The growing shift to a hybrid cloud model presents CIOs with complex management challenges. Learn why a hybrid enterprise strategy gives CIOs a strategic roadmap to deliver business value and enable innovation.
Migration to the cloud is on the fast track. Enterprises are accelerating cloud initiatives to enable business innovation, realize long-term cost savings and drive increased profitability. Sixty-one percent of organizations have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud, reports the CIO 2012 Cloud Computing Study. Within the next five years, almost one-third will have the majority of IT operations in the cloud.
Cloud computing represents a significant IT business shift from the traditional data-center business model. Now CIOs must manage a mix of multiple IT delivery models, including public, private and hybrid clouds as well as outsourced data centers.
With this shift come unprecedented management challenges. Building and deploying a cloud solution involves many complex variables—determining the best location for migrating applications and workloads, integrating cloud solutions within your existing IT infrastructure and ensuring high-level security, all while accommodating the varying data center requirements of individual business units. There’s also the risk for increased complexity and higher costs when new cloud initiatives turn into isolated “cloud-in-a-corner” computing environments that are not integrated with existing systems.
The Business Challenge: Streamline Innovation
Business process innovation remains the focus of IT investment, according to the CIO 2012 Tech Poll. Findings show cloud computing is one of the top five technologies currently being implemented. Cloud-based service frees up resources so IT can focus on innovation rather than maintenance and addresses critical IT demands for additional bandwidth, greater automation, storage, flexibility and mobility.
As a strategic imperative, business priorities must drive data-center requirements. A government agency may need to understand its mission-critical applications and balance application workloads for greater efficiency and performance. Or an airline may seek to grow the business, reduce excess elastic data-center capacity requirements, improve services and reduce labor costs.
IT success hinges on responding to business initiatives and priorities while delivering profitable IT growth. CIOs are expected to align IT with critical business objectives, maintain control, manage governance and compliance and reduce IT costs—to improve revenue-to-expense, reduce the service impact to the business and respond quickly to rapidly changing business requirements.
Imagine this scenario: Online banking services must be available to customers 24 x7 for transactions such as payments or account transfers. But security breaches or large amounts of traffic at particular times may create roadblocks, making online accounts inaccessible. To maintain customer satisfaction, IT must access, monitor and manage a hybrid set of cloud and noncloud resources, wherever they are geographically located, so service can be restored immediately.
“CIOs are challenged to tie together the various cloud and noncloud delivery models with a single view so they can monitor system performance and proactively respond if service levels are out of compliance,” says Colin Lacey, vice president, Data Center Transformation Services & Solutions, Unisys.
The Hybrid Enterprise: A Strategic Roadmap
As the nature of the data center continues to evolve, it’s an ongoing struggle to manage traditional IT and private and public clouds, manage dynamic fluctuations of workload capacity, and leverage existing services to create a multitenant services environment. Meanwhile, CIOs must maintain control, apply a consistent set of governance policies and ensure transparency with financial and business reporting. It’s no easy feat to balance business priorities with capacity management and automation requirements.
“Looking forward, CIOs must see beyond the data center to their end-to-end delivery model and will need a consistent way to manage the total environment at the robust level that business units expect,” says Lacey.
What’s required is a unified, comprehensive view across both traditional data center and cloud delivery models to identify workloads; determine compute power, latency and memory requirements; and meet service-level agreement response time requirements. By using the right service delivery model, CIOs can determine the service impact to the business for improved capacity, throughput and efficiency—to optimize cost, compliance, security and performance while minimizing risk.
A hybrid enterprise represents a unique, integrated solution to address CIO challenges and the complexities of multiple delivery models, as the foundation of a future-state data center environment. It strategically addresses the three core areas required to integrate and manage a future-state data center environment—applications, data centers and management, including:
The benefits: Greater business agility for faster time-to-market, reduced cap-ex with minimal up-front investment, and a single integrated management and application security environment.
“It is critically important that CIOs gain a deep perspective of end-to-end delivery model utilization and optimization over the next 12 to 48 months. Moving to this hybrid model is a key competitive advantage in the marketplace,” says Lacey.
The hybrid enterprise is a journey rather than a single product or technology. It requires a clear road map, beginning with an assessment of the organization’s business strategy, applications and infrastructure.
“Unisys examines the core technical aspects of a customer’s workload and the business attributes. We then blend them together with a blueprint for various model types,” says Lacey. “Our approach is to leverage existing customer investments so CIOs don’t need to rip and replace.”
Unisys can help CIOs achieve the agility and economic benefits the cloud promises despite all the challenges hybrid computing models pose. With the Unisys Hybrid Enterprise, organizations can build a strategy to reduce risk, increase efficiency and provide a future-state data-center environment that is borderless, virtual, automated, visible and secure. Unisys has a proven, enterprise-class experience in the data center and cloud solutions and can help customers build a hybrid enterprise that will seamlessly integrate with existing IT management technologies, avoiding the cloud-in-the-corner approach.
To learn more, go to http://tools.en.idgresearch.com/cloudcomputing
CUSTOMER CASE STUDIES
FINANCIAL SERVICES: A large European bank needed to streamline, standardize and bridge the gap between meeting business goals and supporting IT resources. To improve customer service and market share, the IT challenge was to accelerate time-to-service while keeping IT management and server-provisioning costs low. By implementing a hybrid enterprise, the bank achieved greater agility and met compliance security requirements. New IT services were provisioned in hours instead of three to five weeks, while audit response was achieved in a few days instead of weeks.
TRANSPORTATION: An Asia-Pacific transportation firm needed to increase IT capacity to handle growing air travel transaction peaks and better support its customers. By implementing a hybrid enterprise, agility resources were matched to fluctuating business demands and transaction peaks created by large-scale events. Additional benefits included approximately $600k in cost savings and greater efficiency with 60 percent of server utilization and 80 percent of resource requests standardized.