6. Speed It Up
Move faster. That’s the mantra that most CIOs have been hearing from their business colleagues for some time now. IT’s historically methodical pace helped drive the shadow IT movement and all the complications that have arisen from it, from performance and compliance concerns to the unexpectedly high costs of cloud services. Strategic CIOs have taken shadow IT’s key lesson to heart, however: IT needs to pick up the pace.
A Hybrid IT model is a catalyst for much-needed organizational agility, because it enables IT to launch new capabilities quickly and seamlessly dial up and scale back resources based on changing business needs. Flexible consumption models that mix and match private cloud, public cloud, and on-premises infrastructure are crucial in digital transformation. With these foundational components of Hybrid IT in place, CIOs can begin to accelerate service delivery, at scale.
– Floriana Molone
Head of IT Customer Services and Deputy Director, London School of Economics
Acceleration requires CIOs to rethink their traditional on-premises infrastructure. Merging previously separate computing, storage, networking, and virtualization capabilities into a single, composable infrastructure lets IT teams pool resources for maximum flexibility and efficiency. Adding software-defined intelligence to assemble and reconfigure resources on the fly lets developers and business users request capacity for a project with the push of a button and have access in minutes.
A composable infrastructure was a game-changer for EMIS Health, the United Kingdom’s leading provider of innovative healthcare technologies. The new platform, which replaced a heavily customized, three-tier traditional data center infrastructure, has resulted in lower server and hardware costs, greater employee productivity, and revenue increases tied to the company’s ability to respond dynamically to the business demands of the healthcare industry.
Key Requirements of a Composable Infrastructure
Management capabilities that IT professionals believe must be provided as part of the software included with composable infrastructure.
At Broad Institute, the ongoing transition to cloud and managed services has fundamentally changed the IT team’s structure and roles, according to CIO William Mayo. Because the Institute relies on high-performance computing for its biomedical and genomic research, modern-day infrastructure such as software-defined capabilities and composable architecture are critical.
“As we’ve made our cloud migration, it’s become clear that we don’t need to put hands on a keyboard or a piece of hardware to maintain it anymore,” says Mayo. “I can have the software pick up a configuration, create the VM [virtual machine] – or 1,000 VMs – at the moment it’s needed, do what’s needed, and then shut them back down. I completely get out of this sysadmin/storage admin construct that we’ve had for so long.”
Top Desired Benefits of Composable Infrastructure
IT users’ priorities for deploying composable systems
Improved IT staff productivity
Improved utilization of computing resources
Improved business agility
Improved utilization of storage resources
Faster time to market
Additional fuel to speed up IT service delivery comes in the form of a single, unified API that is used to construct the fluid resource pools. That’s augmented by a central management platform that provides a holistic view of the infrastructure that bridges any gaps between on-premises enterprise systems and cloud-based services. This end-to-end visibility, coupled with automation and orchestration capabilities, is the IT equivalent of putting the pedal to the metal.
SunTrust Banks has compiled these technologies and methodologies into the aptly named Business Accelerator, a technology stack that comprises design thinking, agile development, DevOps, modular architectures, microservices, and the cloud. “Design thinking changes the way the business operates. All the other layers change how IT operates,” says Anil Cheriyan, SunTrust’s CIO.
The Business Accelerator has dramatically improved flexibility and reduced deployment times for new services. It replaces SunTrust’s traditional waterfall method for software development, which involved extended cycles of stakeholder meetings, requirements, use cases, system design, infrastructure planning, and security integration. The new DevOps-oriented approach enables more elastic, real-time deployments. “Now, we build a minimally viable product to test and learn as we build,” Cheriyan says. “It’s a fundamental change in how we operate.”
6. The Fly Pattern
Use these composable infrastructure principles to accelerate transformation of on-premises infrastructure:
A single interface to discover, search, inventory, configure, provision, update, and diagnose your data center infrastructure. A unified API enables abstraction and automation of any physical or virtual resource.
Fluid resource pool
A single pool of resources enables you to run any kind of workload – physical, virtual, or container-based – at any time, based on need. Moving to a single pool of fluid resources effectively eliminates infrastructure silos.
A common software layer that serves as a complete, configurable, and programmable abstraction layer for all resources in the data center. This enables fast, policy‐based automation of applications and infrastructure across development, testing, and production.
5. Partner with the Business
How to position IT as an enabling force for innovation.
7. Keep It Secure
Ensure security is baked into all aspects of Hybrid IT.
Take a Deeper Dive into Hybrid IT
The Strategic CIO’s Playbook
Create a game plan for accelerating digital transformation with the right mix of Hybrid IT.