• May 24, 2016

Tackling the Cloud Mashup Conundrum

Optimize your transformation strategy by mixing and matching IT and cloud services.

You know you need to add contextual applications to your infrastructure, but you have systems of record that are consuming all your time and resources. How can you build a map to re-architect your IT?

In the old enterprise technology paradigm, IT worked with the business to develop and deploy specific technologies to execute distinct enterprise functions. As a result, the linkage between IT investment and business performance was tactical and executional at best.

To be competitive in today’s environment, IT must train its focus on delivering continuous improvement in business outcomes while maximizing the value of those outcomes. These demands are driving enterprises toward hybrid IT solutions, or the stitching together of the latest in public cloud services, private clouds, and on-premise IT assets. According to a survey of IT professionals by cloud platform provider RightScale, 82 percent of enterprises say they have developed a hybrid cloud strategy. Yet, a whopping 95 percent are running cloud applications or are experimenting with infrastructure as a service.

So how can your enterprise develop a successful hybrid cloud strategy before your infrastructure gets out of control?

Formidable Barriers

Steep hurdles stand in the way of actualizing fully blown-out strategies. Aging systems of record consume enormous resources in terms of time, talent, and money, leaving precious little bandwidth to assess and strategize, proactively planning for the future. CIOs are challenged to achieve a clear view of their IT workloads and often struggle to identify those that are cloud appropriate. Plus, a shift from on-premise to cloud can add layers of complexity. Further, there can be lingering fears the process will be plagued by a lack of visibility before, during, and after the transition.

This makes it challenging to adopt dynamic solutions because IT resources are focused on keeping existing systems and processes running. Hence, the conundrum.

Map It

What’s the solution? Enterprise leaders should consider a strategic IT road map to blunt some of these barriers and guide the process. Goal: achieving the optimal mix of cloud and enterprise IT services. A road map is a governing document that facilitates the alignment of the IT department with the business to drive enterprise transformation. It dictates how technology will support organizational strategy and generate value over a specific time frame.

Components include:

  • A clear enterprise strategy statement with prioritized tactics
  • A timeline with specific dates and benchmarks
  • The rationale for each road map project
  • Estimated costs for each road map step
  • A sponsoring leader for each project and initiative

Think of the road map as a communications channel between IT and business executives. The ultimate goal is to position CIOs and their teams as trusted brokers of transformational IT services that are delivered either in house or by outside suppliers.

Hybrid Explosion

Demand for hybrid IT is growing sharply. Its expansion rate is outstripping overall IT market growth, according to the research firm MarketsandMarkets. The firm projects the hybrid cloud market will surge from $25.28 billion in 2014 to a whopping $84.67 billion in 2019.

As the market landscape changes and the needs of your business shift, your IT must adapt—and fast. Hybrid environments drive flexibility and speed. Having a robust strategy in place will help fuel the enterprise of the future by facilitating robust digital change, enabling product and service innovation.

Like this story? Read more about enterprise transformation mapping strategies here.