Journey to the Hybrid Cloud With David Lewerke and Stan Lequin

20 Mar 2017 by Technomics

We’ve heard of hybrid cars, hybrid golf clubs and even hybrid fruits. But the hybrid cloud has been making waves as the next best thing in IT infrastructure.

In this episode, we discuss what it takes to go hybrid and the things you should consider before making the move. Join us as David Lewerke and Stan Lequin, our two resident hybrid cloud pros, reflect on what things should stay on premises and what should be moved to the cloud.

Headshot of David Lewerke

David Lewerke

Director, Insight Cloud Architecture Services

With more than 20 years of IT experience, David’s team of cloud gurus leverage a powerful application-centric approach to help clients implement a winning hybrid cloud strategy.

Headshot of Stan Lequin

Stan Lequin

Insight Services VP

Stan currently oversees the consulting services and practice organizations for Insight. He previously served as the chief operating officer of Ensynch and was responsible for the day-to-day operations. In his current role, he has national responsibility and leadership of the consulting services and practice teams.

Audio transcript:

Episode 3 – Journey to the Hybrid Cloud

Published March 20, 2017

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Announcer: You're listening to Technomics. Connecting you to insights on digital transformation and the marketplace, with your hosts: Robyn Itule and Jeremy Nelson. The hosts' opinions are their own. Enjoy the show!

Robyn Itule: Welcome to Technomics, I'm Robyn Itule and here with me live, in the flesh, my cohost Jeremy Nelson.

Jeremy Nelson: I know it's hard to believe but I am back and I'm happy.

Robyn Itule: How've you been?

Jeremy Nelson: I'm doing great Robyn its awesome to see you.

Robyn Itule: You too, I've really, really missed you. What have you been doing lately?  

Jeremy Nelson: Lots of traveling, talking to lots of customers and really talking a lot around the topic we have today.

Robyn Itule: Well, do share.

Jeremy Nelson: Well, one of the things that's come up a lot in some of the conversations we're having with our clients is how do they embrace change, how do they deal with growth? And a lot of that has really turned into not just public cloud and public cloud consumption, but how do we leverage our existing on-premise investments and turn into a hybrid cloud environment.

Robyn Itule: Are people stressed out about that?

Jeremy Nelson: I don't think its more stressed out as it is excited for an opportunity to help embrace growth while reducing cost and internal IT teams.

Robyn Itule: There's sort of no down side there.

Jeremy Nelson: Not really.

Robyn Itule: Alright, to talk about all of the up sides with hybrid cloud today, we have two of our internal hybrid cloud gurus. And they will help, I was going to go with sherpa us up the hill, but I don't think sherpa is a verb.

Stan Lequin: I think we're too tall to be sherpas.

[Laughter]

Jeremy Nelson: Sherpad.

Robyn Itule: Sherpad?

Jeremy Nelson: I think it’s just the tense.

Robyn Itule: Is it a tense? By the way, this is not a grammar podcast. When my mom listens to this one, she's an English professor, she'll know that. So we have David Lewerke and Stand Lequinon from our services team. Gentlemen, welcome to Technomics. We're so delighted that you're here.

Stan Lequin: Thanks for having us.

D2: Yeah I appreciate it.

Robyn Itule: So we are talking about hybrid cloud today. It’s been one of those topics that the powers that be in the technology media have been saying this could be a major, major trend for 2016. Was that something that really panned out in the past year based on what you saw our teams working on and what you're hearing from peers in the industry?

Stan Lequin: Yeah, I'll go first, David you [inaudible] for this. You know I think it is trending definitely. But as far as being a big trend in 2016, I don't necessarily know if it was a big trend. I think it is going to be in 2017. So what we've seen is a lot of customers are stuck trying to make decisions on converge, hyper-converge, private cloud, public cloud. And they're really having a hard time trying to figure out what the best path is to move forward. So, there's a lot of interest in it. I can't say there's not one conversation that we've had around hybrid cloud that the customer wasn't extremely interested talk about it. We just haven't seen that break into actual project-based work outside of assessment and in a couple proof of concepts. What we have seen though over the course of 2016 is we've had a lot of conversations and we've probably had 50 conversations and I think we have maybe ten in-flight project that are on hybrid cloud. A lot of excitement about where hybrid cloud can take them and as we've helped customers realize at the investments they've already made in on-premise can be redirected through concepts like orchestration to create sort of a virtual environmental to a highly automated environment moving towards private cloud. And then we can help them extend that private cloud investment into the hybrid cloud. There's been a lot of excitement around that.

