SmartThinking || Fall 2018

SmartThinking || Fall 2018 Newsletter

Message from Wade


2018 is fast coming to a close, and is shaping up to be the best year in the history of The Smart Panda. We have many exciting projects being managed, several PeopleSoft products developed and being developed, the cloud continues to be a hugely successful area of focus, and the team continues to grow.

Last week, we successfully became an AWS (Amazon Web Services) Partner, our Oracle Gold Partnership was renewed, and we are expanding our Microsoft Partnership into their CSP (Cloud Solutions Provider) program. Basically, we can manage your Enterprise Applications on-premise, and in the cloud.


7 Reasons Cloud Adoption Fails

While cloud can lead to key benefits, make sure you avoid these costly mistakes.

According to Gartner, a company with a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy in 2020 would be as rare as a company today operating without Internet. In a 2016 Study by IDG, they estimate that 70% of enterprises are running at least one application in the cloud today and that number is projected to reach 90% in the next 12 months. In other words, in a couple of years a company not in the cloud will be unfathomable.

While an efficiently deployed cloud environment can lead to agility and cost savings, for every benefit cloud can bring, a poorly deployed environment has a matching drawback. That’s why you need to proceed with caution when outlining your cloud strategy, and avoid these top seven reasons cloud environments fail:

1. Security Blindness

According to a 2015 Survey by Wikibon, security consistently tops the list of issues companies will face as they move to the cloud, and it needs to be built into the migration from the first step. As the workforce becomes more connected, organizations need to take every possible step to ensure their company data is protected. This means IT has both the training and the tools needed to fight security threats from day one. It is a shared security strategy in the cloud. The organization needs to understand what security they are responsible for and what the cloud vendor is responsible for. It should be noted that moving to the cloud usually brings a better overall security solution, as the entire model will be scrutinized during the transition.

2. Outdated Toolkit

For many IT professionals, the shift to the cloud means learning a new set of skills, which requires an investment in training and time across the board. First and foremost, IT professionals need to understand the business objectives and requirements to discuss the right cloud service to procure, deploy and manage. Now, more than ever, IT professionals will need to understand the cloud services available to them and how these services can benefit their organization.

3. Not considering all options

Choosing a major cloud player for your migration has its benefits, but many companies find themselves making decisions before they’ve had a chance to fully explore their cloud options. It is increasingly difficult to move between vendors once you’ve made your initial cloud choice. For this reason, you need to be extremely thorough when vetting cloud options, and you need to carefully consider how your environment will evolve in the coming years. This is especially important given the industry is trending towards the multi-cloud approach.

4. Internal miscommunication

Cloud decisions are increasingly being up-leveled to executive teams and the boardroom. This trend can cause gaps in communication between the decision makers and IT, thus resulting in operations procuring their own cloud resources as ‘Shadow IT’ budgets are increased. Many organizations struggle to help IT teams meet in the middle and communicate proactively about their cloud strategy. Executives need to create a clear line of communication where operations can bring their business goals to the table, and IT can assess the resources needed to realistically meet those goals with the entire organization in mind.

5. Migrating too quickly

Moving to the cloud needs to happen slowly, one area of the business at a time, so the entire team feels confident in the migration at each step of the way. Organizations should start the migration with your least critical business units, so the team can familiarize themselves with the deployment process before diving into the more high-stakes Enterprise Applications. Cloud migrations take time and need to be built to scale. Organizations that push their teams into the cloud too quickly will put their entire cloud infrastructure at risk.

6. Poor cost optimization

Many organizations struggle to navigate cloud pricing models, and according to Right Scale an estimated 25 to 45% of cloud spending is ultimately wasted. It’s very common for companies to under utilize their VMs, paying for instances that are no longer in use. This can cause the cost of cloud maintenance to skyrocket. Migrating to the cloud doesn’t have to break the bank, but if you’re not careful when laying out your cloud maintenance strategy, you will have a difficult time justifying your budget to the executive team.

7. Unwilling to adopt new technologies

New technology brings exciting opportunities for innovation. Right now, many IT departments are looking into the possibilities that automation, machine learning, software-defined data centers (SDDCs), etc. can bring their business. Companies that fail to take advantage of the full range of opportunities the cloud can bring will find themselves left behind in the next chapter of the cloud revolution.

At Smart Panda, we have been working with organizations since the days of mainframe computers. Technology is changing every day and the growth is crazy, as Amazon just posted a profit of $2.5 billion for the past quarter and it has posted positive gains for the past 14 straight quarters. This trend is not going to slow down. Organizations need a plan to migrate to the cloud, and the best way to get a plan is to get a trusted advisor that can work with your organization to build the best road map to the cloud and the future.

Moving to the cloud, doesn’t mean everything moves to the cloud, some times it makes sense to be on-premise, some times it makes sense to be in the cloud, some times neither option makes sense. Newer and better technologies are constantly becoming available, and integrating these new technologies may be the best direction for your organization.

Start planning today by contacting your new trusted Advisor at Smart Panda.

Panda + Community Fall 2018

Panda + Community Fall 2018

The past couple of months have seen a lot of activity in the community for the Smart Panda. We have golfed, planted trees, ran, biked, and dealt to name a few things.

At the end of July, Wade celebrated his 44th birthday by getting on his bicycle with his fellow MS Bike Ride Team – Butt Ugly, and spent two days cycling from Grand Bend to London and back. This 160km (100 miles) of fun has become a signature event for Smart Panda, and in the past 4 years has raised over $10,000. The Butt Ugly Team while small still makes a huge impact with over $70,000 this year and over $72,000 last year. It is so rewarding to ride with such an inspirational group, and looking forward to 2019!

In July, Wade turned the presidency of Railway City Rotary over to fellow business Partner Ian, and Ian is doing a fantastic job running the Rotary Club. So far we have been involved in several great projects, and have many to look forward to throughout the Rotary year. Last month we planted a couple hundred trees at Hawk Cliff with the Talbot Land Trust folks. We were honoured to help out our Local Legion by handing out Poppies – Lest We Forget. We helped out our local hospital by running the Reach-The-Beach water station, and at their Gala event by dealing Charity Blackjack. This week we are off to help out Eat-2-Learn with packing for one of their biggest fundraisers, and we will soon be helping serve up some great food at Inn-Out-of-The-Cold.

The Smart Panda continues its sponsorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of St Thomas Elgin, and were out at the golf-4-kids event, and have continued doing the In-School-Mentoring Program. We feel strongly that everybody is better with a mentor, whether it be personally or professionally, which is how we have built Smart Panda, we make companies better with our trusted advise and experience (mentoring!).