations will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from well sites, pipelines, and other infrastructure.A part of the governor’s Methane Reduction Strategy, the updated emissions controls for VOCs will also reduce methane emissions, as the same control practices that prevent VOCs from escaping from natural gas infrastructure also prevent methane from escaping as well. The new regulations are expected to reduce VOC emissions by more than 4,400 tons per year, and methane emissions by more than 75,000 tons per year.“Both methane and VOC are precursors to the formation of ground-level ozone, a public health and hazard that contributes to asthma and other lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “In addition to addressing climate change, the regulation will improve air quality across the state, ensuring that all Pennsylvanians, including particularly young and at-risk residents, are protected from harmful air pollutants.”The new regulations would require oil and gas operators that produce above a certain threshold to use leak detection and repair (LDAR) equipment to identify (and fix) leaks, as well as use other equipment designed to reduce emissions.Methane is a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide and reducing methane emissions is critical to addressing climate change. The Wolf administration has taken several steps to combat climate change and protect Pennsylvania from climate disasters, including joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and directing DEP to draft regulations to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.A public comment period on the proposed regulations will open in 2020. After comments are considered, DEP will draft the final regulation for consideration by the EQB. The comment period will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and comments will be accepted through DEP’s eComment system. December 17, 2019center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Five-star Rasheem Green and four-star John Houston, Jr. sign with USC

first_imgIn the program’s first recruiting class since NCAA sanctions officially ended, head coach Steve Sarkisian has already produced what is considered to be one of the best classes in Trojans history. Green’s teammate, the 6-foot-3, 211-pound Houston, chose the Trojans over Miami, Oklahoma, Oregon and Arizona State. He was slated as the sixth best linebacker in the country by 247Sports and finished his three-year career at Serra with 413 tackles.  Marshall, out of local powerhouse Long Beach Poly, is expected to make his decision at 1 p.m. PST.  Should the Trojans land Marshall, USC’s 2015 class, which is currently ranked No. 2 behind Alabama by Rivals.com, could make a push for the land’s No.1-ranked recruiting class.  USC landed two more big commitments on 2015 National Signing Day when five-star defensive lineman Rasheem Green and four-star linebacker John Houston, Jr. signed with the Trojans on Wednesday. center_img Green, the No.23 national recruit according to 247Sports, chose USC over Miami and Pac-12 rivals Arizona State and Oregon.  The 2015 Under Armour All-America participant was also recruited by Martin. With the commitments of both Green and Houston now finalized, the Trojans are now only waiting on the decision of the nation’s best cornerback, in five-star recruit Iman Marshall.  The 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive tackle  recorded 47 tackles and 20 sacks during his last two seasons at Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, a widely known feeder-school for USC talent. He was recruited by recruiting guru and wide receivers coach Tee Martin and defensive line coach Chris Wilson. last_img read more

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