Business Issues, CIO Leadership, Technology, Applications

Why one CIO nixed a new data server in favor of cloud computing

Article by,

Jerry Bishop, CIO of Technology Managed Services at Sungard Higher Education, prepared a terrific slide presentation that in detail walks through his (and presumably others') decision to move to cloud services instead of building a new data center. Perhaps, this rich presentation can help you on along the path to cloud computing.

Jerry also write a blog called

Click here for the show.

Here's "The Decision" content on slide 28 to whet your appetite:

--"Do NOT Build New Data Center
--Not Strategic to College’s Mission
--35yr Breakeven Too Long
--Other Capital and Space Needs are Priorities
--Do NOT Build Shared Data Center w/ UWEC
--Extend Colocation for 12 months
--Execute Strategy
--Simplification, Consolidation & Preserving Options

Follow me on Twitter.

(3) (3)

Would you like to comment on this content? Log in or Register.
machael Anony 0 Points | Fri, 10/28/2011 - 01:54
Comment has been flagged as Inappropriate.
machael Anony 0 Points | Fri, 10/28/2011 - 01:53
Comment has been flagged as Inappropriate.
Raechelle Clemmons 8 Points | Tue, 05/17/2011 - 03:21

A major goal of mine when I came to Menlo was to get rid of our "data center" (more like a server closet, and a shared one at that) and move to the cloud. For the size of our institution, our resources, and our focus, keeping this infrastructure in-house didn't make sense. I'm working on an article right now for EDUCAUSE Quarterly that chronicles our alternative sourcing journey (we also used some outsourced services, moved to cloud/SaaS, etc). I've had to dial back a little on the complete move of our services, though, for two reasons. First, some of the pricing just isn't there yet for cloud services, so it's still *much* more cost-effective to host it in-house, all things considered. Second, I'm nervous about shifting the cost basis from capital expenses to operating expenses. My experience thus far is that our capital budgets have been fairly stable but I keep getting asked to take cuts to my operating budget. If I shift the burden from capital to operating and then face cuts, how do I sustain our existing environment and services? At least with equipment on hand you can walk the CFO in and say "See that red light blinking? It needs to get replaced." I wonder if anyone else is struggling with this cost basis shift, and how they're dealing with it?

Juan Nalda 11 Points | Tue, 04/19/2011 - 14:00


Although Cloud paradigm does not fit all companies or applications, it should be a key factort of any outsourcing strategy for a company. I think it is not a matter of black and white of in-house vs cloud.

For me right sourcing means to select the most adequate framework to streamline operations for each firm and each appl by taking into account changing business demands. Services based on cloud may be more expensive if companies don't get good network access from all their sites and have internal regulatory restrictions in terms of keeping sensible data far from their own premises,  so we have to be cautious before making a definitive statement  



John Dodge 1535 Points | Tue, 04/19/2011 - 15:57

Welcome to the Enterprise CIO Forum, Juan.

What would make a great blog post is if you could in 500 words or less describe the ideal conditions for using the cloud and ideal conditions for using internal resources.  

Paul Calento 255 Points | Fri, 04/15/2011 - 15:07

Rationally, the choice for the cloud vs.  in-house data center is really clear in Jerry Bishop's example. It makes sense.

But outside the numbers, for many CIOs, IT reinvention and reallocation requires a shift in perspective from hands-on control to virtual management. The key is less about the technology and even ROI, but the approach an ecosystem uses. How one investment connects with another, many of which have already happened over months, years and, in some cases, decades.

Cloud is more than just key benefits that Joel H Dobbs identifies as "speed", "simplicity", and "leverage". Components include far more than just where your data center resides (physical or virtual).

One example HP Instant-On Enterprise encompasses application transformation, converged infrastructure, enterprise security, information optimization and hybrid delivery (i.e. to cloud or not to cloud and when). Org's aren't going to do everything at once and its important to work within a flexible framework that builds on itself.

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by and HP)

Jerry Bishop 100 Points | Sat, 04/16/2011 - 22:04


I couldn't agree more and support many of the great points you provide. I also just posted an update onour converged infrastructure proejct that is really bring this all together for us on our private cloud journey. You can see that post  CIO Eye Candy and Power Svings Too with links to background posts here on ECF. Although we choose a different platform than HP has a compelling solution.


John Dodge 1535 Points | Fri, 04/15/2011 - 15:23

Jerry walks through many nitty gritty points from building space savings to ROI to the distraction of building a data center yourself. It's highly probable that many of his considerations would map well to other CIOs in the same circumstances.