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Cloud Interop Authors: Kevin Jackson, Thanh Tran

Cloud Computing: Blog Feed Post

#DigitalTransformation Means Hybrid IT and Multipath


The cloud is ubiquitous in today’s business world. This operational model is changing both data center operations and application development processes across multiple domains. As the manager of data centers for some of the most significant companies in the world, IBM has observed this profound shift in the strategic outsourcing marketplace. These shifts are being driven by:
  • Financial changes designed to minimize CAPEX and maximize OPEX.
  • Acquisition changes that prioritize as-a-service IT consumption and multisource procurement.
  • Operational changes that shift from data center ownership and physical management toward the virtual management of IT services from data centers owned by AWS, Azure, IBM and Hosted VMware providers.

What’s Driving Innovation?

With these changes, organizations are challenged to update their internal processes in a manner that addresses changing people skills, new programmable IT infrastructures and the multicloud world. Application development best practices are also transitioning, which is upending enterprise software deployments. These new development strategies are driving companies away from:
  • Monolithic designs, toward designs that aggregate the use of microservices.
  • Agile and Waterfall management models, toward fully automated DevOps.
  • Physical infrastructures and virtual servers, toward containerized environments.
While these transformations are seemingly inevitable, companies embark on their individualized journeys from a variety of starting points and with three different goals. The first goal is to support legacy enterprise application enhancements and deployments that tend to start and remain in an on-premise environment. The second is to implement new application designs that are primarily cloud-native for deployment to public cloud environments. In the face of this bifurcation, data center transformation projects represent the third goal. These tend to start with the automation of infrastructure components, with an end target of fully automated and containerized IT service provisioning and consumption within a DevOps operational environment.
Attaining these three operational goals is why cloud computing has driven rapid innovation, causing unprecedented disruption to the IT operating model. This disruption is revolutionizing how resources are consumed, delivered and governed. Cloud platforms, in fact, enable digital transformation acceleration along all three of these digital transformation vectors simultaneously by helping to answer questions like:
  • How to design and build new apps.
  • How to modernize existing apps with cloud services.
  • How to optimize the IT owned and operated by the enterprise.

Pursue Multipath Digital Transformation

Efficient and effective digital transformation depends on hybrid IT adoption. Transition requires building consensus across multiple constituencies and a focused change management strategy across just about every business process. The change management vectors must address:
  • How IT service consumption is changing into a commerce-like transaction similar to buying songs from multiple online streaming music vendors;
  • How IT service delivery is changing from service requests that initiate workflows towards fully automated functions governed by IT corporate policies;
  • How IT service governance is changing from incident keyed governance after-the-fact to the proactive setting and enforcement of policies that control consumption based on individual business unit usage models and cloud adoption strategies.
The target operating model is one that uses a multicloud federated management model that leverages IT service abstraction. The model lets businesses select and consume unique services and capabilities from each cloud service provider. The Gen 2 IT operations model depends on a high level of infrastructure visibility and governance that controls assets and usage patterns, a common DevOps consumption interface, the implementation of an enterprise scale DevOps model and, finally, the management of IT as a stand-alone business unit.
To pursue a multipath digital transformation to hybrid IT operations, you must:
  • Run a strategic portfolio analysis: Prioritized based on importance to customer experience, focus on high priority apps.
  • Develop your app-by-app migration plan: For priority, application create a focused SWT Team for each application.
  • Create a customer-obsessed cloud team: Think products and not projects (short iterations with quick customer feedback).
  • Pursue relentless automation: This requires standardization.
  • Re-engage with your trusted partners: External advice in the early change of a cloud migration can kick off the required culture change.
The IT world is changing fast, and the end point of this transition is a hybrid IT platform. This environment has on-premise data centers operating collaboratively across a multivendor, multicloud estate. The key to success in this world is to proactively set and enforce policies that control consumption based on individual business unit usage models and cloud adoption strategies. Get ready now, because it’s go time for multipath digital transformation.

( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)
This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.



Cloud Musings
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More Stories By Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson, founder of the GovCloud Network, is an independent technology and business consultant specializing in mission critical solutions. He has served in various senior management positions including VP & GM Cloud Services NJVC, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and VP Program Management Office at JP Morgan Chase. His formal education includes MSEE (Computer Engineering), MA National Security & Strategic Studies and a BS Aerospace Engineering. Jackson graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979 and retired from the US Navy earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Airborne Logistics and Airborne Command and Control. He also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide. Kevin is the founder and author of “Cloud Musings”, a widely followed blog that focuses on the use of cloud computing by the Federal government. He is also the editor and founder of “Government Cloud Computing” electronic magazine, published at Ulitzer.com. To set up an appointment CLICK HERE