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Following is the conversation that CIO Applications had with Dave Kluger, the co-founder and chief technology officer at Storcom, to understand how the company works with a client’s existing infrastructure to deliver solutions that leverage the most of their existing investments.
Please elaborate on the trends that will have an impact in the cloud-based planning solution space this year and how is Storcom planning to leverage these trends and evolve?
The current challenge for all organizations revolves around leveraging the Cloud in the right way. The biggest initiative that currently needs to be addressed is how, when, and where does an organization effectively and efficiently use cloud-based technologies. We all hear about a cloud-first strategy, but what does that really mean? The trend in the past few years was that of organizations sometimes rushing to move resources or systems into the Cloud too quickly. Now, companies are slowing down and are doing proper assessments to create a really strategic roadmap of cloud adoption. In many cases, just moving workloads into IaaS in public clouds don’t make sense if you have not evaluated the entire picture and what interdependencies or barriers may lie in the way to a successful migration. Storcom helps our clients create a Cloud Enablement Roadmap™ that looks at all aspects of IT needs and which options (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) make the most sense for different application silos. It’s not an all-or-nothing approach; it's about the application and how to best leverage the Cloud.
Keeping with current trends, the concept of hybrid or multi-cloud approaches may be worked into the Roadmap due to limitations that may be encountered during a migration. Storcom understands the current technology landscape and helps our clients navigate through finding the right approach to solving key business challenges while leveraging a cloud-first strategy.
What are the challenges that CIOs face now in the cloud-based planning solution space and how is Storcom effectively addressing these issues?
There are two challenges that Storcom sees CIOs facing in cloud-based planning today. Either a company lacks the resources to put together a comprehensive cloud migration strategy, or they lack resources to implement the strategies that have been put on paper.
Storcom understands that every client is different and a one-size-fits-all approach to getting to the Cloud doesn’t cut it anymore. Many businesses need to utilize external resources like Storcom to create cloud migration strategies in order to align business objectives that leverage innovations in technology, and others need assistance in the execution phase or ongoing management of a cloud-based initiative.
Storcom helps our clients create a Cloud Enablement Roadmap™ that looks at all aspects of IT needs and which options (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) make the most sense
Storcom’s Cloud Enablement Roadmap™ addresses these issues in the cloud-based solution space with a cloud-first strategy. Once we have provided our comprehensive cloud migration strategy Roadmap, we then give our clients the option of having Storcom take the helm as their capable co-pilots in order to execute and implement our Roadmap solution, and/or manage their cloud environment post-migration.
Please walk us through Storcom’s Cloud-Based Planning Solution on the basis of its methodology, features and benefits involved?
Cloud migration is a complex endeavor that can yield many advantages when done right. Lack of careful planning and testing can be devastating to a business. Storcom invests the necessary consulting time during the Discovery phase of our Roadmap methodology to understand our clients’ business drivers, challenges, and vision. We follow tested methodology to ensure that the transition to the Cloud is as seamless as possible.
We believe that this upfront effort reaps more benefits for our clients in the long run. Additionally, Storcom comes to understand the business drivers and the supporting applications and underlying infrastructure. Moreover, we design ways to positively impact those drivers to ultimately improve not just our clients’ IT department, but their business as a whole.
Please cite a case study on how Storcom has enabled clients to overcome hurdles and attain desired outcomes.
Storcom’s client, a large manufacturing company of commercial products in Chicago, was faced with looming infrastructure upgrades for their current on-prem compute and storage needs. They were also trying to provide better availability for their business and the applications that IT was responsible for hosting.
Since this client is a manufacturer, they were also faced with a very unique set of challenges on top of the normal considerations that companies face when migrating to the Cloud. These challenges included the physical element of manufacturing changes and the dynamics of how applications will communicate with devices like handheld scanners when applications are moved off-premises. The number of legacy applications that needed to be upgraded and potentially rewritten as cloud-native during the same time period was another challenge and added to the complexity of this project.
Storcom was brought in to build a three-year cloud migration strategy leveraging our Cloud Enablement Roadmap™. Storcom evaluated legacy applications that could have potentially been rewritten as cloud-native. We also looked at the main ERP system which could not initially be ported to cloud-native but needed to be moved off-prem using a “lift and shift” model. Storcom then assessed how all of these applications, including the CAD systems the designers used, would interact. Next, Storcom evaluated how applications would be moved to the public cloud and what the costs would look like as the migration occurred because of the complex interactions between on-prem and off-prem devices.
Storcom is now in the process of executing our Cloud Enablement Roadmap™ to oversee our client’s evolution to the Cloud.
What steers Storcom ahead of the competition?
Storcom maintains a competitive edge against market competitors by being a high-touch solutions provider with an approach to IT that dives under the hood to understand technology at its core. We use our strong knowledge of not only how and when a cloud-first initiative makes sense, but our understanding of application delivery is also a pivotal part of our competitive edge. This methodology continues into the Cloud Enablement Roadmap™ and is at the forefront of what we evaluate. If you don't understand the applications, then you don't understand what drives the business. This is a huge part of what separates us from our competition.
What does the future hold for Storcom?
2020 holds a world of possibilities for Storcom. Co-founder Jeff James and I are planning to expand our footprint at our operational headquarters in Lombard, Illinois, and we are adding new talent to our team to increase our capabilities. As always, we will continue to partner with both established and budding technology manufacturers to give our clients a competitive edge in selecting the perfect solution for their environments. We are excited about what the future holds for Storcom!