Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive: The value of consultants in the whole shooting match

September 11 2020, by Ben Svalbe | Category: Cloud Services

The whole shooting match (“any cloud” Hybrid Multi-Cloud).

At the end of the day there are so many choices out there as to where to host/house your virtual infrastructure/assets that there is no one-size-fits-all. The same software technology used by two different organisations may be well land on two fundamentally different infrastructure/software/platform solutions. This is where quality consulting comes into play and this isn’t based on a consultation from one person or point of view alone.


What should good consultancy look like?

For a successful consultancy engagement you need help from an entire network of subject matter experts, not just one persons beliefs, experiences or preferences.

What I mean here is that a good consultant acts a little like a project director does. They co-ordinate a team of expert opinions (project managers in the example) and provide structure and logic to the bigger picture response. They collate the findings, align them with the client use cases to  rank and prioritise recommendations to maximise the client outcomes.

The MCS consultants group (we go by the title of Principal Consultants) use this technique as part of our day to day. We have huge amounts of in-house expertise and huge external networks to draw on when offering our clients and prospects advice. One of the most powerful of these resources is the product management team. You can imagine they are bombarded with requests from technology vendors to utilise (sell) their products. Our evaluation and productisation processes are scrutinised by everyone from chief architects to the CEO, operations and service assurance, service delivery and even sales.

The fact that we go through this process means we have done our homework and can pass that learning onto you. It also means that we take a technology, and through offering it as a managed service we are effectively now selling an outcome. That’s a lot different from buying a widget and making it work.


Eat sleep but not always repeat

So where am I going with all of this? If I could write a book on this topic and receive royalties each time someone read it to facilitate their technology adoption, implementation and subsequent transformation, I would. But that’s not how it works. There are certain frameworks you can apply or re-use where there are similar characteristics at play. There are even fact finding techniques you may use to understand the problem but the multi-faceted (political/technical/commercial) nature of evaluation and decision making is far from a linear, standardised process for all businesses and individuals within them.

I guess that’s the point of this article. I can’t tell you how to fix a problem I don’t understand (yet). I can however tell you that our consultants are some of the most well rounded technology subject matter experts I have ever met. That insight isn’t something we charge our customers for (typically), its part of a quality cloud service provider offering.


Consulting in reality

Here’s an example that comes to mind for something essentially non-technical. We had a client, looking to improve their customer service metrics who were evaluating all sorts of technology to assist. We, rather than talking SaaS, PaaS or IaaS based deployments of service desk management platforms introduced the clients key stakeholders to the managers of our service assurance (HUB and HMC) groups. In being NPS fanatics ourselves, who better to be part of the consulting conversation than the people who established those very working groups/teams and could share our learnings and evaluations. As it turns out this was far more valuable to the client than a discussion around service desk management software vendor one versus two. Sure they had to decide on a software platform but don’t put the cart before the horse. It’s vital we understood what were they actually trying to achieve, and how?


Context gives you choices – consultants give you insight

There are really natural fits for technology adoption – If I was an accountancy firm evaluating the market I could almost guarantee you I would be scrutinising two SaaS based software solutions tailor made for that use case. If I wanted a highly accredited sovereign cloud provider that’s a different list again.

Similar for sales management, pipeline management and reporting (with a million and one additional modules available)… you can imagine the shortlist.

But once all of the intricacies of inter application interdependence, company culture, technical debt and appetite for change (and human emotions) enter the conversation things become far less binary.


Final thoughts

No-one wants to buy a “lemon”. I certainly don’t want to sell you one.

As it turns out, multi cloud or hybrid cloud adoption means you could end up with a whole bag of lemons. The goal however is to get the mix right for you.

We like to take the time to understand your requirements and work with, not against your organisational and individual needs and wants.

Consider that an invitation to get in touch with one of our consultants





Ben Svalbe

About the author.

Ben is a Principal Consultant in our Macquarie Cloud Services business unit. Having worked on technical transformation and optimisation projects for hundreds (if not thousands) of Australian and global customers and prospects, Ben is there to help you find the right fit for your managed cloud services requirements, whether that’s based on single provider or hybrid-cloud architecture.

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