There was a particularly exciting article on the OpenStack Superuser site this week (http://superuser.openstack.org/articles/how-to-introduce-openstack-in-your-organization) which highlights some interesting notes about OpenStack adoption. One of the challenges of OpenStack adoptions is the concept of selling the idea of adopting an open source platform where some enterprises are lacking in confidence on supporting and operating one. There are many thoughts on how to do this, and the OpenStack Superuser blog shows how Best Buy, MercadoLibre, and Workday had success in doing so.
Seeing the Value Proposition at All Levels
This is where I like to spread out the story a bit and think of the specific value that we can attach to what OpenStack can do for our organization. This is targeted at companies from small to enterprise and all sized in between. While not every company has the depth in the org chart as others, and we have some with silos, and some with flat hierarchy, the theme is pretty similar regardless.
Here are some quick notes on the way I like to tell the story of the value of OpenStack.
It’s no surprise that the pitch to the CIO is about better operational practices at lower costs. Enabling the business to achieve efficiency though the use of technology is part of the role of the CIO. We have a responsibility to use technology to drive business, and the innovation in the business will effectively drive technology to innovate with it.
A happy CIO is made by happy IT management teams. We are looking from the top down in the list here for a reason. As we start with the upper management to see the high-level, holistic layer of managing IT infrastructure, we start to move down the org chart and see that the IT management teams will gain the benefit from having a system like OpenStack in place. Leveraging the capabilities of the IaaS platform, and additional integration with PaaS and other abstracted service offerings is all part of enabling a more competent IT practice.
We keep hearing about the benefits of DevOps, and with good reason. OpenStack is a powerful enabler for DevOps methods and with the use of the OpenStack APIs, a development team can use programmatic methods to request IT resources. The self-service web UI also gives a simple way to deliver access to the full service stack for your development teams. By reducing the time to deliver services, you reduce the time to market of application development. This is the heart of what DevOps is building towards. Regardless of the level of DevOps integration, the access created by OpenStack for developers rivals nearly any competitive product in the market place.
Better operational practices come as a part of cloud adoption. Whether public or private cloud deployments are used, the resulting processes that are put into place can trigger a powerful evolution for an organization. When DevOps methods are in place, its a win-win for both the operations and development team. Reducing the amount of time needed on a day-to-day basis by operations staff will allow them to put their efforts towards creating better, more innovative processes to further enable the business.
As a customer of a company that has embraced OpenStack, you have some assurance that the company is fond of innovation. It doesn’t have to mean that being an OpenStack user requires being in a bleeding edge technology adoption cycle. Using OpenStack opens the door for better development and operational practices that ultimately lead to value for the customer. Better value translates to better pricing, better product availability, and higher satisfaction. This is the ultimate reason that we do what we do with technology, which is to enable better customer experience though better business process.
The side effect for greater OpenStack adoption is that the OpenStack community benefits. This can come in the way of developers providing code and enhancements upstream, through training and documentation, and in a somewhat more intangible way, in the way of having more user stories about successful OpenStack cloud deployments.
Having worked among the OpenStack community in a variety of ways, this really is one of the most powerful leading indicators of the success of OpenStack. More users correlates to wider adoption and a continued growth of the platform.
No cloud is too big or too small. With OpenStack clouds, we love them all 🙂