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Interview with iSpeak Cloud author Jeanne Morain

iSpeak Cloud: Crossing the Cloud Chasm author Jeanne MorainOne of the highlights of HPE Discover 2016 was having Jeanne Morain, author of iSpeak Cloud: Crossing the Cloud Chasm, in Avnet's booth to sign copies of her book. I was able to sit down with Ms. Morain to ask her some questions on cloud computing and how companies can best leverage the cloud. 

​Q: What inspired you to start writing?

Jeanne Morain (JM): My very first book was on business service management and it stemmed from realizing that companies needed a guide to help them navigate their journey to transform people, process and technology. During the early years, I quickly realized ​there was more misinformation and misinterpretation on best practices from those trying to guess or merely market the best path forward. This left many of my customers upset and spending exponentially more trying to figure it out themselves. 

This confusion and cost impact was concerning to me as the product management leader on the infrastructure and configuration side that originally built out the vision and implemented the products and processes across the first dozen customers. I owed it to my customers, employees and those that believed in business service management to help proactively fill the gaps not just to increase sales of my products, but to help customers be successful in their journey. I wanted to help readers everywhere who were trying to help themselves. 

Q: What did you learn from writing?

JM: The experience taught me that time to value, money and resources are exponentially higher for solutions in the early stages of their paradigm adoption. In order for adoption of these new technologies to make sense for companies, they needed more information on the ‘how’ versus the ‘what’ and ‘why’ the solutions were created.

I was fortunate enough to have been part of defining the market vision for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) at VMware after they acquired a start-up I was with. Once again, I found that the nascent market really needed more of a guide for people to identify best practices from inception to production. The heart of VDI is the data center and implementing a strong cloud strategy.

I was asked by Kurt Milne from ITPI and Andi Mann from CA to coauthor Visible Ops Private Cloud based on my years of experience with N-Tier infrastructures first as a customer and the​n vendor. I derived a lot of joy working with independent thought leaders to create the four step approach for a solid foundation to cloud computing.

From there, ​​I went on to writing about where the rubber meets the road from the cloud - specifically about best practices, how to implement cloud solutions and how businesses can benefit by embracing shifts in technology. 


Jeanne Morain - iSpeak Cloud AuthorQ: Is that what iSpeak is about?

JM: I wrote iSpeak Cloud to be a one-two punch. Volume 1 is the version I'm signing and handing out at the Avnet booth during HPE Discover. Again it's about real processes contributors and I wanted to document and share with others who were interested in learning more. The research is completely company and product agnostic and focuses on the people process gaps that exist with companies today. It can give readers and idea of what a cloud workshop might entail and how to best identify issues in the company and close the cloud chasm.

It's written to be very conversational, like a play, to enable readers to understand the various perspectives of different roles. I was fortunate to have experience from both the business and IT side. As such, I was lucky enough to see both perspectives – some have referred to me as a cloud therapist. 

Q: What is “the cloud chasm?”

JM: The cloud chasm is the split on where the business thinks it needs to be and what IT has to deliver. Much like an old married couple, the two teams don't always see eye-to-eye. The more gaps in communication there are, the more difficult it will be to close that chasm.

The truth is neither side is intentionally trying to make it harder on the other. All are just trying to do their job – but the shortcuts taken are impacting the company as a whole. This has led to shadow IT, increased costs, duplicate effort and decreased budgets. Once readers become familiar with the process in Volume 1, they can learn best practices from people that have walked miles in their shoes and came out on top in Volume 2.

The second volume is a conglomeration of words of wisdom from leaders to practitioners combined with my own experience implementing the processes. It is intended to serve as a framework to fill the cloud chasm gap to position technology as a business partner. I am really excited about the leaders that have contributed – they really come from all walks of life and care about making a difference.​​

Q: What is the biggest communication gap between the business and IT?

JM: Often times it's about understanding the problem. Making a cloud strategy isn't an ad-hoc thing. You have to make sure you're pulling the right resources and solving the problems that are most affecting the business. Sometimes the CIO and the business have different or even conflicting objectives that can hinder transformation. It's really tough to move forward when these two aren't on the same page.

The key is making sure everyone has a seat at the table. Sometimes it's about asking more questions, sometimes it's about letting go of processes or technology that aren't working, but having the right representation is never the wrong way to go. "Why are we implementing this technology? What is it being used for? What is the ROI?" If we can identify the right objectives and then determine what needs to happen to meet those objectives, then we're on the right path. ​​

Q: What is your recommendation on public vs. private vs. hybrid clouds for an organization?

JM: I don't want to choose just one because really it's not one-size-fits-all. Sometimes business users start with a public cloud, but if a company has to deal with greater security concerns or regulations, it often looks to a private cloud for the improved security. Sometimes it's a mixture of both in a hybrid cloud format. A telecommunications company, for example, may want to keep customer and employee information secured on a private cloud but then use the public cloud for less sensitive information in order to cut back on costs. In the end, it's all about what's best for that business.

iSpeak Cloud: Crossing the Cloud Chasm is available for purchase on Amazon. iSpeak Cloud: Embracing Digital Transformation will be available from HPE and later, after the official release on June 28, 2016. Stay tuned. In the meantime, you can follow @JeanneMorain on Twitter or watch her monthly podcast on

Laura Lentchitsky:

​​​​​​As a seasoned storyteller and part of Avnet's marketing team, Laura Lentchitsky is responsible for developing content that takes hard-to-understand technical topics and translates them into enjoyable stories for readers. Her expertise focuses around Avnet's IT services capabilities in cloud, IT operations and management, IT asset management, and training and education. Laura's creativity and energy helps deliver Avnet's value proposition as a solutions provider and distributor in the IT industry to readers all over the globe. ​