April 20, 2020

From the coalface of consumption-based IT

John Tan
General Manager - Infrastructure Solutions
Just before COVID-19 brought international travel to a standstill, I was fortunate enough to attend HPE’s GreenLake ‘Consumption Visionary Council’ in San Jose, California. Given all the buzz consumption and as-a-service models are receiving at the moment, it was a great opportunity to be the only Australian representative of just nine global partners, involved in the discussion.

John Tan, third from right, with HPE partners and executives at the Consumption Visionary Council.

We explored some of the forces reshaping how organisations consume IT; and learned firsthand some impressive developments HPE has planned for new and better ways to deliver ‘as a Service’ via their GreenLake platform. Consumption-based IT has always been an aspirational position, and it’s exciting to see the options to support this approach have really matured. Read on for my key takeaways from the event:

The move back to private from public cloud

For more than a decade the world has been on a relentless march to public cloud. The advantages of cloud capabilities to tap into near-infinite pay-as-you-go resource pools and services are powerful benefits, and are generally well understood. Yet, increasingly, we’re finding that issues around compliance, data sovereignty and even latency are compelling customers to keep their data closer to home. More and more of our customers are actively choosing both a public and private approach to managing workloads. The problem with this approach is that on-premises and private cloud environments are complex and costly to manage.

HPE believe the answer to this predicament is to deliver on-premises IT as-a-Service, which they are calling ‘Everything as a Service’ (EaaS). HPE’s commitment is to provide their entire solution set via HPE GreenLake, their portfolio of EaaS solutions, by 2022.

This pay-as-you-go model for on-premises assets smooths a variety of management complexities in one fell swoop by enabling organisations to shift their on-premises IT spend from CapEx to OpEx under a single financial contract.

Beyond the bottom line

Consumption-based IT is about so much more than how to finance your IT gear. A survey conducted by IDG tells us that up to 80% of IT time can be spent on undifferentiated heavy lifting across on-premises environments1. Imagine what your business could achieve if that time was freed up to focus on the outcomes you want to achieve, not the IT assets you need to deploy?

The ability to pay solely for what’s been consumed allows organisations to skip many of the delays associated with purchasing, implementation and provisioning timelines. Forrester Research has demonstrated that HPE GreenLake can shorten time to market for IT projects by as much as 65 percent.2

EaaS is a true business enabler, and that’s what we’re most excited about at Data#3.

The critical consideration, key to getting the most from an EaaS model like HPE GreenLake –and this was reinforced at HPE’s Consumption Visionary Council – is to get the right support.

The whole-of-lifecycle approach to EaaS

When adopting a consumption-based IT model, organisations need the ability to access whole-of-lifecycle support from IT partners – not just support up to the point of signing a contract.

With the right partner by your side, your business can extract incredible value from EaaS. Initially, your partner is there to help you select the right technologies for your workloads. Next, your partner is there to assist you in implementing them. Ongoing, the right partner can help you get the most from the infrastructure you are investing in. They assist with how you’re using the technology (or not using it), adapting your usage, perhaps adjusting which workloads go where, and helping you right-size your investment for both cost and performance.

With this in mind, technology partners need new platforms, capabilities and skills to help customers get the most value from their HPE GreenLake investment. At Data#3, we have been building out these capabilities for some time – and our customer experience and outcome-focused approach has helped our customers realise significant cost savings and performance gains through their adoption of an EaaS model.

Portal to manage your hybrid IT

Another event highlight from the Visionary Council was the news that HPE is investing heavily in the GreenLake Central portal platform. Via the portal, customers can manage their on-premises or private cloud environments as they would for public cloud environments. This provides the functionality to review your bill history, and see what they are likely to be in the future.

The GreenLake Central portal – currently in beta testing, but expected to be released in coming months – will inject even more value into what is proving to be an extremely powerful way for organisations to monitor and manage their IT portfolios.

Partnering for the future of EaaS

 A key takeout from the Consumption Visionary Council was HPE’s commitment to building strong relationships with partners like Data#3. Enabling the best outcomes requires a marriage of applications and technologies, and partner and vendor expertise.

Partners are the voice of the customer – we can share our experiences and customer feedback to help shape the future of GreenLake. It’s a privilege to be a part of the journey.

If you would like to learn more about my experience at the HPE Consumption Visionary Council or talk to us about your EaaS needs, please contact me or your account manager.

Click here to learn more about GreenLake.

1. IDC Technology Spotlight (2018): “As-a-Service” IT consumption model for digital business innovation Available [online] https://www.hpe.com/us/en/pdfViewer.html?resource=/content/hpe/country/us/en/resources/campaigns/it-consumption&isGated=true&timestamp=1586913247572

2. Forrester (2018) The Total Economic Impact of HPE Greenlake Flex Capacity Available [online] https://assets.ext.hpe.com/is/content/hpedam/documents/a00047000-7999/a00047694/a00047694enw.pdf