When I was a pre-sales engineer at Mercury (before the HP acquisition), we had coined an acronym called BTO, or Business Technology Optimization. BTO essentially defined a new category of products and services that helped align IT and IT Operations with the needs of the business. Mercury got acquired by HP soon after, which caused this category to be lost in the shuffle but I think it was right on. IT departments today spend millions of dollars on software and services to solve complex IT challenges. Too often they lose sight of IT’s intended function: Solving business problems with technology in a cost effective manner while fostering innovation and maintaining a competitive edge. Instead what happens is:
- Business problems are solved by IT, but not cost effectively
- The wrong business problem is solved
- The problem never gets solved
As a result of these challenges, I have seen both IT and the business look to the cloud to help align the business with technology. What the cloud allows an organization to do is focus on solving the business problem instead of spending efforts on trying to design, develop, deploy, and manage the solution. A perfect example is CRM deployment. While at Mercury, I spent countless hours helping organizations implement massive CRM systems from SAP, Oracle, Siebel (when they were independent), and others. Then along came Salesforce.com who dramatically changed the CRM landscape. Recent estimates give Salesforce.com roughly 14% of CRM market share at the expense of SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft. Why? Businesses demanded CRM and IT wasn’t successful in deploying it, or did so with poor adoption. Salesforce.com is just one example of how the cloud has helped align IT with the business.
Another example is building and deploying private clouds. Almost every IT organization is attempting to build an internal private cloud to host both production and non production systems. At Skytap we help align the Business with IT by delivering Hybrid Clouds, specifically targeted at use cases that are dynamic in nature. These use cases are generally not mission critical production, such as for software development and testing, software validation, training, and hosting proof of concepts or demos of new technology.
Building a private cloud is tough and organizations have been slow in doing so with marginal success. The business, or even parts of IT departments themselves can easily leverage Skytap as their Hybrid or Virtual Private Cloud and quickly build, spin up, and tear down environments for these specific use cases. Hybrid Cloud providers, like Skytap, are designed to be self-service so IT doesn’t necessarily need to manage the offering for their end-user. The end-user can do it themselves but IT can still maintain visibility and control over usage and corporate policy management.
When users like software developers, QA Engineers, trainers, and others are able to focus on solving their business problems without having to worry about the complexities around network devices, servers, and other infrastructure, they too can focus on writing and testing software to solve the problems of the business. When this happens, IT is better aligned with the business, and the business is better served. This is the true concept behind BTO.
Mike Neil, Director of Field Operations – Skytap