Re-architecting IT for multicloud: 5 key steps

The task for CIOs is to define an all-inclusive IT architecture for on-premises and private/public cloud computing. Here are 5 steps to stay ahead of the game.

glass building with clouds above

CIOs today are operating in a complex technology and political climate as they architect their IT infrastructures for a hybrid cloud environment of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud computing services used by both IT and end users.

This complexity is reflected in a February, 2017 survey of more than 1,000 IT executives and practitioners by SaaS cloud services provider Rightscale. Among the survey findings:

  • 85 percent of enterprises had a multicloud strategy;
  • Cloud users were running applications in an average of 1.8 public clouds and 2.3 private clouds;
  • Enterprises were running 32 percent of workloads in public cloud and 43 percent of workloads in private cloud.

The Rightscale survey also revealed that central IT selected public clouds 65 percent of the time, and it advised and decided on private clouds and also on which applications to move to the cloud 63 percent of the time. Despite this, survey results also indicated that business unit leaders were less likely to give authority to IT for selecting public clouds (41%), deciding/advising on which applications to move to cloud (45%), and selecting private clouds (38%).

What these survey findings illustrate is the push-pull between IT assuming a greater role in cloud selection at the same time that end users want more autonomy.

“In today’s scenario where IT is at the core of business innovation, I hear organizations struggling with potentially opposing priorities,” wrote Marco Meinardi, a research director at Gartner in a blog post. “On one side, business users and developers want more agility and autonomy. On the other side, central IT must continue to achieve governance to minimize risks and improve efficiency at scale."

Defining a multicloud architecture

The task for CIOs, then, is to define an all-inclusive hybrid IT architecture for on-premises and private/public cloud computing for IT and end users. Minimally, this will require expansion in both breadth (going beyond the footprint of an internal data center, and also including private and public clouds) and depth (applications, systems, networks, data and security have to work across multiple cloud and on-premises infrastructures in order to integrate and exchange information with each other, and new tools and connecting fabric are needed to do that).

Getting all of your IT assets to work together seamlessly and reliably for IT and end users, no matter where the assets are, is no small order. This is why: Every cloud an enterprise uses contains a vertical stack of service offerings.

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