January 28, 2020
Interview with Ryan Moseman: A Conversation on the Future of Hybrid IT and more
Ryan Moseman has been with OST since October 2018. His background is in cloud and hosting services. Ryan enjoys supporting the growth effort in Minneapolis and helping clients solve their business challenges by helping them make connections between technology, user experience and business outcomes. We talked to Ryan about what hybrid IT means to him, the challenges clients face when they come to OST and what is unique about OST’s work in this space.
Q: What does hybrid IT mean to you?
A: Hybrid IT is really what it sounds like. It is a blending of multiple platforms that enables an enterprise to better function and run their business internally and externally. A traditional environment would consist of owned, self-built, and self-managed elements such as the physical data center, various forms of infrastructure, and application. Over time, that’s shifted to moving those applications to third-party co-location providers or managed hosting providers and to cloud providers. Hybrid IT is really looking at all those types of environments to identify what is the best execution venue for that organization. It’s the marrying of all those to help the organization accomplish what it’s setting out to do. In many ways, it’s about meeting the customer where they are. Business operations, IT leadership, culture of the organization – all of these have influence into the appetite and desire for various types of technology and their ability to change.
Q: What are some of the common challenges clients come to us with when they first reach out with cloud, hybrid, or on-premise needs?
A: For those at a lower level IT leadership, concerns are often highly tactical: how do we execute X, Y and Z? How do we move to the cloud? OST can assist in several ways through assessments and discovery work to help them identify the right architecture. However, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. As you move up within an organization, you’ll identify different requirements. These individuals also have different underlying issues. This is the key: What are the business goals, objectives and outcomes that they’re looking to accomplish? Often, when we ask clients: ‘What’s your business goal? We hear: I need to go all into the cloud.’ In reality, that’s not a business goal. That’s a tactical solution to solving something. Ultimately, someone, somewhere has to validate the business outcomes this move can have on the organization. Even the statement: ‘We need to respond faster,’ still isn’t really a business goal. If a client says we need to cut the budget in half, we ask: ‘What is your budget today? What percentage of the budget makes up IT spending?’ Companies typically won’t make change just for a one or two percent savings.
We asked a client who we were working with what percentage of the IT budget makes up the cost of goods sold. The answer was 25 percent, which was a massive number. Typically, organizations spend 1 to 8 percent of total revenue on their entire IT budget. There was a misunderstanding between IT leadership and the business team. Because of that barrier, those things were never addressed. What we were able to identify and ultimately solve for was the need to restructure technology and eliminate technical debt. By doing so, they could free up human capital and allow their team to spend more time on innovation and profit growing initiatives. We were able to reduce their costs by half and build a business case that IT could bring to business leadership and clearly articulate what the end results would be. It made it easy and clear for leadership to accept the proposal and move forward.
Q: What is unique about OST’s work or value in this space?
A: It’s part of our DNA. As OST, we’ve evolved over time. We understand and ask what the cause and effect is of innovation on internal users and external customers that are using those services. We identify what the desired experience really is. That allows us to utilize technology to create great experiences and ultimately develop an architectural plan to implement.
Are the IT Disciplines of the Past Still Relevant Today?
Q: What else is on your mind right now? Projects, ideas, trends or whatever else strikes your fancy.
As more businesses have conversations about disaster recovery, or business continuity, for example, there will be more to think about. Hospitals are moving disaster recovery to the cloud to reduce costs, improve resiliency and accelerate growth across the organization. Businesses will realize essential commoditized items that are required, but not revenue generating, can be outsourced to other organizations. What will this mean for the business? OST can help navigate this.
We help CIOs and organizations come into alignment with each other. If the CIOs are so focused on trying to own and control everything, eventually they lose touch. By keeping them integrated, they can be a driver of change.