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IT as a Service…Getting There Faster


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For some organizations, the future of delivering IT-as-a-service becomes plagued with piecemeal investments, false starts and expensive missteps-but it doesn't have to be that way. This paper describes how you can put your journey to cloud computing on the fast track.

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IT as a Service…Getting There Faster

  1. 1. opinion piece IT-as-a-Service… Getting There Faster
  2. 2. opinion piece | IT-as-a-Service…Getting There Faster For many organizations, the road to the future of delivering IT-as-a-service is often littered with piecemeal investments, false starts and expensive missteps. It needn’t be that way for your business. Find out how to put your journey to cloud Mobility and end user expectations to access corporate data from a range of devices, from any location, on a self-service basis, remain on the upward curve. computing on the fast track. An increasingly competitive global landscape…the need to keep a step ahead of new market entrants…limited access to capital…scarce and costly resources…improving productivity from anywhere and at any time. The challenges facing business leaders continue to mount. Against this backdrop, the traditional model for delivering IT services no longer hits the mark. IT can barely keep up with the pace of change and funding for new projects is scarcer than ever before. Now’s the time for IT to adapt to enable businesses not just to survive, but to thrive. Today, most CIOs recognize the transformational potential of cloud computing. Cloud enables IT to be delivered-as-a-service, on- demand, swiftly and at a palatable price point. Cloud computing can reduce the total cost of ownership of managing infrastructure and applications by more than half, with different models providing choice on the level of asset ownership. Fewer assets mean lower CapEx outlay as users only pay for the services they consume. At the same time, you have the freedom to scale your consumption up and down, as business needs dictate. This in turn translates into faster time-to-value and potential competitive edge, as new products and business services can be tested, refined and brought to market in weeks, rather than months. Risk optimization is another advantage. Controlling and tracking the use of IT resources, particularly globally, can be difficult, and a lack of control often compromises internal governance standards. With cloud computing, standardized services can be provisioned and tracked on a global basis. By controlling end user access and auditing usage, issues like data sovereignty and compliance are easier to address. Cloud meets the specific needs and expectations of business stakeholders better than traditional models with reduced project lead times, round the clock support and predictable service levels and cost. The IT department can be more responsive in its ability to test, develop and launch new infrastructure services. The ‘but’ Migrating to the cloud is complex and has significant implications across business operations and IT. Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey, or well on your way to harnessing the benefits of self- service, hybrid cloud models, you need to make informed decisions at every step. Today, many companies are struggling to balance the need to move forward with their cloud initiatives swiftly − while keeping risk in check. Accelerating ahead As your business plans to migrate IT workloads to the cloud, you need to decide which workloads to migrate and whether the staff have the skills and understanding to undertake the migration themselves. They also need to establish how your legacy infrastructure will be managed and preserved during this period of change. Maintenance of existing physical systems can be costly, locating and remediating faults is often manual and therefore time- and resource-intensive but it’s also important that business continuity isn’t compromised during the transition phase. Don’t underestimate the impact on the network. You must understand the transition phase and the post-deployment impact on bandwidth, latency, user experience and networking costs. You must also plan how your legacy systems will be retired. Mobility and end-user expectations to access corporate data from a range of devices, from any location, on a self-service basis, remain on the upward curve. How do you accommodate these needs and ensure that they’re embedded in your cloud solution, rather than ‘bolted on’ as an afterthought? Some organizations have found that these new demands consume a disproportionate amount of resources. This diverts attention away from other IT projects and can create rifts between the IT function and business units. Often, this results in business units embarking on rogue initiatives, bypassing the IT function and procuring public cloud services independently. The cost and security implications of such actions can be grave.
  3. 3. opinion piece | IT-as-a-Service…Getting There Faster further information For these reasons, many organizations that have set out to build a private cloud environment in-house find that they’re not achieving their milestones as quickly as they’d like. Some have invested significantly in virtualization and automation infrastructure, but are struggling to find ways to build in orchestration, self-service and billing mechanisms – without which they’ll Depending on its industry, size and strategic priorities, each organization’s path to the ultimate nirvana of delivering IT-as-a-service will differ, as will its speed of adoption. fail to realize the true value of the IT-as-a- service model. The last step is the one that usually takes the longest: once automation is in place, the IT processes must be modified to exploit the virtualized platform. Investments in process changes, beginning with defining the rules and policies that drive the processes, can take years. Many organizations also labor under the misconception that the path to the cloud is structured and linear and that there’s a specific sequence of events in terms of moving different workloads to the cloud. Depending on its industry, size and strategic priorities, each organization’s path to delivering IT-as-a-service will differ, as will its speed of adoption. This leads to one of the most common pain points experienced by organizations attempting to move ahead on their cloud journeys: few service providers are able to offer a comprehensive range of cloud and migration services. Often, this results in ad hoc, piecemeal investments, which require that organizations re-architect and re-integrate their underlying infrastructure with each new step. This slows the pace of cloud adoption and makes the exercise an unduly expensive one. In addition, if you’re using a number of different providers and therefore platforms, it can be complex, expensive and sometimes impossible to expand from one cloud model to another (i.e. public, private and hybrid, either on- premise or off-site) as the demands of the business change. Ultimately a combination of models will provide the optimal solution for most organizations. Ensuring that your cloud services will be delivered consistently, on a global scale, with consistent management from one model to another is an important consideration. If your provider’s geographic reach is limited, you’ll need to enlist the services of a number of vendors. A lack of common standards will result in a heterogeneous mix of services, disparate reporting mechanisms and multiple web user interfaces. You’re ability to retain an end-to-end view of your cloud infrastructure and services will be compromised, as will your business’ overall security posture. It follows that selecting the right service provider is pivotal to the ease and speed with which an organization will migrate IT services to the cloud. In order to truly realize the benefits of cloud computing, your cloud service provider should offer: • A single, global managed platform for public, private and hybrid cloud environments; • Enterprise-class security, controls, reporting and auditing; • A cloud management system that automates provisioning, orchestration and billing; • A web-based user interface and application-based interface to control the system; • An application interface to facilitate integration across legacy systems and third-party system management applications; • Value-added services to enable application migration, systems integration and management; • Flexible models that reduce the burden and lower the risk of building, operating and supporting cloud infrastructure; and • Innovative packaging and service delivery models that minimize capital investment, provide options regarding levels of sharing, and balance the use of public and private resources. No longer a pipe dream The ability to deliver IT-as-a-service to your business users needn’t remain a pipe dream. Bear in mind, however, that IT-as-a- service is really a process – not a solution, and your route and pace of adoption will be unique to your business. The good news is that with proper planning, focus, and the right provider at your side, you can clear the fog that surrounds cloud computing and look forward to harnessing the many advantages that this model promises. What is ‘IT-as- a-service’? • Self-service, on-demand access to technologies by end users / business units • Broad access to networks, from a variety of devices • Rapid provisioning and de- provisioning of services • Users only pay for the services they consume • IT teams can monitor, control and report on use of resources ASIA· About Concentric Cloud Solutions Concentric Cloud Solutions offers businesses advanced cloud-based computing, content acceleration, and cloud voice solutions. Through its cloud-based platforms and online portal, Concentric Cloud Solutions helps organizations simplify the procurement and management of critical infrastructure, accelerate application and web site performance, and improve interactive communications with customers. Concentric solutions can be used to deploy IT as a Service. For more information, visit