David Lewerke: I was just going to say, it doesn't quite solve world peace. The hype around hybrid cloud was huge and hybrid cloud itself is a very abused term and I think it was meant to solve everything in IT or at least it’s being positioned to. But it doesn't. There's a lot of momentum going forward and Stan is exactly right. I think next year is going to be where people really know how to start putting that to actual projects and then progress.

Robyn Itule: What did they have to do first? If those things didn't really get the tread underneath them this past year, what were organizations busy doing to make this 2017 cycle be the one that really gets things off the ground?

David Lewerke: On the hybrid cloud conversation, there was so much hype around it, but it was a lot of foundations. So like Stan was talking about, every conversation we have with our clients, every one of them is interested in it because they see the need for it. They want to know how to get there. But there's a lot of things you have to do foundationally to get prepped and one of them might be identity. You identities might be a mess frankly.

Robyn Itule: Boy that's existential.

David Lewerke: Yeah with murders acquisitions causing buying devesting [assumed] it can be a big blocker when you're trying to move forward right? Hitting your head against the wall at every turn. So there's a client we've had that conversation with and now we’re helping them solve that first, that's the foundation. And then the next year they're going to get into a lot of the automation.

Robyn Itule: Is that surprising for them when they find out that there’s that many steps to take before activating this stuff?

Stan Lequin: I don’t think its surprising them, I think they’re trying to get that order and get that reassurance that the right order to go trough is get your identity sound, get your roll based access control, let’s work through security, making security a part of every component of hybrid cloud. I think they know that’s all there, its just kind of knowing what steps to walk though and then having a partner who’s done that for the organizations in the past who can bring that confidence to them engage their business with what the right steps are, I think is a really critical component to it.

David Lewerke: Yeah I don’t think they’re surprised or shocked. I think that they’re actually kind of relieved that we’re calling it out because they suspect that these issues are out there. They know that its not that simple as what any vendor will tell you, “Hey just install our product, turn it on, configure it, and it works right?” Its not that simple so they know that there’s other things out there. So when they hear us kind of showing the pitfalls, I think it kind of confirms what they were thinking. And frankly it makes them feel a little bit more comfortable about it moving forward.

Stan Lequin: Yeah, so we talked about identity. So let’s just take a step back and talk about what we’re trying to do through hybrid cloud. So the speed of innovation is quicker than its ever been. So there was a concept of bi-mobile IT [assumed] or Dev Ops. What you want to do is have IT be a service provider to the business. And as they’re serving up those services to the business to consume, they can do it in a very easy and secure way. So in this example, let’s say David’s IT, I’m the cool business, and so let’s say we’re rolling out an application ofr our organization. In the past what would happen is I would reach out to IT and say I want to build out this application and we would do what’s kind of called ticket passing. And so David, as the IT guy, would work with his group and so there would be a storage group and they would take my requirements from what I needed and they would bill out to storage. They pass the ticket and then they go to the network group and then they build the network. They then pass the ticket to go to the compute group, they build and compute and etc.

David Lewerke: Then it would go back to the network because they need an IP address.

Stan Lequin: So it would go back and forth and during that time frame, I get pretty frustrated because its three to four months before I even have the environment for me to start building out my application. What then would happen is, I would just go look for alternatives. An alternative would be that I go to public cloud. I’d be able to provision that very quickly through portals and self-provisioning. And then you lose security around it, you lose control of it from an IT perspective. So that’s kind of what we ran into, where organizations are moving towards this Dev Ops concept. Where rather than connecting to a public cloud, I connect to my internal cloud, David’s built it out to be very friendly. And as a business I can provision those systems. Well when you’re provisioning those systems, its not only just the compute and the actual resources, but its also making sure that its secured and making sure that there is access to it properly. And identity is a massive part of that. And its no different than how we run our day to day lives with a thousand passwords to a thousand different systems. All of the same probably written on a notecard in a desk that no one will ever get access to.

Robyn Itule: I am a great abuser of the forgotten password link.

