It all started with a Twitter from John Appleby
Which got responded by Steve Rumsby
I did not want to miss out on such a very good conversation and added my 5 cents of thought to it. I fully second the statement of John since it is really what makes most sense. Yet on the other side I have to agree with Steve that indeed “it isn’t that simple”. This shows that there is a very delicate line for many IT Managers and CIO between driving & adopting innovation and doing what is expected of them, keeping the lights on.
Keeping the lights on an maintaining SLA is probably not something that will drive big pay raises or promotions, yet failing them could be lever to loose the job, which clearly nobody wants.
John Reed has posted on posted a very interesting Blog CIOs in 2014 – disruptors or disrupted? He refers to the CIO study which has been conducted by IDC. There was one slide of the study that stuck me most and it was the 68% of the CIO state that they have difficulties to balance between operational excellence and innovation. There is clearly much more to the story than who has the better technology. It is not always the pure logic which drives decisions, after all we are all humans and have our very own agenda, needs, fears, POV etc.
The Twitter threat between John, Steve and then myself expanded and we got to some hard numbers.
There is little to argue about this point but the fact, which was been lined out by Steve, that most customers have already an existing infrastructure and the shift to the cloud is not perceived as being that simple. There are many questions which a customer needs to ask himself and he should be well advised on this as well. A customer has typically a large variety of systems in place which need to be running either on-premise or they could be in the cloud.
The great advantage of cloud besides its costs is really the simplicity. You can start with a minimum and scale based o your needs. There has to be always a first step and HANA is a great opportunity to take this first step.
Some IT Managers have told me that they view cloud with a certain scepticism since they feel it takes their power away. For many (probably the vast majority of the 68% mentioned earlier) the fact of being able to say I have XXX number of Servers and YYY number of people is still a status symbol on how important they are. Fact is that if they do not adapt they are doomed to facing difficult times. LOB will not wait for them to take a decision and provide a solution, they will simply move to the cloud which would then really be a risk.
As people who either sell or advise (or both) it is important that we keep in mind not only what are all the advantages of a solution we want to sell but also what could be the objections and the why of them in order to be successful. Empathy remains important in the time of real-time & cloud