Private clouds, public clouds, and car repair

Private clouds, public clouds, and car repair

I am getting some work done on one of my cars. I never have any time. I rarely have any patience. Occasionally, I occasionally have car troubles. So into the dealership I go.

Every time, I hear from my car savvy friends and coworkers. The dealership takes too long. The dealership costs too much. If there is anything custom or unique about your vehicle, it throws the dealership for a loop.

Sure. Doing it yourself can be faster and cheaper. But if, and only if, you have the time, tools, and training. Short of any of these three, and the dealership wins hands down. If you are like me, then you have no time and no tools more complex than pliers and a four bit screwdriver set.

What does this have to do with cloud computing? Well, it provides a good metaphor for businesses and their IT.

Some businesses have built excellent IT teams. Their teams have the time to bring services online, and to enable new business functionality. These are the businesses that equip their IT teams with the tools and provide the training. Hands down, no questions asked, these teams will deliver solutions with higher quality. These IT teams can do it in less time and for less cost.

Other businesses have neglected IT. These are the teams that are told to keep the lights on and maintain dial-tone. Their IT systems are outdated. Possibly, their personnel has outdated skillsets. It makes as much sense for the internal IT teams to take on infrastructure projects as it does for me to change out my transmission. The costs, efforts, and frustration will be higher. The quality? Lower.

These are two ends of the spectrum, of course. Most IT teams are a mix. They are strong in some areas, and weak in others.

I suggest we play to our strengths. Businesses look to enable new functionality. Like with car repairs, we can step back and consider. Does our team have the time, tools, and training in this area? What will bring the higher quality and lower costs? That’s the way to decide build versus buy and the our cloud versus public cloud questions.

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