Like many things in the US these days, intelligent discourse is pretty hard to find. Politics aside, if someone holds a different opinion than another, they tend to be either minimized or just ignored. That's not a smart way to be...it's from differing opinions that we learn.
I find discussions about the Public Cloud follow the same pattern. If you have any opinion other than the Public Cloud is the ONLY place to run your workloads, you're branded 1) a dinosaur, 2) someone who clearly doesn't get it, or 3) an idiot.
I beg to disagree. Having an educated opinion used to be valued, and in my world, it still is. I remember the line my Mom (and probably everyone's Mom) would say, "If everybody jumped off the roof, would you jump too?" In other words, don't just do what everyone else is doing, because there's no guarantee that all the others are right. Another way to think of this is "don't be a lemming". Think for yourself.
Which brings us to the Public Cloud. Let me start by saying that the Public Cloud appears to be an excellent option FOR SOME WORKOADS. The operative point in that statement is the "for some workloads" part. Not all workloads are suited for the Public Cloud, for a variety of reasons. Maybe the Cloud is actually fog.
I think organizations should evaluate where your workloads should run based on three types of factors; operational, organization, and financial. Clearly, just looking at the financial facts don't seem to be preventing many from moving workloads to the Public Cloud, despite the significant difference in cost. I don't know about you, but if someone came to me with an offer for me to pay double in the Public Cloud than what I could do with my own infrastructure on-premises, I'd definitely say no.
It's worth realizing that business moves in cycles. What seems like a great idea today might not be a great idea in a few years. Especially when you've doubled your cost.
Gartner Group and other thought leader groups are out there touting the Public Cloud as the savior to all that ails your IT organization. Did you ever stop and think who pays Gartner Group and others like them for such glowing recommendations? It's two groups...users who think Gartner Group is smarter than they are and the other are the vendors who benefit. To be so bold...maybe things are a bit slanted?
Again, I'm not saying Public Cloud is bad...it's not. But neither is on-premises. Here's a check for you...since Public Cloud held the promise of eliminating the "hassle" of managing your own IT infrastructure, how many jobs have been eliminated in your organization by the Public Cloud? How many infrastructure guys are doing higher level tasks? Probably none, because you need someone to manage an additional infrastructure now.
I think overall you have to be smart. Do the homework. Do an evaluation of ALL of the options using all of the factors. Only then will you really know that you made the right decision. If it comes up Public Cloud, great..do Public Cloud. If it comes up on-premises, run the workload on-premises.
Feel free to comment. All intelligent discourse welcome here...
Today is the last business day of 2021. While we always look forward to the New Year, we're kind of sorry to see this one go. It's been a very good year for Roundstone Solutions.
It looks like we will finish 2021 with our business having doubled. That's at a time when it's been hard to do much business in person. Almost all of our Clients have remained remote, and in-person meetings have consisted of lunches, golf games, coffee meetings, etc. No in-office meetings. For a company that favors doing business in-person, it's been a big change for us. But, we all adapted and things went well.
Our decision to focus on a small number of innovative companies has been paying off for us. We remain dedicated to Nutanix, Cohesity, RingCentral, and Arctic Wolf. This allows us to cover data center infrastructure, backup and recovery, unified communications as a service, and security. Not surprisingly, these are the immediate focus areas for many of our Clients. We're well positioned to continue our success into 2022.
Most of all, we want to thank our Clients and Partners for their continued interest in working with Roundstone. While we're certainly not the biggest IT solutions provider in the market, we'd like to think we're one of the best. The continued trust our Clients and Partners place in Roundstone is very gratifying, and what keeps us going. Thank you for that.
For those who haven't yet worked with us, what are you waiting for? Let us help you in 2022 and beyond. Find out how much easier doing business can be.
Happy New Year to you and yours. Thank you again for a great 2021!
I've posted in the past about how end users rarely do much evaluating of alternatives before they decide where to run their applications. Instead, it's pretty much "let's keep buying 3-tier from our current vendor (HPE, Dell, etc.)" or it's "the Public Cloud holds magical benefits for all and we should put everything there".
Hey, I'm not saying the end result of your evaluation shouldn't be either of those two options, but if that's the sum total of your "evaluation", you'll be looking for work soon. There are really 4 platforms to run your IT infrastructure; 3-Tier on-prem, HCI on-prem, Private Cloud/SaaS, or Public Cloud.
