MSPs Must Help IT, Finance ‘Share the Responsibility’ for Hybrid Cloud, Business Success

Sparkhound’s Peter Phillip will help Channel Partners Evolution attendees guide customers in important talks.

August 19, 2019

4 Min Read
MSPs Must Help IT, Finance ‘Share the Responsibility’ for Hybrid Cloud, Business Success

By Kelly Teal

Enterprise finance and IT often find themselves at odds over technology spending and strategy. The bean counters need to keep expenses down and take advantage of accounting allowances. IT, meanwhile, seeks to deploy next-generation assets and services — many of which require hybrid cloud setups — that benefit the business and its end users. It’s not that the two departments want to go head to head, or keep the other from doing its job well. It’s that each must act in the best interest of its charter.

All this can lead to lack of momentum as IT and finance wrangle over technology approaches, especially when it comes to moving away from hardware, which has depreciation write-offs. But that does not change the reality that IT usually has to shift to more cloud-reliant initiatives. In many cases, these organizations can use the help of managed service providers who have the tools, acumen and even the responsibility to guide and support conversations between the two departments.


Sparkhound’s Peter Phillip

Peter Phillip, general manager of digital consultancy Sparkhound’s Houston office, will discuss this critical topic at Channel Partners Evolution, and show MSPs and other partners how to help customers through negotiations.

Phillip brings more than 20 years’ experience to the session, having worked with nearly 150 clients of all sizes — from startups to Fortune 10 companies — across energy, health care, manufacturing, finance and the consumer sector. His session, “Get Finance and IT Aligned for Hybrid Cloud Success,” takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 10:25-11:10 a.m., as part of the Marketing & Technology Track sponsored by Nextiva.

Channel Partners spoke with Phillip in advance of the event to give partners a fuller idea of what to expect. This Q&A has been edited for clarity.

Channel Partners: What is the fundamental disconnect between finance and IT, regarding hybrid cloud, that MSPs can help to solve?

PP: The primary disconnect is often understanding. IT wants to prepare for the future and leverage technology to benefit IT and the business. Finance wants to cut costs, maximize spend and leverage existing assets. The journey to the cloud — and a hybrid environment, in particular — is often seen as two distinct journeys by these groups. MSPs can help bridge this with education and the benefit of their experience.

CP: Why is finance still stuck in a hardware-depreciation mindset?

PP: Taking advantage of hardware depreciation makes good financial sense, allowing companies to realize some gains on previous hardware investments. However, the desire to keep the hardware and depreciate it should not outweigh the benefits that can be achieved by moving workloads into the cloud and taking advantage of only running them when needed — realizing substantial savings over time.

CP: What are three key techniques MSPs can use to help their IT clients establish —– and maintain — productive dialogue with finance/accounting?

PP: Foremost is helping finance understand the advantages of cloud environments. From security, availability, maintenance and growth, cloud is a must-have tool in the IT and business arsenal. Understanding how cloud environments, and the workloads that run in them, differ from traditional…

…on-premises hardware is key to realizing how finance can achieve significant savings by hybridizing the infrastructure environments.

Being the bridge between IT and finance is a challenging task, as IT often reports to finance. However, keeping finance involved in the cloud migration/hybridization process within the enterprise keeps the dialogue going and prevents finance from feeling ambushed when they get a large infrastructure bill out of the blue. Partnering with them to maximize the benefits of the on-premises infrastructure and adding in the cloud makes for a much less complicated conversation.

Share the responsibility. Both sides have to realize that both departments share the responsibility for the business success. Balancing that between taking advantage of technology and being fiscally responsible is a shared burden.

CP: What are some of the hardest parts of monitoring hybrid clouds for usage and expenses tracking?

PP: The current landscape of cloud providers, and the tendency of most organizations to leverage more than one cloud provider, produces an inherent difficulty in tracking usage and spending. While new tools are coming to the market to handle this issue, it is still early and there are many holes left to fill.

CP: How can a combination of strong software and strong relationships lighten the load of hybrid cloud usage and expenses tracking?

PP: By providing a single pane of glass. This allows the business to view its on-premises infrastructure, cloud environment, and usage and cost, so that the barriers to relevant and rapid decision-making are lowered considerably.

CP: What do you want attendees to come away with from your presentation?

PP: To come away understanding that solving this fairly universal issue of hybrid cloud and finance is one that begins with communication, education and collaboration. The business world’s journey toward digital transformation is not one that is solely led by IT or governed by finance, but a destination that both must seek together.

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