Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Bill and Peter debriefed immediately after the meeting. Both thought it went well but knew their vision and expertise were to be called on quickly in order to help IT finalize its cloud design in the next few weeks.

"What do you think, Peter?" Bill inquired.

"Bill, in my opinion, we need to make sure that we have the right environment for cloud analytics. This cloud structure needs to be designed so that our data science people can easily get our fleet-wide EIDI data and run their analytics. However, we also need a multi-tenant cloud so that we can take advantage of companies that can run analytics on our EIDI data and other data if we choose to engage them. I think we should really think through how many independent cloud instances we should be sending our data to," answered Peter.

"You're right." Bill interjected. "If we don't plan accordingly, we will be back to where we were 25 years ago where the refinery data were in different databases that didn't communicate with each other."

Peter hoped that their design would facilitate a seamless transfer of data and a smooth workflow between the refinery and their edge processing, the enterprise, and their emerging cloud environment. He told Bill, "What we should investigate is a strategy of not replicating our EIDI data to an inordinate number of vendor-supplied independent cloud instances. We should carefully target where we replicate our data. If our EIDI vendor could facilitate a multiple vendor analytics community environment in the cloud, this would be more straightforward and easier to manage from a data replication standpoint."

He knew that more cloud analytics would spawn a multitude of more complex analytic offerings where they could leverage their contextualized EIDI data. Peter hoped they would soon reach the point where more technologically advanced big data analytics would be available for them to pursue.

Peter told Bill, "Let's start planning for the community environment. I've attended several cloud conferences and I think a big issue on the horizon is being able to ingest and serve out EIDI and business data simultaneously to multiple entities. They may be suppliers, customers, service providers, the city, who knows. Think of it as a superset of what we've already done with the cloud-based connected services." (See Chapter 9.)

"Pretty soon we will be able to automatically do business with our raw material suppliers through the cloud, where they have access to our inventories and will supply product to us when they detect in real time that we need restocking."

Peter and Bill decided this needed quick attention and set a meeting in two weeks with IT Director Pat Verlaine.

When they met, they started to share their cloud vision with Pat. Pat listened intently but seemed a bit distracted. When Bill asked, "Pat, are we making sense here?" Pat replied that it all seemed reasonable, but priorities might be changed. Peter asked why. Pat disclosed that there were rumors of an imminent Proclndustries acquisition.

Pat continued, "I'm not at liberty to say much, but I was brought in to evaluate another company's suite of IT and ОТ products to determine compatibility between the two companies."

Bill asked Pat, "Are we getting bought out?"

"No," Pat said. "Actually, we are looking to acquire a number of petrochemical plants from a well-known chemical company, who I can't reveal. SEC rules, you know, and please keep this conversation between us. The chemical company wants to shift its focus to specialty products and precision agriculture, you know, genetically engineered food. I don't know, maybe another alternative meat company. In any case, they want out of the basic chemicals market and we apparently want in to add to our downstream value chain."

Pat went on, "It seems that all of the cost reductions and increased revenue from the company-wide EIDI deployment has translated into a tidy sum for Proclndustries, thanks to you two."

Bill countered, "Thanks very much, Pat. But you know we couldn't have done it without you personally and your entire IT staff, especially with the big data analytics and the cloud-based connected services. You deserve credit as much as we do. I hate to run off, but thanks for the heads-up. Well keep what you just told us quiet. Right, Peter?"

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