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

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…

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