Stan Lequin: Are you, yes. And so we don’t want to quite do that in the corporate space. So having that clean identity, being able to provision access is a really critical provision to this. And the other side of it too is, if you provision access to systems at every single layer, then you also can control security. So if someone was to breach security, externally, and get into your environment, we’re not able to access those systems because they shouldn’t have access to it has stopped at the network level, then that creates an opportunity around security. So by using automation in these systems. Putting decisions in the business users, who needs to have access to it, and then doing it securely at all aspects of it automatically without user error, then by building out private cloud, we can add a substantial amount of security to it. So there’s such a large component to it, it really touches every aspect of IT from it, to what are your processes, what’s your run book, what are you doing around automation. What are you doing around identity. Provisioning access into and provisioning access outside of, what are you doing around concepts of single sign on. So as we’re building out these applications we can federate with our partners so they can control identity access into the systems, it’s a key component of it and I think people look at it and probably will go back and listen to what I just said and say, “That’s totally confusing.” I think people look at it the same way and go, “ I don’t even know where to get started.” And that’s really what we focus on through our assessments is helping them get a handle on here’s the steps and here’s the logical order you want to go through. And then stay and engage with them through that process.

Robyn Itule: Alright so there was a lot of interesting stuff that you said in there. And one thing that really caught my ear was this concept of being able to federate with our partners. This gets to an interesting and broader topic about the consolidation, merger and acquisition environment in the cloud space specifically. Where you have a lot of these born in the cloud companies that are being absorbed into other areas, better know, longer established IT brands. How is that kind of shape shifting in terms of what we’re doing to help create these hybrid environments?

David Lewerke: To me the identity issue is two sides. So on one side, you’ve got to figure out how to federate all your users or federate to the other applications that your user is consuming. And to Stan’s point, if you’re going to have sticky notes and post-its, that’s a huge security risk. And then its also highly inconvenient to the customers, to your end users. You said you’re a big fan of the forgot password link?

Robyn Itule: I said abuser, I didn’t say I was a fan.     

David Lewerke: Abuser, fan, big user how’s that? I hate it because what happens is you’re not supposed to use the same password but trying to remember every single one is very hard so many people do. And so you then choose the reset password and how many of us have done this right? Where the next one, oh wait, they need a capitol letter, they need an exclamation, its just a mess so you have all these iterations and variations. So it’s a bad user experience. So that’s the one part is, how do you provide your end users a consistent, seamless access. And so that’s where the single sign on and the identity provider through an IDP that is pluggable into all the other services, that’s where it makes sense.

Stan Lequin: So I think on the mergers and acquisitions side of it, cloud does provide an opportunity as you’re working through that sort of transformational process to get from A to B, you can use that as kind of a engram stab [assumed]. But along the same line sit creates some complexity and if you’re integrating an organization that is very cloud centric and you aren’t, obviously that creates some challenges as well. Some of the other interesting things we’re seeing around born in the cloud, we have a lot of clients that were born in the cloud and as their application or as their business grew, they didn’t forecast the cost associated with it right? So when we work with an organization, we look at work loads and we really take an application centric view of the world and then help them make decisions based on the applications that they run their business on. Should you retain this application, should you replatform it towards the cloud? Should you rehost it someplace else? Or is it an application that you should consider end of life and work on ramping down? And so what we’ve found is when we’re replatforming those applications, we writing them to be compliant to the concept platform as a service and there’s cost associated with that are lesser than if you’re just typically moving virtual machines from on premise to the cloud. And so we have a lot of born in the cloud companies that grew up in the cloud that are looking to move back. Replatform their application so there’s more cost effectiveness associated with it and then move it up to the cloud at a later date. With people moving up to cloud, moving back to the cloud, and with people replatforming their applications, there’s just a lot of opportunity for us to engage with our clients to go on this journey because there’s no one answer. Its so specific based on the individual organizations. From a merger and acquisition perspective, obviously identity is a big part of it, And so using that ass the catalyst and working to get your identity healthy. Use that as a catalyst and then build out, how are we going to take and ingest here whether it be cloud or on premise, wherever those applications are, and create sort of the best mutual result for both organizations is a tremendous opportunity to engage us around that.

David Lewerke: So the other thing around mergers and acquisitions though is that its not always about identity. Its also about the APIs. And its also about the processes as a team. So if you’re as a team, you’ve got this legacy infrastructure, you’ve probably tailored your processes around that and its probably not a good process. Its maybe been automated some but its clunky. So if you have a private cloud built out and you’re utilizing public cloud, if you’re building it right on the private cloud, you’re building it with APIs. They’re easily accessible. So now, that’s how you tie in your business processes with the technology. You make it more seamless.