We're almost at the end of 2021, meaning we've been in the new century for 22 years now. But most companies still decide what infrastructure to use for its applications like it was the 1980s or, at best, the 1990s. The new millennium requires a new way to evaluate things. You don't evaluate a Tesla car based on how many miles per gallon it gets, nor do you buy a TV based on how many VHF/UHF stations it gets (IYKYK).
I've spoken with many CIOs about this, and I'm blown away that there's not an intelligent evaluation of every infrastructure decision made. But, these are smart people, so I figure there's gotta be a reason. Well, I think I've figured it out...no one is looking at all of the alternatives because THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT.
Fair enough...I spent some time putting together a new way to evaluate things. Check it out...
No one really buys into vendors doing financial analyses of alternatives, because the result is always "buy our stuff, and lots of it". Not a lot of objectivity there.
But if it was all about financials, why would anyone put their workloads into the Public Cloud at twice the cost of other options? That tells me it's not about cost, apparently, although if my IT guy ever came to me with a proposal to double my cost, he wouldn't be my IT guy for long.
Nope, the right way to do things is by looking at 1) operational factors, 2) organizational factors, and 3) financial factors. We've created a very easy way for YOU to do the evaluation using your own factors, so the evaluation is not biased.
Contact us about the Evaluation tool. We'll be happy to provide it and show you have to use it for your own benefit. Unless you still want to be stuck in the 1990s...
I've got a reputation in our industry of being someone who knows the IT infrastructure business very well, and also as one who isn't afraid to speak the truth about how the business works. Sometimes, that means pointing out how some vendors take advantage of customers, in hopes of educating our prospects so they can get the best value for their money spent.
Lately, though, I've been speaking plainly about how many end users are just blindly migrating to "the Public Cloud" as if it's some magic formula that all the smart guys are using.
It isn't. And it's time you guys started doing your homework.
Amazon makes most of its profit from Amazon Web Services. AWS makes BIG profits off its customers...much bigger than most other computer companies. It's not because they're smarter than others; it's because they've got customers that aren't doing their homework.
As I've said before...what if you, an IT manager, had to explain to your management why you doubled your cost of IT infrastructure by moving to the Public Cloud? If your manager was smart, they'd drill into the evaluation you did before you decided on the Public Cloud. And most times, they'd see you didn't do any! How do you think that's going to end for you?
I've discussed this with at least 5 CIOs over the past few months. Not one of them said their guys do much of an evaluation on IT infrastructure decisions. They all felt that the Public Cloud made sense, mostly because their guys told them so, or they read about how all the smart guys were going to the cloud. I asked them how they could possibly know that if they didn't even do an evaluation? My pointing this out to them was interesting...they quickly realized their guys didn't do the work...and that going forward they were going to have to.
Understand I am not against the Public Cloud. I AM against being lazy and not doing the hard work of looking at all of your options. Public Cloud is ideal for some workloads, but not most. And it's almost always about twice as expensive as doing it yourself. Why would you EVER spend twice as much as you had to?
C'mon...be smart! we can help. Just ask!
We're at the end of the fiscal year for two of our top partners, Nutanix and Cohesity. FY21 has been good for our vendors and for Roundstone Solutions. For that, we thank our Clients, who've trusted us with helping them with their IT infrastructure decisions. To a Client, they are happy with the recommendations we've made; I've asked them.
This post is directed to those we'd like to do business with; companies and organizations we refer to as Prospects/Future Clients. I'm hoping you'll consider what I've got to say. It's intended in a positive vein, but I've turned it around a bit so you can see it a bit differently than perhaps you have in the past.
To begin, our Clients are:
Nutanix has been delivering products for 10 years...their stuff works and about 20,000 organizations know it. These 20,000 organizations took a greater risk than you have to, because they were the ones who tried out a newer platform and found that it worked. Because of their risk taking, you don't have to take any risk at all. In fact, the bigger risk you've got is that you're getting left behind compared to our Clients.
One final thought...since our Clients are paying half of what you are for their infrastructure, another way to look at it is that your current vendors are charging you double for what they're selling you. Why would you let someone charge you double for an older, outdated infrastructure? You shouldn't.
Get in touch with us...we'll show you how easy it can be. Our contact info is on our site, and we look forward to working with you!
I've posted about this topic in the past, but I think it bears repeating. Simply stated, we find most users do either no financial analysis when considering the Public Cloud, or do a nominal (read poor) analysis. It makes no sense for an organization not to understand the expected costs of any decision they make in their business. So why is the Public Cloud any different?
