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IT-Cloud Services Providers | @CloudExpo @SolarWinds #API #CloudNative #AI #DX #Analytics

Hybrid IT has been disruptive for IT professionals accustomed to full systems authority to fix or test apps and hardware onsite

Who Do You Trust? Thoughts on the IT-Cloud Services Provider Relationship

Trust is a fickle thing, and making the leap to fully trust someone or something isn't always easy, especially in new or unfamiliar circumstances. Take for example hybrid IT, where new cloud-based IT infrastructure has introduced a level of uncertainty, or at least less-proven technologies and processes, for IT professionals.

In fact, the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization explored this notion of trust in the hybrid IT era, particularly as it pertains to the IT professional and cloud services provider (CSP) relationship. The survey found that on the spectrum of trust, the majority of IT professionals (62 percent) say they only somewhat trust CSPs. To contextualize this, SolarWinds also polled its THWACK® online community of IT professionals and found where exactly CSPs fall in the trust spectrum:

IT professionals...

  • Completely trust: themselves, their teams, and their families
  • Somewhat trust: their CSPs
  • Somewhat distrust: meteorologists, healthcare providers, and taxi drivers
  • Completely distrust: other drivers on the road

While there are no real surprises here, this spectrum of trust does highlight an important distinction: once control is removed from the equation, trust decreases. With that in mind, let's explore the IT and CSP relationship further to uncover what other factors-in addition to loss of control-lead to the erosion of trust, and how IT professionals can forge a more trusting relationship with their CSPs.

The Trust Factors
Control and Visibility
Hybrid IT - and more specifically, the lack of visibility into cloud infrastructure that comes with it - has been disruptive for IT professionals who are accustomed to full systems authority to fix or test applications and hardware onsite. In the hybrid IT era, transferring technology control to a CSP while IT still takes the help desk tickets when something goes wrong takes some adjustment. Even if on-premises technology has been less reliable, the control factor makes it easier to trust than outsourced technology.

Add to this control issue a rare but memorable history of major public cloud outages. With February's Amazon Web ServicesTM (AWS®) S3TM outage, for example, AWS lost a fundamental service that was highly publicized and far-reaching. It played into a meta-narrative for already-skeptical IT professionals who are wary to cede control to services that may go down without an obvious failover function.

Knowledge Gap
While a lack of control certainly plays into the amount of trust that exists in the IT and CSP relationship, there is also another concern to IT professionals: not trusting CSPs simply because they don't have a firm grasp on the evolving technology. IT management by service-level agreement is nerve-wracking enough, and harder still to stomach when there's no diagram of that inside cloud's (mostly) black box.

Further exacerbating the IT knowledge gap is the way public cloud services are sold. When CSPs sell their services, they sell them to the business. They speak in results-oriented language, invoking buzzwords business leaders love, like "rapid business digital transformation," but that invoke reflexive eye-rolls among technologists. For IT departments, this doesn't resonate with how they rank technology or how they become comfortable with the idea of executing their jobs using that technology.

Mystery
While lack of education around the cloud is a separate factor that can decrease trust, it's multiplied when public cloud vendors are intentionally mysterious about their offerings. In an incredibly competitive cloud market, it's understandable that CSPs don't want to give away their secret sauce, but an unwillingness to be forthcoming with those details can certainly affect IT's willingness to trust them. Vendors pushing hardware install on-premises often use open and excruciatingly detailed technical discussions as a selling advantage-conversation that's often missing for all but the largest public cloud customers, like Netflix®.

Business Size
Drilling down even deeper into the IT ecosystem, we find that business size is also a CSP trust factor. Small businesses were the most trusting of CSPs, with 20 percent saying they completely trust CSPs, followed by enterprise organizations (18 percent), and then mid-size businesses (9 percent). To understand where these differences stem from, it's important to have insight into the breakdown of IT capabilities.

