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In this video Darrell from Technology In OPS (#techinops) provides a briefing on how “The Cloud” impacts a Senior Leader. The Cloud is changing how a lot of IT organizations do things and this means that first responders, emergency managers, and security professionals need to adapt. The short video impacts on IT (and your CIO), policy, and governance.

TRANSCRIPT (it’s rough but it works!):

Hey! How you doing? This is Darrel O’Donnell from Technology in OPS. I just want to give you a quick briefing here on what the cloud means, especially senior leaders. Senior leaders being the chiefs, deputy chiefs, system chiefs, relatively senior people in the services, in the first responder services and emergency management and security organizations.
Big trend right now is the cloud. The cloud is absolutely everywhere. You hear it all the time. If you’re dealing with anybody in IT, you’re hearing this. It kind of sounds like an ambiguous term. It is. It’s not really changing, it’s just the thing that the media have glommed on to but it’s important for you. I want to just tell you a couple of things on why you should care. It should be like a 2 – 4 minute video and I’ll also tell you what it is you need to know.
There’s a couple of things that you need to hear when you talk to people about the cloud. One is private or public. Private means that you actually own the infrastructure. You’re actually standing it up so you’re going and buying a whole bunch of stuff, running it so you’re going to have your maintenance cost, you’re going to have your body cost to keep it going. Public side it really is, well it’s on the internet but you can secure it, make sure that it’s only available to trusted people. There are many large law enforcement organizations for example who are stepping up and building a shared cloud that is on the “internet” but it is actually secured and available only to those law enforcement personnel. One of the key things you’re going to need to know what the cloud is the policy and governance are actually the harder problems to solve here than the technical issues. The technical issues are really quite easy. Nowadays whether a computer is in the cloud, whether it’s a virtualized computer, you’ll hear that term too, or whether it’s a real computer, the IT folks manage it without ever touching it anyways. The only time they ever touch it really is if a hardware problem happens or when they first put it into the racks. I just want to tell you quickly what the cloud means. Using the cloud, computers and networking really becomes a lot cheaper. It’s way faster. You can ramp things up like almost instantaneously like click a button, you have a server in hand. It’s also way more flexible, so if you have to search to do something, if your development team needs to transition something, they just basically click a couple of buttons, do the transition and shut down that transition machine. It makes it really easy for your technical people to respond. The biggest change to you though is now on operating cost. In the past buying servers the big cost was the hardware buy, the capital, which is that one-time purchase and some maintenance but typically the maintenance isn’t very big. With the cloud, the operating cost, there is no capital upfront cost really unless there’s a stand up charge which is usually nominal. The real thing is you’re transferring from your capital expenditure budget to your operating budget. That’s a big change for you.
When you’re dealing with your CIOs and your IT group, as you do as a senior leader, there’s a couple things they’re going to want to know from you, this will help them do their job. You’re going to want to basically, as a leader, you want to enable your team to make sure you know enough about your decisions but you can get them to do their thing. When it comes to the CIO there’s a couple of things. Cost-wise, who bears them? Sometimes an IT organization, the CIO will actually own a budget lying item that gives kind of a overall budget for an organization. That’s happening more and more. There also are service levels to be concerned about. Service levels you’ll hear the term SLA, service level agreement. That basically means how often or how much time do you want them to spend on keeping it on. You’ll hear 5-9, these are massive high availability, we’re talking telco grade, this is your telephone, not your cellular telephone but your landline. It never really goes down but 5-9 is very expensive. A service level of 5-9 means they really can’t have any downtime, just 24/7. If you can take your needs and push it down to a 3-9, 99.9 or a little bit less and understand that if things do go down, you have to respond and be able to get things going. You need to consider your service level agreements, whether you’re 24/7 or whether this is business level responds. Many core systems would be 24/7 but those systems that add value, if they disappeared for 4 or 5 hours you’d be able to recover. Those might be worth putting into the business level response, Monday to Friday, just because of the cost basis. The CIO’s are also going to be concerned and your CSO, anybody who’s doing any of the security in privacy, is going to be concerned or want to understand how you’re dealing with the various differences of security, because once it leaves your building, there is a difference in security but it can be mitigated. They want to know how you would like to mitigate it or to what level of comfort you need to mitigate the risk. They can get into the technical mumbo jumbo and do that. Also privacy, because your system might be outside a firewall and inside a different firewall, privacy becomes a concern with the cloud because you’re a different target for privacy concerns and that’s something that the CIO is always going to be worried about.
I’m hoping this helps. If you want more, just subscribe below. There’s a link there and I’ll get you more of the short little videos, get you kind of spun up on what the topics are of the day and those key issues and how you can deal with a few different things. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I’ve also got a regular free webinar for senior leaders, your operators as well as your tech teams, try to get those groups working together a bit better because what I’ve find and I’ve done too many projects where the business needs are clear, the technical team thinks they understand the business needs but there’s no proper linkage between the two and the project ends up failing. My clients get me to do forensic audits all the time and I see this far too often, so a free webinar available for you. If you want to talk privately, just reach out. Again, lots of links below. Hope this has helped. Once again I’m Darrel O’Donnell from Technology in OPS. Have an awesome day.