Cloud architecture and the digital maturity of an organisation

Read time 4min 10sec
ITWeb Data Centre Summit 2017

If you are a qualified end user in this market, your attendance is FREE. Register at annual ITWeb Data Centre Summit now, as seats are limited. Greg McDonald, plus many others, will present at this forum on 25 July 2017. Watch this space for the updated agenda.

ITWeb Events spoke to Greg McDonald, sales engineering senior manager, Dell EMC, about what he believes is digital maturity and how an application-focused transformation will determine an organisations cloud systems. His presentation at the ITWeb Data Centre Summit 2017 on 25 July will focus on three main points: why direct control over IT no longer makes sense; how to judge the digital maturity of your organisation and how mission critical, general purpose, and cloud native applications can run on Dell EMC's hybrid cloud platform.

ITWeb Events: What is cloud architecture - what does it mean?

McDonald: Cloud is a delivery model for technology. From a user perspective, it enables the delivery of applications without requiring much power at the end-point. This is why you can comfortably run a business application on your phone, since much of the heavy lifting is being done by cloud data centres.

Unlike traditional data centres, cloud architecture is very scalable and does so very quickly. A server could carry many virtual instances, or many servers can all power one large virtual instance. This flexibility is allowing the industry to build new and powerful applications - cloud-native applications.

Tie this in with high-speed networking and you have the complete cloud picture.

ITWeb Events: What are the pros and cons for organisations going through the transformative process that you speak of in your precis?

Greg McDonald, sales engineering senior manager, Dell EMC.
Greg McDonald, sales engineering senior manager, Dell EMC.

McDonald: Cons for adopting the cloud? I struggle to think of any. The spectre of cloud lies more in the journey to get there. Cloud gets rid of many barriers surrounding older technologies, such as high costs and operational encumbrance. There is also this misconception that cloud is a destination, and that it is an all-or-nothing proposition. Companies usually struggle making the transition because they don't understand their choices during the journey.

ITWeb Events: What are the current trends in the cloud when it comes to the data centre? Are these changes all positive?

McDonald: In the traditional IT model, organisations had no choice but to own their technology. Cloud turns the corner on that. This is challenging the traditions of licences, procurement, internal skills and much more. It resonates across the company - even dreaded Shadow IT is a direct consequence of cloud's power to deliver a service wherever to whomever.

We have also see hybrid-cloud discussions evolve incredibly as companies come to understand the lay of the cloud landscape. People no longer wonder if cloud is for them, but are trying to determine how cloud can make or break their strategies.

ITWeb Events: What does the digital maturity of an organisation have to do with making the move to the cloud?

McDonald: Some companies are so indebted to their legacy that they increasingly find cloud to be the only viable choice forward. The companies who have been investing a bit more diligently are finding the integration between cloud and their current systems to be less painful than first expected. I daresay the cloud journey is becoming quite obvious and natural to large swathes of the business world.

Yet digital maturity is still important. It will guide what you can get out of the cloud and how to set about its adoption into your business. Organisations aware of their digital maturity are better equipped to take ownership of their cloud strategies.

ITWeb Events: What are the three lessons learnt that you would like the attendees of DC2017 to take away with them from your presentation?

McDonald: Knowing one's digital maturity is important, because it will define just how quickly and effectively you can take advantage of cloud architecture, I aim to show attendees how they can determine this for their organisations.

Direct control over your IT is not the only or even best strategy on the table anymore.

Different business workloads, even critical legacy workloads, can be migrated to cloud environments such as the Dell EMC's Hybrid Cloud Platform.

ITWeb Events: Why is Dell EMC involved as a sponsor of the 2017 Data Centre Summit? What value will attendees gain from your presence at the event?

McDonald: Several years ago, when many were still on the fence or bearish about cloud, we spotted its potential and started developing solutions around it. We drove the hybrid cloud management message ahead of almost everyone else. The federation of companies inside Dell EMC is a Who's-Who of the forces shaping cloud and the modern data centre. I believe we have an obligation to be there, to hear from customers and match their expectations.

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