It’s an interesting discussion in the second episode of the Jody & Steve Show about the challenges and differences in adopting Microsoft Azure Cloud.
TIMELINE / KEY POINTS:
00:28 – Jody explains what he meant about the message of the Cloud being tied to a marketing effort.
02:29 – Find out how Steve felt about moving to Azure.
04:08 – Jody takes a look at the Cloud platform and what he thinks about it.
04:45 – Find out what pissed Steve off about moving to the Cloud.
05:39 – Jody talks about how the Cloud can do incredible things for your business
READ THE TRANSCRIPT
Voice-over: The following program contains subject matter and language that might be disturbing to some moving to the Cloud decision-makers that have bought into the marketing hype that Cloud will solve all your business needs. Viewer discretion advised. Now, from the ThinClient studios, it’s the Jody & Steve Show.
Steve: Jody, you talked about the message of the Cloud being tied to a marketing effort. What did you mean by that?
Jody: It’s interesting. If you think about marketing right there, there’s two key components, what’s the message and who’s the message delivered at. If you tie that to the trends that we’ve seen in the past, like VDI, I mentioned before. VDI was marketed to the IT community. It wasn’t really marketed to consumers. It was too complex, really, for that comprehension.
If you look at Cloud marketing, it’s entirely different. The message is, number one, it’s extremely powerful and enables your business to really have unlimited potential. They’re right about that, that’s accurate. Who the message is directed at is where and herein lies the problem. That message is directed at the consumer level. It’s directed at non-technology focused people. The gap within organisations, it’s getting closer. With regards to IT, the gap at organisations is still vast between business executives and IT executives.
Steve: I see, and the technology people.
Steve: It’s sort of like the consumerization of IT on steroids.
Steve: We saw that everyone can relate to a smartphone and an iPad, and how that makes you productive, and now let’s focus that at the datacenter.
Jody: Yes, and it’s inherently that message inherently for people is simplicity. They’re not saying that necessarily. As a CIO of a physician’s network, great example, had 150 doctors that came to me on a regular basis and said, “Hey, I can get my home network up in a second and not have any problems.” That was great performance. Why can’t you do this here? It’s the same concept.
Steve: It really is interesting. Well, I saw this coming. Actually, it was through some of our deep discussions about two years ago that really gave me the momentum to jump into the Cloud and really learn it. When I want to learn something, I jump in whole heart. I took a giant pitcher of Cloud Kool-Aid, and I mixed it up and drank the whole thing. I took all my gear in our office and in our test lab and donated it to the rest of my crew as a lab at a datacenter, and moved our production environment to Azure.
Man, this has been a dive down the rabbit hole. I don’t even know where to begin. You laughed, you cried, you laughed, you cried. You were afraid, you were happy. Big, big turns in the road. The short version is that I bring to this 25 years of expertise and design architecture, really making the business express what it is they want and turning it into solution. I went with this like, “Okay, I got the marketing message, it’s going to be a subscription. We’re going to sign on and be able to do things.”
Honestly, you could be nothing further from the truth. We talked about in the last segment the defaults for building things are completely insecure and unmeasured. The conclusion, when you jump in and you run up your credit card, and you waste a bunch of money and go, “Wait a minute, all my stuff’s available from the outside.” You start over and you realise that the move to an Azure is actually a datacenter migration.
It’s just like a building that you have to start by putting in power and network. They’ve done the power, they’ve put the network in, but you have to define those networks. You have to define a security model, you have to provide a firewall. The natural inclination for IT people is they expect that to be there. I thought, “Cloud, awesome, I subscribe. I’m going to have security, and servers, and backup.” You don’t get any of that. You get some resources, and you got to build the rest.
Jody: When you look at Cloud platforms, it’s not a whole lot different in the marketing message, even in the capabilities message. What I mean by that is when you look back in the history of Exchange, Microsoft always intended true backup and recovery to be a part of a third party tool, outside of core component of Exchange. They didn’t change that methodology or that approach when they created Office 365, but inherently, because the message seems to be inherently simple, everyone assumes that Office 365, Mail and OneDrive is backed up.
Steve: Let me tell you the truth. It pissed me off because as I went through this journey of studying, learning, testing, running my credit card up learning how much it really cost, bringing some early customers on, it made me angry because I felt like they were saying something that wasn’t true, but that’s maybe a little harsh. It sounds like, really, they’re just implying it’s easy because it’s easy to buy.
It’s easy to buy a subscription, take out your credit card, setup your bank account, and start buying. They didn’t really lie, they just didn’t mention what it’s really going to take to be successful.
Jody: It’s like omissions, right?