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Robyn Itule: Don’t go away, we have some more coming at you on Technomics in just a minute.

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Jeremy Nelson: So with that application type of focus if you will, I imagine that its all about flexibility. So once you’re moving your applications in higher dependencies are, it just gives your IT infrastructure a lot of flexibility from a data center perspective. So we mentioned it from an M and A perspective but I imagine that there’s some implications or some possibilities to leverage that for disaster recovery as well.

David Lewerke: Exactly right, all of the hybrid cloud is all about portability, adaptability, scalability, flexibility, all the -ities, you’re absolutely right. And if you don’t have that, then you’re confined and its going to be difficult to maneuver.

Stan Lequin: yeah I think one of the things, so if you imagine you’re an IT organization so you have the complexities of your business changing and trying to meet business demands, mergers and acquisitions, trying to get your amenities managed [assumed], you have systems and applications that span virtual systems, physical systems, data centers, etc. So its pretty complex. So one of the things that we focus on through our assessment is we actually start to build out application groups, so an application might sit across 30 virtual machines and 10 physical machines that has databases associated with it. So I think one of the things our customers struggle on is really understanding the cost associated with moving the workload to the cloud. So its all based on usage. So how much storage are you using, memory are you using and CPU cycles et cetera. So I think one of the things that we did that’s really helpful for our clients is we map all that out for them. So we map out all the application groups, we say that consists of all these servers, here’s what your usage is associated with it and where’s what that cost would be moving that all across different cloud providers you want us to look at. Additionally as you start to move things into the cloud, whether it be software as a service; whether it be hybrid cloud and your application is hosted in the cloud. As you can imagine, there is a pretty big impact to your network. So that’s another thing that we do as well. We actually forecast what that impact is to your network as you start to move those applications up and as your communication paths change from internal to external is a big part of it as well. So I think by working with customers, its really about a road map and I can’t remember what the first questions was that got us on this path, but its all about having a roadmap. And so engaging with our clients to say we’re going to help build out that roadmap, we definitely understand some of the pinpoints you have, we’re can help you from an organizational perspective, we can help you from an operational process perspective, we can help sort of build those application groups. What it looks like to move those. And then how you can leverage your investments you’ve made and public cloud credits you’ve already bought from one of the providers as well as the infrastructure investments you’ve made in the past.

Robyn Itule: I told you I wouldn’t follow the outline.

Stan Lequin: No worries.

Robyn Itule: That was a warning right up front.

Stan Lequin: Well I think you tried to, we just took a left at St Lewis on the way to [laughter].

Jeremy Nelson: So one of the things that I really like that you just mentioned is that its not all about technology. There’s operational, there’s business changes that have to be made in order to fully embrace a hybrid type of a cloud architecture. The way that you spin up systems, the way that you look at applications. Have you guys had many conversations with leadership or other organizations where it wasn’t just a technology shift but it was an operational change?

David Lewerke: Yeah that’s a really good point. So we actually talk about people, process, technology. Technology is a piece of this but mostly its about people and process. So that’s what I think is really exciting about our assessment is that it has technology and it has tools as part of it to complete that assessment, but the bigger value is in how we wrap that and use that data from the tools to provide recommendations and how they need to refine their organization and their processes and of course, that’s where the application centered view point comes in. So I’ll give you an example, a digitized process for IT or how we can refine that, it may just be a simple use case, like work load provisioning. Standing up a VM and tearing it down. Life cycle right? And with one customer we’ve actually got it all automated except for the last step which is where security has to look at it and they take two days. We get the VM built and help them automate the whole thing in 20 minutes, but the VM sits for two days while the security team looks at it. And that’s just one thing where we’ve highlighted that process. There was a lot of other processes we were able to automate beyond that. There was an operational checklist that you get them to see the need for not needing to do that right. And so now you’ve helped them with that process and its not just about the technology certainly. The other thing in the assessment too is that the tool to help identify which apps belong and stay the same, which apps are running on which servers, but then we can actually add a layer of abstraction on top of it to say, if the customer thinks that these three apps are really part of one bigger app, we can take that into consideration. So now we can treat it at that second level where that app that’s really composed of three different software apps if you will, so SM executables maybe. We can treat it and provide recommendations on the higher level where it’s a roll up.

