Video: How does the Cloud affect IT Pro’s? With Microsoft MVP Greg Shields

Interface Technical Training hosted a special SCCM: Planning, Deploying and Managing Microsoft ConfigMgr with MVP Greg Shields on November 14-18, 2011.

We sat down with Mr. Shields in a four-part interview to get his thoughts on various topics related to application management, virtualization, The Cloud, and System Center Configuration Manager.

In this video, Greg shares his insights on How does the Cloud affect IT Pro's?

Below is the transcription of the video.

Greg Shields – Enterprise Systems Management
Jason Helmick – Interface Technical Training Instructor

JH – The idea of the cloud is that from anywhere in the world, we want to be able to supply you with the information and the tools you need, easily and rapidly.

But as soon as you get into virtualization and the concept of the cloud, there’s a lot of resistance today in IT. Why is IT so afraid of going toward this mechanism that would actually make their lives easier?

GS – Because they’re afraid they’re going to lose their jobs.

JH – (laughing) Oh, OK, that’s easy.

GS – It’s really the elephant in the room.

People will talk about all these reasons why it doesn’t make sense. People will – I think, in their heart – in some ways contrive reasons why you shouldn’t move to the cloud.

Let’s look at IT from a very long-term perspective. For a long period of time, IT was in that Wild West mode. Anything goes. We’re making up the rules as we go. If you compare IT to architecture, architecture’s been around since the first building. But IT’s only been around for a series of decades at this point. The early decades were us just really trying to get our feet underneath us is in terms of stabilizing some of the core processes that we have.

When you mature those processes, when you stabilize them, they become easy to replicate, to package and then to make available to you as a service. You don’t grow your own food. You don’t raise your own cows anymore for meat. You go to the grocery store because somebody’s figured out that I can create this experience that is the grocery store, and I can do it at a lower cost, both in time and in dollar cost.

The cloud is in many ways is a manifestation of the stabilizing of IT. It makes a lot of people afraid. There’s kind of an undercurrent story that if the sum-total of your contribution to the IT department and your business is clicking the Next button, well we’re getting to the time where your really need to start thinking about either evolving what you do or thinking about doing something else. The cloud scares a lot of people because we can get complacent in our old way of doing things.

JH – It’s funny because we hear that a lot, especially on the PowerShell administrative side. If you’re only value is clicking next, next, finish, you might want to start thinking about that. Now it’s actually about real management of large-scale systems.

With all the technologies, it seems like they’re just appearing, but they’ve been there for a while – from VMware, from Microsoft, even Apple with iCloud. Even my spouse is moving her library up into the cloud. It seems like there’s an adoption – users seem to be OK with it. It’s IT that seems to be fighting against it – I guess on a lot of security grounds. With private clouding options vs. public clouding options, what’s a great way for an IT person to start to kind of grapple with this and deal with it?

GS – The first thing you should put into your mind is, if anyone is trying to tell you that you should move everything that is your infrastructure into the cloud today, that’s not a person you should be talking to. No one with any legitimacy is trying to tell you to move everything to the cloud today.

There was a period not long ago in virtualization where we thought of this notion of virtualist candidacy. You would go and identify the low-hanging fruit that made sense to virtualize because they’re easy and they’re low-risk.

We’re kind of at that point now in terms of cloud services. If you go and find those low-hanging fruit, where it makes sense to actually cloud-enable them, or push them to the cloud, it’s a good way to get your feet wet for this whole new way of delivering services.

I see a lot of people that are moving into the cloud these days following that model. It ends up being very low-risk for them. They can reap some of the early rewards of cloud. And from an IT person’s perspective, you can take a lot of the scut work of IT out from your list of things you need to do.

Now, if you’re the type of person that just likes to click buttons, well, this does not exactly help you. But if you’re they type of IT person that really desires to help your business out, to really, truly help your users and to deliver that experience the users are looking for, the cloud presents an option that you can move toward that does so – potentially for a lower cost and probably for a better experience, in certain circumstances, for those users.

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