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I’ve worked with hundreds of I.T. Directors and VPs in the past 20 years. I call myself a friend to many Network, Server, and Storage Admins. I respect all of you and I hope you’re all doing well. Most of you have heard from me in the last 12 months. Some have even taken a meeting to discuss the future. Thank you! I’m posting this blog because I have a concern, a concern that has arisen as a result of the last several years of interactions with you. Simply put, the Cloud is ending IT careers left and right. Do you have a plan to stay ahead of the storm?

When’s the last time you were in a meeting with the Oracle team covering your company? Has it been a while? How about the folks from Microsoft, have they asked you to lunch lately? Any chance you’ve met with SAP or Salesforce in the last year? How about Tableau or Cloudera, do you know them? Do you work closely with the coolest kid on the block from AWS? Lastly, and I hope I’m not striking a nerve,has an executive asked you to sit in on a planning meeting lately?

You’re likely saying to yourself, “yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve sat down with Oracle, Microsoft, or any of these companies…in fact I can’t remember the last time I had a meeting where I was whiteboarding with these companies and a company executive in the room”. Don’t beat yourself up over it, you’re not alone. But the harsh truth is, you’ve been left off the invite list. The meetings are still happening. Business leaders are still investing in software applications that impact the bottom line. More than ever before, actually. You, however, were in the next conference room talking about next generation firewalls, SD-WAN, or hyper-converged data centers. Whoops.

If it’s any consolation to you, I’m empathetic to your situation. I’m just as concerned about the “no invite” as you are. After all, I could only sell products and services in the meeting AFTER your whiteboard session. With the gradual extinction of that whiteboard session, my calendar regrettably was left empty. Occasionally, I’d be asked to give an opinion on security, or one Carrier versus another, or Nutanix versus Simplivity, but when you weren’t invited to whiteboard meeting, I wasn’t invited to sell the infrastructure that the software application lived on. That sucked!

Let me put it in terms that anyone can relate to: I was a high-end tailor working for a fine Clothier from 2002-2013. Maybe you were a guy who’d been in to my Clothier and been taken good care of. Every couple of years you’d come in to get fitted for a nice new suit. Maybe it was a job interview, a wedding, or maybe you just liked coming in to see me. You came in knowing what you needed, just not exactly sure of the sizing, the fabric and the color. I fixed you right up and sold you the best suit you could afford. The garb fit like a glove, the fabric was perfect, and the color was spot on. You may have spent a little more than you expected, but you were happy, and you’d be back again at some point. This is a parallel with the relationship between an I.T. Director and a VAR over that time frame. You had an idea, but you needed me and my team to ensure it was the right fit for the app.

Gone are the days when you were still booking conference rooms for executives to whiteboard infrastructure. Those were great days, but those days are in the past. You’re finding out that the apps now reside on servers and storage that you didn’t purchase, that these apps are running on instances of AWS and Azure. You may have been told about this soon after the app spun up in the cloud, or you may have found out months later. Like it or not, you’re most likely the guy responsible for managing these instances.

The good news is, there’s help. You need tools to manage these instances. You need to make sure that there is governance tied to who spins a compute instance up and up and how they do it. You need to make sure all security elements are well understood and addressed and complies with your corporate security policies – – not just at a point in time, but continuously. Then, what’s most important, is you need to make sure that the leaders don’t blow the budget that you used to own. We can help. Unless you want to move on from the company that you’ve worked for since Nineteen ninety whatever, or even two thousand whatever, you should get back in touch with me because there’s an answer. While I used to sell servers and storage, backup and recovery, now I help I.T. guys that I’m fond of thrive in their roles by giving them the tools to manage the new environments they weren’t involved with building.

No matter if we have met or not in the past 12 months, I hope you will take my next call to learn more. We can still help you with that new fine tailored suit. The only difference is the color, fabric, and fit are in the Cloud fashion era!

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