Robyn Itule: I want to stay on the business side of this conversation for a second because I think that’s where a lot of interest is and as you’re talking about making a migration to the hybrid cloud, business is going to hear dollar signs. Just like constant cha-ching. So one of the challenges that was really expressed pretty well in this right scale, state of the cloud survey that came out not too long ago is that cost is one of the major considerations in these projects. So how can the business mitigate cost exposure through cloud cost management.

David Lewerke: Well that’s a broad question, there’s lots of angles. I’ll take one of them and I’m sure Stan will take another viewpoint on it. So first, cost is always the number one driver because the CFO, the board, the CEO, everyone is expecting the IT teams, specifically the CIO and down, to say, “Hey cloud must be cheaper right? So that’s usually the driver.” And that’s not oftentimes the thing that makes it actually the business case. Now there certainly are ROI to be gathered on that and we obviously help with that, determine that and the TCO. But cloud sometimes, oftentimes is more expensive than private cloud infrastructure. So it becomes just a strategic move, something you have to do because it positions you well. It positions you to take advantage of business opportunities or like Stan was saying earlier, being more agile to the business and the requesters. Him being the cool business, me being the IT team. So when the cool business team is asking for more resources, I can provide them. And that’s just a business advantage. And then on the cost management side, that’s another dimension of this. You’ve got certainly show back charge, whatever model you might have employed, or might not right? But the point is, getting your hands wrapped around that cost and understanding it is a battle. It doesn’t actually get any easier when you go to cloud. It actually becomes a little bit more difficult because you have another variable to consider and that’s why I think its really important to partner with someone like Insight to help you understand that challenge.

Jeremy Nelson: So along that same lines, have you noticed in those business conversations you mentioned, allowing you to engage, or an opportunity to engage other people. I imagine that the elasticity that having that hybrid cloud, you’re able to use that consumption based infrastructure on an as-needed basis. Is that, have you seen that where that’s really kind of been some of that business driver, that’s helped drive some, shift people towards that hybrid cloud.

Stan Lequin: I think it’s a north star Jeremy that businesses want to move towards but there’s a lot of getting healthy before you kind of reach that north start right? And so I think that what David had said around the cost back show, back model was such a critical component of it. And so yeah, cloud is more expensive in certain use cases and it doesn’t make sense in certain use cases. And that’s kind of what hybrid cloud is all about. Its giving you the flexibility based on those specific use cases and then be able to show the cost associated with it back to your users, so they can actually make those decisions based on where the infrastructure goes. So the world that we’re trying to drive towards is you have a private infrastructure that spans your private cloud, your public cloud, its secure, identity is easily managed through it, you connect to a single pane of glass and have provision of service and based on the characteristics of that service, you determine the costs on premises and the costs in the cloud and you see the benefits associated with that. And so that’s kind of what we’re driving to kind of the north star. Around the elasticity component of it, a lot of that has to do with your applications being written to take advantage of that. So when we think of public cloud and we got on this a little bit earlier, we have the infrastructure component of it which is I’m just going to move my workloads up there. A lot of times that’s not cheap or you still need to patch it, you still need to manage it. So in some use cases its very applicable and can kind of help navigate that. That’s a key component, customers going on this journey. But essentially its like a platform where you no longer have to learn about the specific infrastructure, you’re writing your applications to be compliant to that platform. And when it needs extra resources, its automatically, dynamically ramps those up. When it doesn’t need those resources, it ramps those back down. I think that’s the true sort of game that you get around it. So there’s really a couple sort of north stars that we’re marching towards. One is to give you that ability to see the cost on premises and in the cloud and make those decisions. The second one is to say okay, we’re going to replatform our decisions to take advantage of elasticity.

David Lewerke: I’m going to add onto that. The replatforming of the applications is a great technology or way to tackle the technology, but this is where I need to go to your point, its become agile. This is where processes come into play. I’ll give you an example. If you’re looking as a team where you need to be able to process large amounts of data, we can write the technology to scale that up and down whether it’s in the private cloud or public cloud. That’s not actually that hard. What’s more difficult, and where I think we’re passionate about and want to focus on is working with the business to say what triggers that?  Why do I need to process that data more? And an example might be that maybe as part of the business process where they’re doing financial calculations and they have to process large amounts of data that might appear overnight, they have to then scale up overnight to do the number crunching and then scale it back the next day. And that might be the trigger. So what we want to help them do is also automate and extend that process so that we can see when all the data arrives, import that data, scale it up, crunch it, reduce it, and that’s kind of the intellectual property or the extra glue if you will that helps us refine our processes.

