Enterprise IT faces challenges on the road to modernization

July 20, 2017 Ron Harnik

When it comes to being on the cutting edge of technology, there are plenty of benefits to being a startup or having your own separate group in the enterprise. The biggest win? You aren’t tied back to Central IT and legacy hardware. This way you can freely leverage the cool stuff, like the most advanced cloud services, the latest open source tools or anything that helps you move faster. You focus on productivity, while cost and security may be taking a back seat.

 

This is not the case for Central IT at the enterprise. Central IT faces a massive challenge as more and more enterprises embrace the cloud. Ticketing systems have become too cumbersome and users now expect self-service and automation. All the while, IT is still expected to maintain security and compliance standards, control costs and have some form of visibility over resource consumption.

 

These problems are compounded by the fact that data centers don’t magically go away because of a mandated move to the cloud. According to Gartner, cloud computing success will require the orchestration and coordination of both cloud and data center, as most enterprises are adopting a Hybrid Cloud model.

 

In their report “I&O Leaders Must Plan For Hybrid Cloud Orchestration”, Gartner analysts also warn that many Infrastructure and operations teams will not achieve cost and operational efficiencies due to the deployment of isolated, not well-coordinated resources.

 

With all of this in mind, Central IT organizations need to support multiple business units/departments/teams using different cloud platforms, as well as maintain existing data centers. These workloads must be coordinated to ensure adherence to budgets and security standards, while still trying to make end-users as productive as possible.  

 

Another major piece of this puzzle is the issues of migration. While many enterprises are adopting an “all-in” approach to cloud, most strategies are still, to a certain degree, hybrid. When planning the move from the data center to the cloud, IT often has to consider the actual benefit to the applications. Is the goal to only diminish our data center estate, or do we wish to leverage some cloud-benefit with our existing applications?

 

In the process of migration planning, IT often finds that some applications will not benefit from being “forklifted” into the cloud, and will require extensive re-architecting as part of the migration process. Since most enterprises have already made massive investments in data center technologies over the years, it sometimes makes more sense to modernize the way users access data center workloads, rather than rebuilding every application.

 

So how do terms like “modernization” and “digital transformation” play into this? Well, it has to do with the way end-users consume resources, and how they are able to use those resources to innovate.

 

As we mentioned earlier, ticketing systems where users have to request a VM, and wait as IT scrambles to fulfill requirements for storage, networking, and software, don’t align with the self-service nature of cloud that users have come expect. These ticketing systems are not going to go away overnight, but they are changing, as is the rest of the resource consumption and usage model.

 

Modern IT seeks to create a federation of IT teams. Teams get the autonomy they need while Central IT doesn’t sacrifice visibility and control over cost, security and compliance. That’s the vision today’s enterprise IT strives for.

 

Here are a few approaches IT leaders are taking to reach that vision:

  • Unified management for cloud and data center

  • End-to-end automation to reduce administrative overhead

  • Provisioning guardrails and a single point of enforcement

  • Controlled access to advanced cloud services

  • Reclamation policies to prevent runaway costs

  • Customizable self-service experiences for different types of users

 

There are several methods of reaching these goals, like implementing point solutions to address specific issues. But this approach often results in the same challenge Gartner presented, low efficiency due to isolated solutions.

 

Many enterprises choose a platform solution, as a way to bring together cloud and data center into a hybrid environment, and create standardized workflows. To learn more about how Scalr, the Cloud Management Platform used by some of the world’s largest enterprises such as Samsung, Gannett, Centene Corporation and many others in multiple industries, helps companies achieve and surpass these goals - read our solution overview or request a demo today.

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