Proving What’s Doable with the Cloud

By Kent Christensen, Practice Director

It has been a busy two months since we launched internally our Datalink On Demand Labs cloud and cloud use cases.  We got DoD Labs up in time for our Cloud & Clear conference in Chicago.  Partners and customers immediately took advantage of being able to visualize real use cases that apply to their organizations.

Examples include:

  • An App/Dev organization that provisions platforms internally for the complete App/Dev environment
  • A test organization dynamically provisioning infrastructure for projects
  • An infrastructure-as-a-service internal cloud to support an organization's internal needs
  • An infrastructure-as-a-service portal to support external customers

By FAR, the case getting the most attention is App/Dev.  Many organization struggle with the dynamic yet important application development teams.  App/Dev teams need to get infrastructure and development platforms to get their job done more quickly.  Many times they struggle with internal IT processes that can add weeks to deliver the complete service.   Internal IT teams struggle with the heavy demands for App/Dev teams to provide custom operating systems and development stacks.  In many cases, you see App/Dev teams looking outside the organization to external cloud providers to reduce their time to value — sometimes developing APIs and strategies to use external resources.  Most of the time, the larger organization does not support the lack of governance and process that comes with individual departments creating custom IT solutions, but until they have a better solution don’t stand in the way of the increased productivity.

With DoD Labs we can sit down with both teams, internal IT and App/Dev teams and let them experience a better way, without expensive investments.  The DoD Labs are not just for technology demonstrations (although there is plenty of best-of-breed solutions supporting DoD Labs), they are for use cases that address real value to the organization.

The results have exceeded any expectations.  Seeing a “this could be your process” use case that shows:

  • Unified architecture being automated from a single pane of glass
  • A catalog for user groups to select and self-provision
  • The ability for departments to customize and re-publish for their specific needs
  • The ability to automate approvals, budget reporting, management and the complete provisioning process
  • From a separate prospective of a cloud architect/operator, a departmental manager or a departmental user of the service

Seeing live, within minutes, what can take weeks to get done, jump starts the conversation to how it can impact internal organizations, large and small.  One large organization integrated the solutions into their three year IT transformation roadmap.  A fortune 500 company scheduled a workshop with their internal cloud team to investigate leveraging component used in DoD Labs.  A technology partner came in to see a demonstration and immediately asked to start bringing in some of its direct customers to jointly position the solutions.  And that is just a few of over a dozen examples.

All of us in IT have seen the increased pressure to do more with less, increase efficiency and at the same time increase services levels.  The concepts of cloud promise to provide increased agility, elasticity, standardized services, and pay-as-you-go attributes to enable the delivery of IT as a service.  Seeing it makes visualizing IT transformation in your organization appear much clearer, which is good for both the providers of IT services, as well as the consumers, to effectively deliver more value to the business.

Find out more about Datalink cloud enablement services.