As the mobile-cloud era escalates, so do businesses’ expectations of IT. Today, there are millions of applications and billions of users expecting everything within the business to work without a hitch – but that’s not all. They also want to be able to work anywhere, on any device and with complete peace of mind that business data is secure. The sheer enormity of this demand is placing a huge amount of pressure on IT departments that until now have largely been thought of as the guys under the tables plugging in cables.
But now we are talking about a world that is software-defined. Which is a world where IT can no longer be the invisible backbone of business innovation acting partly in stealth mode. Instead, IT now needs to come up from under the table to share ideas with business. Conversely, a successful software-defined business understands the role of IT, sees IT as a partner, and leverages it as a tool to help push business forward in an era where we need to be smarter, act faster and function more fluidly as business grows.
The IT cycle
IT is necessary for the application and deployment of business ideas. An application-focused IT function goes through a simple cycle of deploying an app, analysing the data associated with that app and its usage and then updates the app. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong.
The role of IT is to ensure that through this cycle, the application stays current for business. Virtual giants like Facebook, Google, eBay and the likes go around this cycle multiple times a day. Traditional IT is, on the other hand, being weighed down by things like existing procedures, vendor driven upgrade cycles and rigid and formalised “industry standard” processes.
Customers must start to look for a self-service infrastructure that conforms to enterprise requirements and allows the consumer of the infrastructure to focus on apps, not servers. What do we see filling this gap? A Software-Defined Data Centre (SDDC) with a hardware-agnostic environment that is made up of a host of white boxes, and where the real significance is placed on software.
How you as an IT professional plan to deal with a “white box” future and speed up the aforementioned IT cycle, will ultimately determine whether a business will be able to evolve and thrive as all that is “software-defined” becomes a reality.
A future vision of IT
In the software-defined world every industry is changing, and although some still fear this change, the bottom line is that a liquid environment will create new opportunities for IT.
Technology is at the heart of this disruption and two of the strongest forces driving change in the software-defined world are mobility and cloud. Successful organisations should realise that they must harness the power of these segments in order to help their business thrive.
We need to map a path where we eliminate silos in business, particularly those that are separating traditional applications from cloud-native applications. This is a future where we narrow the gaps between IT and developers.
How are we doing it?
We believe you need to bridge these divides by combining them and managing them through a single hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud that delivers you an environment where you can build, run and manage any application across multiple data centres and providers – even allow you to view single or multiple data centres as one machine. It’s a complete new model for IT service delivery, it’s a model that encourages a form of “Brave New IT” and it is a model that is instant, fluid and secure.
In essence it is a way of doing things that is optimised for the development and delivery of all applications, which means both traditional, client-server applications as well as modern, cloud-native apps, can be consumed on any device safely and securely. Remember that in a software-defined world IT, CIO’s must face these challenges and uncertainty with a bold and decisive attitude, and make thoughtful, calculated moves on behalf of the business.
The new era of IT is not about knowing what you should do, but most importantly acting on what you can do when the timing is right.