One of my favorite quotes is one from Einstein. “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
In my world, customers want wisdom from their IT provider, delivering highly available and scalable infrastructure solutions that AVOID the potential problems. We see this every day at Peak 10 in RFPs and discussions with customers. But one of our biggest challenges often is being clear with customers in what is expected from us when there are sometimes unstated, tough-to-measure requirements and then staying on top of those expectations.
It’s a big decision to move mission critical IT infrastructure to an IaaS provider such as Peak 10. The fear of “losing control” is tangible and real. In addition, business processes and applications are constantly changing. We hear this stuff all the time! How will the infrastructure that supports our business keep up? How do we manage through the risk to ensure our business keeps moving forward? How do we make this whole IT thing simpler? How do we stay on top of our IaaS partner, so everything runs smooth?
In a normal, more measurable world, you might notice changes to your business applications one day and place a “change order” to your provider. Your IaaS provider would then “react” and make the modifications to the infrastructure layer. But for some mid-market companies, having the bandwidth and technical skill to correctly specify these changes is a big challenge. Augmenting the internal IT team with specialized skills sets and proactive process is something we see as a clear and growing need from customers.
It’s this need that is driving our team at Peak 10 to stay proactive, predictive and prescriptive in our approach to customers – our “Three P’s”. We’re working on a number of programs to be that type of provider for businesses who want to take the leap into the cloud. These “Three Ps” are informing many of our internal activities to help drive improved uptime, better monitoring and alerts, and overall consistent performance (that would be the fourth P, by the way.)
I had a CIO customer once explain his expectation of Peak 10 in very simple language – “Just be me,” he said. “I just want you to be me.”
Proactivity requires transparent and frequent communication, whether it’s a weekly meeting to discuss the details of a major cloud migration or the constant contact with a customer when we do routine maintenance in the data center.
Furthermore, we’re driving an approach to deeply know and understand our customers. Better automation in our customer-facing systems, coupled with an improved program management discipline is shaping up to help us help our customers be successful. We are you. We are your IT Infastructure.