Requirements for a successful cloud, with Lilac Schoenbeck

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“Building a cloud environment is as much about spending a little bit of time up front, thinking through all the criteria that makes it [cloud] most useful to your business. … A stitch in time really saves nine in cloud. And we found that a lot of folks who haven’t taken that time have lived to regret it–and had to redo [version] 2.0 sooner rather than later,” Lilac Schoenbeck said.


In this podcast we hear from BMC Software cloud marketing expert Lilac Schoenbeck about what it takes to succeed with cloud projects. Lilac begins the process with explaining and defining “shadow IT” as the acquisition of IT services by elements in an organization without consulting with their own internal IT department. She explains why this is a critical point in the process.

It’s important to understand the process toward cloud. Lilac makes the case for working within your own IT department, defining your business goals, and then deciding to make, or buy, cloud services. She offers an overview of the 15 criteria listed in her white paper Requirements for a Successful Cloud.

Major categories outlined include:

  • Building your catalog of required services
  • Making your life easier – administering and managing
  • Keeping your options open

Lilac shares insights about how to decide what to move into the cloud–and what not to, reminding listeners to first know what your users need, and what you’re already doing for them. It’s important to know what are you doing that is working, and what isn’t.

For Cloud, there’s the make-or-buy question. The answer? It depends. Do you have the manpower and expertise to do it yourself? Or does it make more sense to get a solution from a company that not only has the expertise, but also has a wide range of experience in crafting cloud services successfully?

Lilac concludes with some words of wisdom: “Take some time to gather the requirements and plan what you’re going to do. If you need help with this step, getting it early will very likely save you a lot of heartburn down the road.”


Lilac Schoenbeck is senior manager of Cloud Computing Marketing at BMC Software. Schoenbeck has more than 12 years of experience with product marketing, strategy, business development, and software engineering in the grid, virtualization, and cloud domains. She has worked for IBM, Fortisphere, Innosight, and the Globus Alliance, and holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, as well as a computer science degree from Pacific Lutheran University.


  1. Tell us about the “shadow IT” some companies have developed. What is it, what causes it, and what should IT do about it?
  2. Am I correct that your paper suggests that a company should develop their own cloud services within the company?
  3. In the paper you list 15 criteria for IT to follow. That’s quite a list, and a tall order. How do you suggest an IT department approach implementing these recommendations? Should they jump in with both feet, or ease in a little at a time?
  4. Are you suggesting that IT move everything into the cloud, or just what the people think should be in the cloud?
  5. Are there vendors who can supply systems such as you describe pre-built, or will the company have to roll their own?


For an in-depth look at this subject, check out Lilac’s Thought Leadership white paper (pdf), Requirements for a Successful Cloud

Here is a full list of Lilac’s latest cloud musings: Lilac Schoenbeck Recent Pubs

Read expert articles regarding the latest trends in cloud computing: Cloud Computing Viewpoint

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