Robyn Itule: We have a little more coming right up.

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Robyn Itule: I’m really hearing some very strong identity themes that come out of this. To move ahead on public or private or hybrid cloud, you really have to know who you are or what you’re doing.

David Lewerke: You’re giving me an identity crisis. Bad joke sorry.

Robyn Itule: Yeah its okay, I know you were waiting on that one.

David Lewerke: Yeah I was.

Stan Lequin: He actually wrote it down on his paper. Underlined it six times.

David Lewerke: Identity crisis.

Robyn Itule: But same too with cloud in general. I think there’s a big perception out there that cloud means leaner, faster, better, cheaper. And that is not necessarily always true depending on how you are using different kinds of applications in your organization, what those processes are, who the people are supporting it, and how your built to run. Does it run faster to scale up overnight if you just go cloud, externally speaking. And I think that that’s something that’s really, really central here. Its not just this kind of very lean plug and play Op Ex mentality that you just put into motion. There’s a lot that you have to understand about who you are on the inside to make this work.

Stan Lequin: Yeah I mean there definitely is and on the other side there is more complexity to it but applications go through a different lifecycle and so perhaps developing the application on-premises, move that application up to the cloud as it starts to scale out and expand. There’s a lot that kind of goes into it as applications move through their lifecycles as well. So that’s why you see a lot of companies that are embracing the concept of hybrid cloud. Because it gives you the best of both worlds. I think that you r first question was has 2016 been the year of hybrid cloud? It hasn’t been, definitely been the year about hybrid cloud hype. Ultimately I feel pretty passionately that that’s the right place to go for organizations. Based on their size and unique business requirements and I think that’s why we’re going to see 2017 be that year. But yeah you’re 100% right. Each application has different requirements. Each business has different requirements and I think cloud provides a lot of cost benefit if leveraged the right way.

David Lewerke: I would almost call it bigger, better, faster, more in the sense, to quote 4 Non Blondes. You don’t like 4 Non Blondes?

Stan Lequin: No I love 4 Non Blondes.

David Lewerke: But I don’t like the more part because it implies more cost. That’s not necessarily true. I look at it bigger, better, faster, more because it enables you to do more with the same. So kind of like that PC that you spent 1,600 dollars for back in the 90s, is still 1,600 dollars, but you can do so much more with it. I don’t know that cost isn’t going to necessarily get less, but you have so much more opportunity to take advantage of it. You can certainly go less and spend less if you want, but there’s just a lot of opportunity to do more with what you have.

Robyn Itule: So that really leads me into the closing question which is, to make it simple for people as they’re putting their eye son hybrid cloud because there’s been so much hype around it. If you’re doing this with the intention to modernize your IT infrastructure, is this the right way to go? And what is the first step on that journey.

David Lewerke: I’m passionate about this question. So maybe. Is it the right way to go? Maybe.

Robyn Itule: That is so clear.

[Multiple conversations]

David Lewerke: Its not a lukewarm maybe, it is a strong, it depends.

Stan Lequin: Would you up that to depends?

David Lewerke: I’ll up the ante to depends. No here’s what it is. Hybrid cloud is absolutely right and I’m passionate about that. Hybrid IT is also right. So the hybrid cloud is developing all the cloud capabilities on-premise as well. So you can have all, well except the massive, massive scale of Azure or AWS or Google. But you’re bringing in all the automation and all the capabilities and making that seamless between what is on-premise and what is on cloud. If you develop a cloud first strategy, then now the question becomes, what do I do with all that legacy stuff that I have. Well it may not make sense, and this is why the depends and the maybe, It probably doesn’t make sense to move absolutely everything that you have in your data center over to a private cloud. Some of your applications, Stan’s point, they have a lifecycle. And you know they’re going to expire. So why move those. You don’t probably need to move those. In fact, if you do, you’re probably spending time and energy on something you don’t need to. Maybe more cost both in your resources and in opportunity costs, what you didn’t tackle during that project. So that’s why I think its really important to go through this assessment. And partner with someone like Insight to help you understand what makes sense to move now, what makes sense to move 12 months from now, maybe 24. What makes sense to just retire it all together. Because you’ll never do that. You’re going to be in a hybrid IT mode where you maintain the legacy environment. You’re going to be maintaining a new hybrid cloud. And you don’t have to replace absolutely everything in your data center with brand new gear. Brand new automation and convert everything. That’s really the maybe and the depends right? That’s what I’m passionate about.

