Sound familiar? Executives across the globe feel peer and competitive pressure to “get to yes” on private cloud. This burden falls on IT to provide a cloud solution — oh, and by the way, we need it by the end of the year. With this clock ticking, it’s hard to think about private cloud strategically. In fact, why not to just cloudwash your virtual environment and buy your team time? Many enterprises (yes, even those presenting at events) have gone down this road. And some vendors will suggest this as a short-term fix. DON’T DO IT.

You’re cutting yourself short on what you could achieve with this environment while losing credibility with the business and your peers. Sound overdramatic? The consumerization of IT is forcing IT to connect with the business or risk circumvention. For many, the existing relationship isn't great. And each future interaction could either improve or worsen that relationship. Promising the business a cloud delivered within your own data center, and then failing to provide basic functionality of a cloud will just make future initiatives and interactions even harder. In the meantime, the business will continue to circumvent your department. If you're going to invest the resources/time to build this environment and rope in rogue cloud users — make sure you get to cloud.

Today, cloudwashing is prevalent. But it isn’t always intentional. In fact many truly believe they’ve got a true cloud — especially those using a pre-packaged private cloud software solution. But once you look under the hood it’s hard to miss. These self-proclaimed private clouds often use pieces of the management and automation capabilities but aren’t using the full functionality of these solutions. The most common mistakes?  

  1. “Self-service access” for a small cloud team, with the business still using a ticket-based system.
  2. Partial automation where IT is still involved in the provisioning of cloud resources. Networking and “security and compliance checks and balances” are the key places where we still see IT involved.
  3. Resource tracking reports not available to the end user and costs associated with usage not presented to the requestor.

Want to find out more about how to get the private cloud right? Come see our session on "How Your Peers Are Getting Private Cloud Right (Or Wrong)" at the Forrester's Infrastructure & Operations Forum 2012 in Vegas later this week.