When the business wants change so much that it's willing to go rogue on IT, is it misinformed, or justified? Consider this advice, CIOs.
Part Two: Therapy
Now I'm going to play therapist. Why does the line of business want change so much it's willing to create its own shadow IT organization? Is it because it hates enterprise IT? Does it think it can do a better job? Those would be pathological reasons. If we assume that it's rational, then what it should want is to raise profits and lower costs--to turn resources into value. That's what everyone should want.
There are two possibilities. Either it's going rogue because it's misinformed, or it's going rogue because it's justified.
Is it misinformed? There's no doubt that public clouds have privacy, governance, and lock-in concerns that the line of business might not be aware of. There's also little doubt that for a predictable, stable workload, the raw cost of on-demand computing is higher than owning your own machines because you're paying someone else's profit, and paying for variance--this is simply a function of Just-In-Time economics.
Is it right? It takes far too long to spin up internal resources--often longer than the lifetime of the application--and today's climate of experimentation exacerbates the issue.
But there's a much more fundamental reason this couple isn't talking: They're not using the same language.
The line of business thinks top-down, and it wants to go down as little as possible. It starts by saying, "I want a website for this promotion," and goes only as deep as it needs to.
On the other hand, the enterprise IT department thinks bottoms up, and it wants to go up as little as possible. It starts by saying, "You'll need three 4-core servers and 2TB of data, running Linux, for a month," and only goes up as high as it needs to.
When enterprise IT says it's building a cloud, it's using a bottom-up definition: machines available when you need them, paid for based on the technical resources (RAM, compute cycles, storage, bytes sent) consumed. Think virtualization, plus.
By contrast, when the line of business says it's using a cloud, it's describing a top-down definition: a functional piece of software that just works, paid for based on consumption, seats, or some other business metric. Think Salesforce, minus.
And this, right here, is the reason they want a divorce.
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application ManagementEnterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.