Four reasons for adopting a hybrid IT operating model and becoming a broker of services

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Today, a growing numbers of organizations’ business units are consuming public cloud services directly, in many cases bypassing central IT governance. It’s up to IT organizations to adopt a hybrid IT operating model to centralize the management of resources – and stay relevant in age of more agile public cloud services.

The challenge facing many IT organizations often stems from focusing too much on infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and not enough on what the business really wants: access to multiple IT platforms and applications on demand.

While much effort might go into consolidating on a single private or public cloud, organizations many be missing out on the agility and cost savings of a hybrid IT operating model that mixes public and private clouds and enables self-service provisioning and advanced automation of key processes.

As traditional companies become digital enterprises, IT departments must transform from managers of discrete IT software products and infrastructure into cloud service brokers that manage multiple cloud applications and services. To do this, three things must happen:

First, line-of-business managers need to become comfortable that they don’t have to work around IT, but can rely on the IT department to procure these new cloud services in timeframes that meet the company’s needs.

Second, IT managers must explain to the line-of-business managers that the IT department can get maximum leverage from various suppliers by buying IT services for the company across numerous departments. Integrating these services in the organization’s normal internal procurement processes makes life easier for business managers to comply, as it saves them the hassle of expensing credit card spend on cloud services.

Third, in becoming a cloud services broker, the IT department creates a single console that offers visibility across all of the company’s cloud services. By default each provider typically has its own, mostly functional portal. These disparate sources have to be integrated into a single, unified portal and dashboard that delivers maximum visibility.

Although it can be challenging to change from a traditional model, a corporate IT department stands to gain significant benefits by transforming to a hybrid IT operating model. The following are at least four main benefits:

  • Rapid time-to-market. In a traditional IT environment, for example, it could take several weeks, even months to procure a server. In a hybrid IT operating model applying self-service and high levels of automation, the IT staff and business users can spin up the servers and services needed for a business application in a matter of hours, often in under 15 minutes.
  • Increased visibility. By providing a dashboard, working in a hybrid IT operating model can show how many legacy IT and public and private cloud services the organization uses, whether or not they achieved savings and if the organization provisions IT efficiently. In a recent DXC Technology study we found that the vast majority of IT departments run a significant amount of their servers at 10 percent or less utilization, meaning they are dramatically over-provisioned (or it was just forgotten to de-provision these servers when a business application was decommissioned). The hybrid IT operating model dashboard strives to eliminate this kind of waste.
  • More efficient and agile DevOps. The ability to easily spin up development environments in the cloud lets developers provide information and services when the company needs them. In addition, the hybrid IT operating model lets developers work in the most cost-effective mode at each stage. For example, for development they may want to run servers in the public cloud for maximum flexibility, but once in production run the database part on a private cloud for security reasons. Working with a cloud service broker makes it possible to span multiple clouds, which reduces costs and overall cycle time and increases visibility into all of the company’s cloud activities.
  • Improved governance. When all IT activities are managed via a hybrid IT operating model, the IT department can handle security, regulatory compliance and the IT budget. An efficient hybrid IT operating model also makes it unnecessary for the organization to provision shadow IT services, thereby saving costs and eliminating the risk of duplication or paying for services no longer in use.

Deploying a hybrid IT operating model to become a cloud service broker requires that everyone in the organization supports the new strategy. That’s why it’s crucial for the IT organization to take the lead in developing and implementing an all-encompassing plan that addresses the necessary organizational and mindset changes.


Jelle Wolthuizen is product manager, platform and integration solutions for DXC Cloud and Platform Services. In his role, Jelle is responsible for the development and management Integration solution service offerings that are sold and delivered to DXC’s clients across the world. He has over three decades of experience in applying innovative information technology for business purposes. In previous roles, he has been leading development of solutions for various complex, multi-million IT services contracts, has managed regional integration consultancy practices and developed practical solutions to business problems using leading-edge technology.

Comments

  1. Tim Coote says:

    I’m not really clear how this will work. Although the 10% utilisation figure is probably true, is it relevant? The key issue for capital items, such as owned servers, is the peak utiliisation as that’s what drives the capex.

    The usual reason that public cloud is so much cheaper than owned kit is that the IT dept gets in the way of measuring costs transparently. Introducing such transparency not only threatens the existing way of life for individuals within the IT dept. but requires new capabilities for the group in capacity forecasting and options analysis.

    Surely, if you want to drive up the agility of the business and drive down unit costs, the IT competences, and more, need to be absorbed into the business units?

    Like

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