Your Journey & The New Style of IT

This is an extension of my previous post on choosing the right Cloud Strategy…

There’s a pretty good reason why many enterprise organizations today have expensive, heterogeneous environments with islands of IT systems. It’s because different operating systems and applications had different underlying architecture that were available for IT investment, at different periods in time.If you look at the last 30 years (1985–2015) the computing architecture changed from UNIX variants (HP-UX, AIX, Solaris) to x86 flavors (Windows, Linux) to Hypervisor based Cloud Instances (vSphere, Hyper-V, Xen, KVM). So changed storage and network.

Now, till around the year 2000 companies were happy to pump money for ITinfrastructure but when markets started to become fiercely competitive, ITwhich was considered a support function and often a cost center started facing demands. More was expected from less and as the annual budget became a source of great scrutiny, IT had little to juggle data center costs. This led to searching for ways and means of running the data center more efficiently. Starting point was the server sprawl and associated energy costs. Thus, theconcept of Consolidation became the first wave in the journey towards cloud. After the first commercial blade server was shipped in 2001 (by RLX Technologies), the blade concept opened doors to cost efficiency by consolidating power, cooling, networking, space & management.

Yet, the rate of server sprawl was greater than the rate of consolidation, and under-utilization was mounting (due to one server per application best practice of IT). Hence, after consolidation the concept of Virtualization emerged and it solved not just the problem of cost but also problems of risk and agility to a considerable extent (through high availability and faster provisioning). During the decade of 2000 to 2010, consolidation and virtualization had saved companies plenty of money, but still IT was being challenged to generate more value to business and drive down costs further. Reason for this: the data centers themselves grew in complexity over time and now there were clusters of hypervisors and traditional IT footprints to be managed while demands from users and business kept rising.

We have been more focused on building and managing data center resources instead of consuming. So what is the way out?…leveraging on consolidation and virtualization, we can start with two things:

1) Reduce the complexity of data centers through Automation of tasks,
Orchestration of processes and Transformation of service delivery. For this you will need cloud automation and management tools.

2) Shift the focus to a certain degree on Consuming rather than Building IT
resources because building means CapEx and consuming means OpEx. For this you can take advantage of established, cheap, on-demand, pay-as-you-use, off-premise “as a Service” cloud offerings.

After consolidation and virtualization, the concept of Cloud became the next wave of optimizing the data center operation. By 2015 surveys indicated that 75% of organizations use some form of cloud (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, XaaS) and analysts predict by 2020 that number will hit 100%. So how does an organization go about managing their Traditional, Virtual and Cloudresources effectively? This is where the power of a Hybrid IT Strategy is unlocked, where IT shifts from a Traditional Support Function to an Internal Service Broker and a Line of Business Partner, contributing to business innovation and growth.

This 30 year journey has now reached an inflection point in the industry, demanding a New Style of IT. It’s about making insightful decisions from the vast amounts of information and data your organization has accumulated over time to enhance customer experience and stay ahead of competition (Big Data), making the improved applications and new value added services available to your organization’s employees, customers and partners from anywhere, anytime and any device (Mobility) and doing all this through a very secure manner to ensure compliance, integrity, privacy etc (Security) through efficient data center operations and agile platforms (Cloud).

With Social Media and Connectivity (Internet of Things) also influencing the way we do business, Cloud becomes the linchpin and the nexus of these 6 forces that drives the New Style of IT. Big Data-Cloud-Mobility-Security-Social- Connectivity…your IT Journey is entering an interesting passage.

Best,
Shane


Originally published at www.linkedin.com.

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