Jody: Is it the same thing? I don’t know. Depends on the situation, maybe. It’s brilliant from a business perspective. The message is inherently simple. They’re not saying it’s simple, but the reality is the power of that platform is incredible. It’s something we’ve never seen before. What it can allow our business to do is absolutely incredible, but we’ve got to be wise about how we approach it. We’ve got to go in with eyes wide open.
Eyes wide open means, you still need to do all the things that you’ve always done. You need to take control of your own security. Great example of that is identity. If you don’t have a solid identity strategy today, and you’re on a private On-prem datacenter, private Cloud, you can mitigate that risk to a large degree with perimeter security. It’s really no longer the fail proof, but you can mitigate that. If you take that same lack of strategy into a Cloud platform, you’re in trouble. You’re absolutely exposed, instantly.
Steve: That’s the thing I see, is your instinct and training that you may have had for ten, twenty, thirty years lead you to approach it in a way that’s not ideal in the Cloud. We come with assumptions, if you’re a VMware guy or Citrix guy, you assume there’s a network, you assume there are subnets, you assume there’s a firewall. You don’t start at that point in the Cloud, so you really have to bring it.
Steve: You’ve also talked about you don’t need any help and you’ll be successful if funds are unlimited. We have unlimited time, and security’s not a problem. Besides that, it’s no problem, but it is the same things. That was what kind of irked me as a consultant, is I want in with an open mind, thinking, “All right, the world’s changing. Now, I’m just going to guide my clients to the magic Cloud.”
When I got there, I found out it requires everything we’ve always been doing. You have to design the network, a security model, all the VM layouts, storage. The worst part is the calculators they provide are not comprehensive. They aren’t actually correct.
Jody: Calculators are interesting. They can come to whatever conclusion you want them to create. At the end of the day, what they’re trying to do is market the ability to rapidly and inexpensively create infrastructure. They’re providing manual to your point that changes on a regular basis, but the base manual give you all the information you need, but nobody does anymore. It’s many, many pages. It’s lots and lots of reading.
Steve: It’s way easier to click next.
Jody: Absolutely. It’s interesting, things are changing very, very rapidly, and will continue to change. This is where, I think– and I might get in trouble for saying this, but I think the younger generation is used to things being easier than they are. I think that’s where experience from consultancy that have been doing this for a while to your point. It’s all the same disciplines. Applying it in a slightly different way, really, can enable an organisation to take the best advantage of Cloud, keep their cost to a minimum. At the end of the day, nothing has changed in this respect. You have any project, time, cost, quality. Pick two. You can’t have the best of all three of those.
Steve: We’ve talked about and identified some of the challenges and differences in adopting Microsoft Azure Cloud. Now, in the next video, we’re going to get into what you can do with it.
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ABOUT JODY ELKINS
President- Americas at Insentra
Jody is an experienced business leader who is known throughout the information technology industry for setting new standards for how business is done. A strong proponent of Steve Farber’s Leap (Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof) concept, he believes that organizations should be equally focused on both the client experience and the employee experience.
During his career, Jody has successfully built high-performing teams and developed company cultures that bring people from all levels and backgrounds together, working toward common goals. He has also established a strong reputation for building companies to exceed the $50M+ revenue mark.
Prior to joining Insentra in 2016, Jody served as Vice President and Managing Director of a well known and respected channel partner in the US where he promoted the ongoing investment in the support structure and processes that ensure employees have the bandwidth, sales and technical expertise to deliver exactly what the client needs.
During his tenure there, the organization was recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of Orange County’s “Best Places to Work” in both 2013 and 2014. Other accolades the company received include recognition as one of the Orange County Business Journal’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies” for 2013. The company was also recognized by a leading software vendor as its North American “Partner of the Year,” and as one of its “First Achievers” in attaining “Specialist” status.
Jody began his career more than two decades ago selling Unix “turnkey” systems developed for businesses that focused on the HVAC/Electrical Contracting and Steel distribution industries. Prior to joining Agile360, he held a number of roles including CIO at Oregon Medical Group, IT Consultant at Global Entertainment, CIO at Capital Title Group (CTG), Vice President of IT at New Century Title Company (a CTG subsidiary), and Regional IT Manager at Old Republic Title Company.
ABOUT STEVE GREENBERG
President, Thin Client Computing
Founder of Thin Client Computing, a leading provider of advanced Citrix virtualization solutions to progressive Enterprises. A pioneer and innovator in advanced deployments of Citrix technologies he has been active in remote computing and virtualization since 1992. Recent clients include American Express, Mayo Clinic, PetsMart, Scottsdale Community College and Cox Communications.
Mr. Greenberg is a popular public speaker who has presented at Synergy, Geek Speak Live! and BriForum. He has published white papers, research studies and informational articles and has received both the Microsoft MVP and Citrix CTP awards.