Stan Lequin: Well I think there’s some more complexity into it. So the key component is looking at what the refresh cycles are. What investments you’ve made, how you can run those investments out is a big part of it as well. So looking at new applications that someone’s looking to bring into the organization, sort of saying okay, can we do it as software as a service? Is this something we’re writing that we’re going to leverage. I mean I think that’s definitely kind of where the mentality needs to be.

David Lewerke: Exactly, And not only do we help with determining what to do to Stan’s point there. But we’ll do the actual dirty work of creating the automation, creating the platform, standing up your private cloud, standing up your public cloud, getting everything moved. But we’ll also help with the enterprise strategy. So helping you develop this overall strategy that says, how do I tackle this in the first place. And then of course, at even a lower and in the middle there is understanding the assessment of which apps to move first and why and where and when.

Jeremy Nelson: Or even understanding that you have an application lifecycle. I mean how many places don’t even know that.

David Lewerke: Yeah that’s actually very common. They know there’s a very important app and they have no idea what’s connected to it and how its running.

Jeremy Nelson: Yeah having been on the inside of a few of those assessments, kind of boots on the ground. We’ve found applications that just weren’t even eligible. We actually did the due diligence and we looked at it. And we had to kind of have that conversation of this application can’t move and here’s why. Because of that lack of life cycle and cloud first kind of thinking.

Robyn Itule: So Stan, I don’t know if you realize that you did this several times in the conversation and it was awesome, you’ve followed up these great questions by saying I don’t want to introduce any more complexity into this but. It was great, they were so good. The answers were really fantastic and I’m glad you made it more complex because I think that it’s a really important point in all of this is to understand there’s some real nitty gritty here. Its not flipping a switch.

Stan Lequin: Yeah without a doubt and its tough too. You sort of see the industry experts that say hey, this is kind of where cloud is going, this is where everyone is going, you need to get there. Its just not that simple. And so, the good news is that misery loves company, so a lot of folks are working through these same sort of decision points and a lot of organizations are. But there’s definitely a path that you can get there and obviously be remised if we didn’t plug ourselves a little bit. I think David got a couple plugs in there. I mean we can obviously help.

David Lewerke: I think you’re still up on me by a couple.

Stan Lequin: But yeah, you’re 100% right it is complex. And I feel bad at introducing more complexity to it.

Robyn Itule: Don’t at all. Didn’t we establish very early on that the clients and customers we were talking with really appreciate that they feel like there’s this stuff underneath the surface of that promise of just get it to the cloud.

Jeremy Nelson: IT Nirvana?

David Lewerke: On the complexity side, it is a complex topic, but that’s our entire objective, is to reduce the complexity on it. Because on the other side of the tunnel, the other side of that journey, the whole point is to make everything loosely coupled. Modular. It is interesting because proprietary is no longer, that was actually something that was important years ago. If it was proprietary, it was awesome. If it was complex it was worth more. And that’s not the case anymore. You have to make it loosely coupled. You have to be able to, that’s the whole point of portability and agility is it has to be loosely coupled. So that’s the whole point.

Stan Lequin: I do think, so David and I get the benefit of meeting with a lot of clients which is by far the best part of our jobs. All sizes from large enterprise organizations, several hundred thousand people to organizations of 2,000 people. And when we meet and we have conversations around the hybrid cloud journey, how we see the world, don’t worry you didn’t paint yourself into a corner based on investments you just made. By using concepts of making it modularized by throwing in automation on top of what you already have and then helping them along that journey. You can actually see people sort of relax and then they start to bring us into conversations with their business counterparts to kind of articulate the story and where they’re going. So I think you hit it perfectly and sorry about my sort of joke of making your answer better because it was perfect. There is definitely that ability to remove that complexity and I’ve seen just as we’ve started to engage with clients, them feel really confident about the journey moving forward with getting that validation.

Robyn Itule: Alright David, Stan. Delightful to have this conversation with you. Jeremy, always good to..

Jeremy Nelson: Its good to be back. I need to be here for more.

Robyn Itule: Yes you do, you certainly do because what if I get a cold? And I can’t talk?

Jeremy Nelson: That’s right, exactly. I need to be your backup, disaster recovery. I am your hybrid cloud. Thank you for listening to Technomics. If you want to find more episodes, you can download the podcasts from iTunes, Google, or your favorite podcast provider. And, for more stories on intelligent technology, visit www.insight.com.

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