For small businesses, trust is likely greater because they use cloud more like a utility-it typically doesn't break and can largely be left alone. At the same time, it gives them access to data and compute resources that were formerly limited to larger companies. On the enterprise end, companies are able to employ cloud-native applications and maintain DevOps-oriented staff who understand how to effectively manage cloud technology. However, they generally have more complexity than small businesses, and complexity breeds mistrust. That brings us to mid-size businesses, which typically have the largest amount of hybrid IT, aren't doing much outsourcing, and have smaller and less diversified IT departments, creating the perfect storm of complexity with the introduction of the cloud, and a natural decline in trust.

Building Trust
Although we likely won't ever get to a point where IT professionals completely trusts CSPs any more than we trust Layer 0 not to eventually break, there are certainly best practices IT departments may follow to build more trust:

Trust (and Educate) but Verify
Consider the adage, "trust but verify." The ability to verify comes from having enough knowledge - in this case, technical understanding and insight into performance - of something to arrive at the decision to trust. For many IT professionals used to monitoring and managing on-premises infrastructure, the cloud is unfamiliar territory, so it's crucial for IT to educate themselves enough to verify the technology and build trust.

Ensure Central Visibility Across On-Premises and Cloud Environments
Along the same lines, in the face of enterprise technology's exponential rate of change, a management and monitoring toolset that surfaces a single point of truth across on-premises and cloud environments is essential to trust. The ability to consolidate and correlate data to deliver more breadth, depth, and visibility across the data center will allow IT professionals to more proactively work with CSPs to identify and remediate problem areas and reduce mean time to resolution.

Take Control of the Decision-Making Process
You can't play if you're not in the game. Considering the shift in how cloud technology is sold into businesses, IT professionals should increase their knowledge so they can build trust and demonstrate enthusiasm with management. By gaining cloud technology expertise they regain the role of trusted advisor and the business in turn will bring them into critical purchasing decisions. (A couple of handy witticisms on Kubernettes pronunciation won't hurt either.)

In Admins We Trust
Ultimately, IT professionals have an opportunity to parlay the trust they have in themselves and their teams into a motivation to open the door to more cloud technology education. And while some process and infrastructure control will be forever surrendered, knowledge, as always, is power. In the career of IT, nothing does wonders for building trust in the IT-CSP relationship more than being the expert in the room.

DevOps at Cloud Expo taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.

DevOps at Cloud Expo will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality. Sponsors of DevOps at Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on DevOps Journal
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

@DevOpsSummit  2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

@DevOpsSummit 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. Enterprise Cloud | Cloud-Native
Track 2.
Big Data | Analytics
Track 3. Internet of Things | IIoT | Smart Cities

Track 4. DevOps | Digital Transformation (DX)

Track 5. APIs | Cloud Security | Mobility

Track 6.
AI | ML | DL | Cognitive
Track 7.
Containers | Microservices | Serverless
Track 8. FinTech | InsurTech | Token Economy

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Download Show Prospectus ▸ Here

Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers.  

Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and services, forming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and deployments across all major industries. Cloud-driven thinking has become the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, and the public sector.

Cloud Expo is the single show where technology buyers and vendors can meet to experience and discus cloud computing and all that it entails. Sponsors of Cloud Expo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on Cloud Computing Journal.
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

@CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo 2018 New York 
(June 12-14, 2018, Javits Center, Manhattan)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @ThingsExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
Secrets of Cloud Expo Speakers ▸ Here

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-4, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Delegates to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 21st Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 21st International Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley, and June 12-14, 2018, in New York City.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 21st International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Patrick Hubbard

Patrick Hubbard is a head geek and senior technical product marketing manager at SolarWinds, with 20 years of technical expertise and IT customer perspective. His networking management experience includes work with campus, data center, high availability and disaster recovery, and storage networks, and with VoIP, telepresence and VDI in both Fortune 500 companies and startups in the high tech, transportation, financial services and telecom industries.

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