Is Services-led approach going to be the future of IT?
In today's world, IT is expected to juggle different priorities. On one hand, they are expected to run their existing operations efficiently & effectively. On the other hand, they are expected to make business innovative and deliver enhanced end user experience. Both of these require an increased emphasis on emerging technologies. IT is being driven to embrace cloud & mobility solutions to meet the changing imperatives of business. The end goal is to enable business to deliver innovative solutions (apps) to the customers and help business with analytic solutions.
There are several examples of enterprise IT teams embracing cloud & other emerging technologies to drive end-customer solutions for the business. These solutions are around enhancing customer experience, providing better solutions to customers through mobile apps, gathering feedback & data from the market for better analytics and helping businesses gain competitive advantage through innovation. The new workloads/ solutions are prime candidates to be run on cloud (public or private depending on type of business & type of workload).
Business functions/ leaders are driving the adoption of cloud-based solutions. All of these are driving an increased adoption of cloud. It is no longer a matter of whether one should move to the cloud, but about which workloads should be moved to the cloud and whether private or public. Infrastructure now is no longer a set of independent elements performing individual functions. Infrastructure is getting abstracted and software is playing a key role in controlling, automating and integrating different infrastructure elements.
As business leaders keep demanding for more agility & innovation, they either approach IT or go out and shop for solutions. However, IT needs to be involved in order to manage the varied solutions, once they are in play. For IT to play a key role in this new world and remain relevant, they need to move to a services-led approach. IT is now expected to deliver IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) with clearly defined service catalog. IT is expected to understand sourcing, portfolio management, cost accounting, performance & capacity management along with day-to-day operations.
IT needs to stitch together the different components and building blocks to create an integrated Hybrid IT environment. The different workloads that are operating on either public or private cloud or traditional IT infrastructure need to be integrated for multiple scenarios to:
Meter usage & manage billing
Evaluate various providers and identify risks and best option
Provide bursting options for workload migrations during peak loads
Manage the multiple workloads across the Hybrid IT infrastructure
Provide seamless experience and self service capabilities
Once an integrated Hybrid IT environment is implemented and the service catalog is created, IT will become a true IT Service Broker and deliver services to business and end users. IT will end up becoming a shared services entity delivering utility services in the new world. Thus, services led approach is the way to go for IT to move up to the next level and keep pace with rapid changes.