The Midsized Enterprise and the Cloud

Modern trainEarlier this week I was invited to Orlando to speak to a number of c level technology executives about the cloud, the impact on their business and what they were doing.  These businesses were all classified as companies with revenues between $100 million and $1 billion. All in, I met with about 100 CIO across 4 different sessions and our discussions were around virtualization, cloud, byod, mobile device management and a number of other topics and I thought I’d share my thoughts in this blog post to help other businesses as they move towards the cloud.

  1. Everyone’s doing it – Today everyone is using the cloud, whether they realize it or not in some fashion they’re using the cloud.  The cloud can be loosely defined as IT resources hosted outside your internal organization.  If you buy web hosting, you have a workload in the cloud.  Because of this people are no longer fearful of the cloud.
  2. Consolidation of workloads and agility – Virtualization about 90% of the businesses I spoke to were virtualized today but still had a portion of their infrastructure not virtualized.  What was interesting is that Intel provided a stat that (was something like) about 30% of the infrastructure isn’t virtualized it runs about 4% of the business workloads and accounts for roughly 70% of the infrastructure costs. 
  3. Motivation behind virtualization – The reason these companies virtualized is because it provided them agility, they are able to respond to business needs for IT resources in a much faster manner.
  4. Self-Service cloud – A big component of moving to cloud based infrastructure, like Infrastructure as a Service and windows cloud servers is to provide self-service for your end users. Although almost all of these companies were already virtualized and well on their way to cloud, few provided self-service.
  5. Breaking down silos – In the past you’d find your development/engineering teams and your IT operations teams were often siloed and separated.  DevOps is the concept of developers and operations working closely together.  Self-service cloud allows the IT organization to provide the developers the ability to be self sufficient and spin up the servers they need as they need and spin them down just as easier.
  6. It’s not just about the web – our customers when deploying cloud servers are deploying workloads that are not webcentric. It used to be just managed website hosting is all you used your service provider for but today we have clients using our infrastructure for the websites, their mission critical line of business application, their fileservers, their hosted desktop, business continuity and disaster recovery. You name it and if it runs on a server in a datacenter somewhere it can just as easily be run in a cloud.

But the one reason that stood out to me was probably the most often overlooked.  The cloud allows a business, regardless of their size, to be competitive.  It used to be that this type of next-generation computing that powers a cloud was only available to large companies and that you had to spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to deploy this type of power.  Large companies leveraged this as their competitive advantage. 

With the cloud, the competitive field is leveled.  A small business has the same tools and resources available to them as the large organization has.  I’ll give you a great example, our latest cloud cluster would cost in the neighborhood of $500,000 if you were to go out and stand it up on your own.  We’re talking redundant 10 gigabit networking, latest generation servers with the latest generation processors, each server has more memory than you probably have disk space in your laptop and a SAN that is so cutting edge that it delivers exponential performance and capacity over anything else we’ve seen!  Do you have to spend $500,000 to run your workloads on this type of infrastructure?  Nope! It’s just a little more than $2.00 a day.  In fact, it’s like being a small delivery company that used to use two men and a truck to move their boxes and now they have entire freight train line at their disposal .. for the same price!  That’s power, it’s here, built for you and ready for you to take advantage of.  Your IT resources should no longer be a hindrance to your business because of the cloud, in fact the companies that will succeed are those that will leverage the cloud effectively!

If you’ve got a workload that you’d love to move to the cloud but aren’t sure how, I encourage to open up a dialog with one of our account managers and they’ll work together with our engineers to help you find a path to move to the cloud.  The cloud, it’s not just for billion dollar enterprises!

About the Author

Jess Coburn

It's Jess's responsibility as CEO and Founder of Applied Innovations to set the direction of Applied Innovations services to ensure that as a company we're consistently meeting the needs of our customers to help drive their success. In his spare time, Jess enjoys many of the things that made him a geek to begin with. That includes sexy new hardware, learning new technology and even a videogame or two! When you can’t find him at the office (which admittedly is rare), you’ll likely find him at the grill or in front of his smoker getting ready for some lip-smacking ribs to enjoy with his wife and two kids.

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