The shift from on-premises computing to hybrid cloud introduces new requirements, new opportunities for automation, and new models for IT service delivery. Making this shift can result in seamless execution, holistic management, and effective oversight of vendors. Successful adoption of hybrid cloud—or any significant data center transformation—requires consideration for applications and services, infrastructure, IT operations, data and security, and governance.
A cohesive approach
IT leaders often focus on the technical aspects with less consideration to IT operations, resulting in extended timelines for adoption, missed opportunities for cost savings, and poor morale. To help, we offer the following advice and guidance around five key areas of IT operations impacted by a shift to hybrid cloud.
The shift to hybrid cloud means more reliance on external vendors such as public cloud and colocation providers. Although many of the responsibilities that previously were held within the IT team are outsourced, accountability for overall performance remains on the shoulders of IT. It’s important to choose partners that understand and complement short- and long-term goals, and are able to provide granular visibility into cost and performance. Internal relationships between IT operations, the business and application owners are also key during a shift to hybrid cloud. For example, due to a hybrid cloud transition, this might be the first time an application owner has had to consider SaaS or re-platform to best take advantage of native cloud technologies.
Adopting a hybrid cloud model requires people to shift focus from traditional on-premises technology work to architecture, oversight and optimization. This requires new skills and a new mindset.
Introducing a hybrid cloud model increases the importance of good process design. In any environment, poorly designed processes have the potential to create bottlenecks and, if left unchecked, can increase risk and impact the quality of service delivery. Conversely, well-designed processes provide clarity in priorities, handoffs and accountability, and offer opportunities for effective automation.
With hybrid cloud adoption, more stakeholders are collaborating more than ever before to produce a common, desired outcome: consistent, reliable IT service delivery provisioned from the best end state. Furthermore, along with hybrid cloud comes running multiple provisioning models simultaneously (e.g., IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), which could mean added complexity for the people providing support.
Processes provide the structure for ensuring that all parties understand what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and who’s expected to do it. Additionally, bolstering good processes with standard taxonomy, terminology, measurement and oversight are critical for teams to communicate well with one another both internally and with external partners, and provide leadership with a view into how well it’s going.
To ensure a successful transition to hybrid cloud, try to gain an understanding of applications, infrastructure components, and their relationships. This visibility is necessary for three reasons:
- To determine best placement options for each application or service.
- To plan migration while mitigating risk.
- To hold people accountable and effectively troubleshoot issues when they occur.
All models of provisioning require performance reporting, and should include application and infrastructure component views as well as an end-to-end view representative of the end-user experience, regardless of where the service is hosted.
5. Enabling technologies
Adoption of hybrid cloud requires organizations to invest in technologies that enable cross-functional teams to be well-informed about infrastructure, applications, services and interdependencies. Monitoring, alerting, event correlation, and a CMDB populated through automated discovery are no longer optional. The more unified these tools are, the better the information they can provide. When this information is incorporated into processes and process automation, they deliver a more efficient system. IT platforms that support deeper and wider visibility integrated into process workflow compared to the point solutions of the past can enable a successful hybrid cloud adoption.
A successful hybrid cloud adoption program doesn’t necessarily have to include these five tips, but they should be considered prerequisites (or risks, if ignored).
Here are some important steps to help you along your IT operations transformation journey:
- Align and integrate IT processes across all teams, including external partners, IT operations, and application teams.
- Document critical procedures such as incident, problem, knowledge and change management, so all teams understand their roles.
- Enable real-time measurement and reporting, providing rapid visibility into issues based on real data.
- Secure involvement from key leadership in governance to provide informed oversight, manage exceptions, and provide effective prioritization, decision-making and information dissemination.
- Look for automation opportunities, since controlled fast-track paths for handoffs and common tasks can reduce friction and boost process compliance.
We can help you get there
The shift to hybrid cloud introduces new models for IT service delivery. Sirius provides a full Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) program to help clients reach their best possible level of service and success. We help clients streamline their processes and improve IT service availability, and give them the ability to support the changing needs of their business. As you embark in your IT operations transformation journey, Sirius can help you every step of the way from design to implementation to ongoing execution and process management. Through decades of experience, Sirius can help you tackle each engagement, and ask the right questions to diagnose impacts and uncover opportunities across the life cycle in order to optimize and improve your capabilities. Contact your Sirius representative today to learn more about our ITSM solutions and assessments, and how to get started.