Changes in cloud deployment models are forcing a rethinking of IT’s role, along with the demand for new tools and expertise
For a time, IT seemed to be underappreciated or simply bypasssed. With a swipe of a credit card, some business units and developers found a quick and easy way to get the services they needed—without engaging with their IT counterparts. Now things are changing. With the complexities of managing different workloads on and off premises, these same users are once again seeking the help of IT to cut through the chaos and ensure the right safeguards are in place.
In a recent BriefingsDirect podcast, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, talks with Rhett Dillingham, Vice President and Senior Analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. The two discuss the changing IT procurement landscape as more organizations move to multi-cloud and hybrid IT operating models.
IT’s new role – back to the future with an emphasis on hybrid
Dillingham began the interview by explaining why procurement of hybrid and multi-cloud services are changing. “What began as organic adoption — from the developers and business units seeking agility and speed — is now coming back around to the IT-focused topics of governance, orchestration across platforms, and modernization of private infrastructure.” Organizations are now realizing that IT has to be involved in order to provide much needed governance.
Gardner mentioned that many organizations are looking beyond simply choosing between public or private clouds. Dillingham agrees that there is a growing interest in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. “Some organizations adopt a single public cloud vendor. But others see that as a long-term risk in management, resourcing, and maintaining flexibility as a business. So they’re adopting multiple cloud vendors, which is becoming the more popular strategic orientation.”
Of course, effectively managing multi-cloud and hybrid IT in many organizations creates new challenges for IT. Dillingham explains that as IT complexity grows, “The business units and developers will look to IT for the right tools and capabilities, not necessarily to shed accountability but because that is the traditional role of IT, to enable those capabilities. IT is therefore set up for procurement.”
Multi-cloud economics 101 — an outside expert can help
Dillingham suggests that organizations consider all types of deployments in terms of costs. Large, existing investments in data center infrastructure will continue to serve a vital interest, yet many types of cloud deployments will also thrive. And all workloads will need cost optimization, security, compliance, auditability, and customization.
He also recommends businesses seek out consultants to avoid traps and pitfalls, which will help better manage their expectations and goals. Outside expertise is extremely valuable not only with customers in the same industry, but also across industries. “The best insights will come from knowing what it looks like to triage application portfolios, what migrations you want across cloud infrastructures, and the proper set up of comprehensive governance, control processes, and education structures,” explains Dillingham.
Gardner added that systems integrators, in addition to some vendors, are going to help organizations make the transition from traditional IT procurement to everything-as-a service. “That’s more intelligent than trying to do this on your own or go down a dark alley and make mistakes. As we know, the cloud providers are probably not going to stand up and wave a flag if you’re spending too much money with them.”
To help in the governance of all deployments, Dillingham says IT will want to implement the ultimate toolset that will work across both public and private infrastructures. “A vendor that’s looking beyond just public cloud, like Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and delivers a multi-cloud and hybrid cloud management orientation, is set up to be a potential tour guide and strategic consultative adviser.”
Advice for optimizing hybrid and multi-cloud economics
Gardner concludes the interview by discussing how managing multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments is incredibly dynamic and complex. “It’s a fast-moving target. The cloud providers are bringing out new services all the time. There are literally thousands of different cloud service SKUs for infrastructure-as-a-service, for storage-as-a-service, and for other APIs and third-party services.”
Dillingham advises that the best IT adoption plan comes down to the requirements of each specific organization. He cautions that the more business units the organization has, the more important it is that IT drives “collaboration at the highest organizational level and be responsible for the overall cloud strategy.” Collaboration must encompass all aspects, including “platform selection, governance, process, and people skills.”