In your personal life, would you ever agree to something where you didn't know what expected costs were going to be? I'm guessing that you wouldn't. So why do people do it in business? I was alway taught that you spend your company's money the same way you would spend your own...carefully, and with your eyes open to total cost.
Show me a company that has spent LESS money in the Public Cloud than they initially expected. That would be like finding a unicorn...it doesn't exist. But, in most transactions for on-premises equipment, we get squeezed on the price almost every time. I wish organizations purchased on-premises IT equipment and software like they do Public Cloud. I'd be very rich.
I'm not against the Public Cloud. In some cases, they provide a good value to an organization when the use case is right for it. For most cases, it's more expensive, but unless you do the math, you're bound to overpay with the Public Cloud.
I'm pretty good at math, and when you compare the total costs of the Public Cloud to on-premises, it's not even close.
Here are the facts:
Don't just take my word for it. Do the financial analysis! At some point, if you don't do a fair financial analysis, it's going to be found out, and the mantra of "Cloud first" isn't really going to mean much when you're asked to explain why you spent so much more for the same result.
Think about it. And then DO THE MATH!
Every day, I speak with customers and prospects for our business. The business we created, Roundstone Solutions, is all about helping organizations and their IT staff simplify things, modernize infrastructures, and reduce cost. It's gratifying when we're able to do so, which is often. But our toughest job is to get It folks to realize there's usually a better way than they're doing it.
Despite what you may think, you don't get extra credit for continuing to do it the "old way", or "the way we've always done things". In fact, over time, that approach becomes a very risky place to be. If your senior management knew you could simplify things for your team and business, you could deliver better service, and do so at a much lower cost than you're currently doing it, do you think they'd be happy? Does your company reward those who "keep on keeping on" or do they promote those who look for the path forward? You know the answer.
If you're still using a 3-tier IT infrastructure to run your applications, and the vast majority of you still are, my question to you is "Why?" Why would you deliberately avoid moving forward? Why would you limit your personal and professional upside?
Look, we get it. If no one is forcing you to be innovative, you're happy to just keep things running the way you always have. We can assure you, those of our customers who have looked forward and decided to improve their infrastructure are very happy to have done so. They have more time, have happier employees, and a heck of a lot less stress. Plus, they've got budget money to finally get those additional projects going.
We can help. We have lots of experience simplifying IT infrastructures. Our website talks about the 3 main areas we focus on.
Take us up on our genuine offer to help you see the path forward. Don't keep pushing that boulder uphill.
Well, the calendar has turned to 2021. Most people are glad to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, as it was a challenge overall for many. Business wise, it was a good year for Roundstone Solutions, but COVID prevented it from being even better.
From March 2020-August 2020, companies hit "pause" on newer IT projects, as they made sure they were able to enable everyone to work from home and also evaluate the revenue hit they were taking from the pandemic. Corporate America soon found things were not all bad, and projects they started 2020 with still needed to get done. The same cannot be said for millions of small businesses, which, unfortunately, continue to suffer.
During the majority of 2020, most companies limited evaluating newer platforms, in exchange for continuing what they already knew. The logic was that there were bigger problems to solve and adding new platforms would make things more difficult. Some of this I agree with, but by now aren't we all pretty informed and knowledgeable about how to deploy newer, better platforms? The pandemic prevented many from taking advantage of a better way of doing things.
As we begin 2021, what will THIS year look like?
Here are my predictions for the IT infrastructure business for 2021:
1. COVID will be with us throughout the majority of 2021, but normalcy should be found by early summer 2020. By then, most of us will have gotten a vaccine and we'll have reached some sort of acceptable herd immunity that we've been hearing about.
2. Corporate America will resume as near normal patterns as possible, as early as late winter 2021.
3. IT infrastructure will continue to evolve, as it was doing before the pandemic. However, costs will come under much greater scrutiny, to fix "mistakes" that were made in the beginning of the pandemic. By this, I mean that the real costs for Public Cloud will be known, and users will be shocked at just how much they are paying AWS, Azure, and GCP for infrastructure they could do themselves for a lot less money. We're already seeing it. Sticker shock...it can be avoided and should be.
