This guest post was authored by Steve Chambers
In the snowy mountains of Davos last year, the World Economic Forum held their meeting of the great and the good. Fear not if you couldn’t afford the ticket (rumored to be tens of thousands of dollars) because you can subscribe to the content on YouTube. One of the best panels I saw was this on The Digital Transformation of Industries.
In that Davos 2016 session you’ll see Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, talk about “Speed is the new currency of business” and the panel talk about “rewiring the organization” and “increasing the organization clock speed”. They talk about executive struggles with moving to a digital culture and the panelists cover consulting, health insurance, banking, metals industry and cloud.
Our customers are faced with this “need for speed” and they also have to balance this with their organization’s need for resiliency: how can they provide digital applications on-demand with high uptimes and responsiveness?
Nutanix has a lot of experience helping customers balance competing priorities such as speed and resilience. We do this by helping customers identify the right cloud solution and take care of people and process aspects.
These are the five ways that we help customers achieve full speed ahead with the Enterprise Cloud:
- Do Your Enterprise Cloud Research
- Leverage Hyperconvergence In An Enterprise Cloud
- Overcoming Resistance to Enterprise Cloud
- Rewire Your Organization for Enterprise Cloud
- Focus on User Needs
1. Do Your Enterprise Cloud Research
You don’t need to take the word of the panelists at Davos that speed is the new currency of business. Here’s just a small selection of the available research from high-level executive insight down to practitioner-level guidance:
- Boston Consulting Group talks about how the multispeed digital word is disrupting banking.
- The RightScale State of Cloud Report 2016 reveals that speed to market and access to infrastructure increases with Enterprise Cloud.
- Forrester identifies ten critical success factors for customer obsessed winners.
- Puppet State of DevOps 2015 Report on what a high-performing organization does.
- The Role of Continuous Delivery in IT and Organizational Performance because the gap between applications and infrastructure is vanishing.
The kind of data you’ll get from doing such a survey is answers to questions like:
- Where are we on the Enterprise Cloud journey?
- How do we compare to the 1000+ enterprises in the RightScale report?
- What are our challenges for Enterprise Cloud?
2. Leverage Hyperconvergence In An Enterprise Cloud
If you spend 70% of your time keeping the lights on, then you will not succeed with Enterprise Cloud. You need to use underlying infrastructure that is simple to plan, provision, remediate and upgrade. The operational envelope for infrastructure has to shrink to allow staff to shift focus up the stack.
In 2016, Nutanix set a new standard for the Enterprise Cloud platform with performance, choice, and, simplicity.
An IDC report revealed the business benefits of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform:
The findings were that Enterprise Cloud Platform based on a hyperconverged infrastructure freed up staff to focus on the business, flipping the usual maintenance vs innovation metrics:
Most of our customers find that they are doing far more projects for their business units, spending a majority of their time working on the core business, and have become enablers rather than a hindrance.
These are the kind of findings that aren’t just important in deciding whether to progress with Enterprise Cloud or not: they are also useful tools to overcome resistance along the journey.
As the IDC report shows, Nutanix can help shape the business outcomes for Enterprise Cloud.
3. Overcoming Resistance to Enterprise Cloud
Even if the research shows that there is an opportunity for you to “do” Enterprise Cloud, everyone hits speed bumps that slow them down.
An article in ReadWriteWeb succinctly reduced these to four barriers, which are common to many technology adoption programs. They happened with virtualization in the early 2000’s, it happened with resistance to hyperconvergence, and it happens with cloud:
- Overcome the Fiefdom Syndrome with a multi-disciplinary Tiger Team.
- Break free of Analysis Paralysis with a small, focused SWAT Team reporting to Executive.
- Dissolve Legacy Obstinacy by focusing on the data, the user needs, the case for Enterprise Cloud.
- Change Habitual Inefficiency by putting the spotlight on current working practices and test if they meet new user needs.
Nutanix Services can help identify and overcome these non-technical barriers to Enterprise Cloud because they have experienced them in other organizations and helped develop methods to help overcome them.
4. Rewire Your Organization for Enterprise Cloud
At Davos 2016 there was a lot of talk about “rewriting the organization” because digital is a disruptor to all businesses. But how do you move to a new mode of operations when you have a big enterprise working in an existing mode?
The Gartner Bimodal IT model has supporters and detractors, but it does represent the “fear” that CIOs have. On the one hand, they don’t want “fashionable” practices such as Agile touching their bank reconciliation systems. But equally, they like the speed and robustness of lean DevOps and want to apply it across the business.
This is emotive beyond the CIO because people fear being left behind in “Mode 1”, leading some commentators to refer to Bimodal as Snake Oil and “cultural poison.”
An alternative model of how to rewire the organization is the “tri-modal” model that Simon Wardley succinctly describes. Recognizing that people and groups have personalities and capabilities, this model aligns those capabilities to the evolutionary phases of a product.
This model has a correlation with the evolved Enterprise Cloud in that if you release a half-finished product (Pioneers) to the enterprise (Town Planners) and skip the steps in between (Settlers) then it is unlikely to work: Enterprise Cloud has to evolve, and this is demonstrated by the discover, alpha- and beta-program phases that organizations such as AWS and UK Government Digital Service use.
5. Focus on User Needs
When an enterprise organizes itself into silos, people can lose sight of the real customer. The real customer is the outside entity who has a relationship with the business and buys products from the business. The real customer is not another enterprise team. This false sense of customer is what causes problems in enterprises as teams optimize themselves towards each other and away from the real customer.
The Nutanix Services organization can help you create and evolve an Enterprise Cloud in the same manner as the UK Government Digital Service introduces new services, in this case merging it with the Pioneers, Settlers, and Town Planners model.
- Discover who your users are (and are not), understand their needs and engage them in the service development.
- The Pioneers should test early versions of the Enterprise Cloud with invite-only users in an Alpha program.
- As the Enterprise Cloud evolves, pass it on to the Settlers who can run a Beta program with invited users to produce the finished article.
- Pass the working Enterprise Cloud to the Town Planners who will run it live and industrialize it.
Call To Action
If speed is the new currency, then Enterprise Cloud can be the new engine for your enterprise. Instead of trying to eat the elephant in one bite, break down what you need to do into these five chunks. Engage Nutanix Services to learn from their industry-wide know-how and turbo-charge your Enterprise Cloud.
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