4. Smart companies will do financial analyses for each project involving IT infrastructure. The current mantra of "let's just put it in the Public Cloud" will be replaced with "let's put it where it makes most sense, performance-wise and cost-wise". Those who continue to just reflex to the Public Cloud without analysis of alternatives will fall far behind their peers.
5. Multi-Cloud will take center stage for deploying IT infrastructure. IT infrastructure won't be all on-premises, and it won't be all in the Public Cloud. Most will realize combination of both suits most companies. Applications should run where it makes the most sense to run them, after any analysis of the alternatives.
6. Companies will realize working face-to-face has real value, and while I don't think a 5 day onsite workweek is what we will return to, I see a hybrid approach instead. Maybe 3 days in the office, and 2 days working from elsewhere. Personally, I prefer the office and going face-to-face, but that's me.
7. The BI and AI business, while the darling of the industry right now, will have to show the value for all of the money being spent in the segment. Remember the value isn't in the information, nor in the analysis of the information...those are all costs. The real value is in what you do with the analyzed information that improves your business after all that.
8. Companies will realize that they will get the same benefits using a combined communications platform as they did when using Office365 or Google applications. Let's face it, managing all of the various phone, video, messaging, collaboration tools didn't get easier with the pandemic. UCaaS will simplify this quickly.
9. Backup technologies from last century will start to be replaced with newer platforms at an increasing rate this year. It's simply smarter.
So there you have it...my predictions for 2021. I'm not kidding about the part about doing financial analysis about IT infrastructure. You have to do it, because it forms the basis for better decisions which will help your company, and you, in your career.
Give us a call...we know how to do this and can help. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tomorrow, here in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I've always felt that this weekend is the best holiday of the entire year. This year, I feel the same way, and despite the fact we're dealing with a pandemic that is still happening, there's plenty to be thankful for.
First, as a business, we are thankful for our many Clients, the trust they've put in us, and the business they have afforded us. To our Clients, thank you very much.
We're also very thankful for our Partners, particularly our primary partners which are all listed in the Leaders quadrant of the Gartner Group Magic Quadrant. It's gratifying to be able to work with such talented people, and to represent their superior solutions to our Clients.
Personally, I'm thankful that this Thanksgiving finds my family healthy, all employed, and happy in their relationships with significant others and friends.
Perhaps on this Thanksgiving Day, everyone can put aside their differences, outrage (both real and imagined), and sensitivities, and just enjoy the day for what it represents...the fact the Pilgrims survived a difficult first year in America and came together to celebrate their victory over adversity. There's a good lesson in there for us all.
At Roundstone Solutions, our business is based on helping IT organizations improve the effectiveness of their IT infrastructure, which will provide better results for the business. We work with newer technology platforms that deliver better performance, are simpler to operate, and typically allow for significant cost savings over previously deployed technology. Things are going well, but there's something we're noticing happening that doesn't bode well for most IT organizations. That is, inertia.
During COVID, with the majority of people working from home, the initial effort of IT organizations was to make sure that employees could still do their work for the company while working from locations other than the office, whether it be from home, or from anywhere. Most organizations did great getting that done, and employees are pretty much enabled to work from outside the office. Well done!
As we've stated before, there were projects slated to happen in 2020 that got delayed due to COVID. But they didn't lose their importance to the organization...they still need to get done. We're seeing projects get back on track as we settle into the new normal.
But there's something that is happening that is contrary to moving forward. As it's gotten harder to reach someone for the first time in order to introduce a new technology (no cell numbers, email fatigue, etc.), we're finding IT people just "reflexing" back into the tried and true, which in the case of technology is "the old stuff". Rather than evaluating a new platform, like HCI for example, we're seeing companies take the easy way out and just add more discrete servers or storage, because "it's easier". Honestly, we think that's dumb.
There's absolutely no reason why you can't evaluate newer technologies, even if you're working from home. The potential benefits are still available to you and your organization, but only if you entertain newer technologies. Let's be honest, how is adding the 35th server to your "server farm" or doing a capacity upgrade to your storage array moving forward? Those technologies were in place in the 80s/90s!
As a vendor/VAR of newer technology platforms, it's a tug of war with prospects to get them to consider looking at newer platforms. I would understand if the newer platforms were only marginally more effective than the previous platform, but they're not; THEY'RE WAY BETTER!
Let's talk and we'll show you what we mean. Contact us at email@example.com or 925-217-1177.
Tim Joyce, Founder, Roundstone Solutions
Roundstone Solutions Inc.
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