As an enabler of digital transformation, cloud computing continues to accelerate, leading to hybrid environments that combine cloud and traditional IT delivery models. These complex environments can be challenging to manage, but offer a number of competitive advantages that drive significant value, especially in today’s increasingly digital world. The key is finding the right solution to manage them.
What are the most important attributes of an effective hybrid IT and cloud management solution? First and foremost, the solution should be holistic, managing on-premises, legacy and cloud-based services through an enterprise-wide strategy and governance framework. But, that’s only the start. Other key attributes to look for include the following:
- Cost management: Find a solution that reduces operational costs through streamlined asset management and increased asset utilization. The solution also should standardize and automate operational processes. Further, it should provide aggregated billing across the hybrid landscape, combined with charge-back transparency to users, thus positively influencing consumption behavior while improving budgeting and cost management.
- Automation and autonomics: To reduce legacy and cloud operational costs, the solution should provide state-of-the art automation technologies, such as robotic process automation, as well as advanced autonomic IT asset management, such as self-healing incident resolution supported by the latest advances in cognitive computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
- Simplification and strategic alignment: To reduce the complexity of managing multiple IT services in a hybrid environment, look for a solution that supports the alignment of your business and technology objectives, identifies priorities and resources, and guides application rationalization, refactoring and workload transitions to modern and agile cloud environments. The end goal is to find a solution that supports the gradual evolution to a cloud-based enterprise and the transformation to cloud-native delivery and operational models.
- Visibility and transparency: The ideal solution should provide a “single pane of glass” view into spend, service availability, performance, security and compliance across the hybrid landscape. Features to look for include a fully integrated service portal with a service catalog and self-service capabilities. The portal also should support incident and request management, monitoring and dashboards that provide real-time information on performance, service level agreements, budget and security that is tailored for different audiences.
- Governance and control: Look for a solution that provides not only self-service capabilities, but also decision support to align workloads with best-fit hybrid resources. Role-based access control and permissions—including spend budgets and ceilings—are important as well, as are approval workflows. In addition, auto-discovery of unauthorized shadow IT activities and authorized activities spawned by auto-scaling application platforms is a key capability. Finally, find a solution that supports the management of service level agreements and multiple cloud service providers.
- Speed to value and agility: Find a solution that accelerates time to value by enabling you to broker relevant IT services quickly and securely via a self-service storefront. This type of storefront drives user convenience and agility, while providing the enterprise with greater governance and control around policy and security.
- Security and compliance: Choose a solution that delivers a holistic security approach for all IT assets and services. This will enable your organization to deploy sensitive workloads with confidence, address emerging threats, and comply with data privacy and sovereignty regulations.
Lastly, any solution you choose should support your organization’s overall digital transformation journey—from strategic planning, to solution implementation, to ongoing management and evolution. It should provide advanced hybrid cloud management capabilities that drive digitalization across the enterprise, leading to increased efficiencies, agility and innovation and, in turn, greater competitive advantage.
CGI is working with private and public organizations across the globe to help them benefit from effective hybrid IT management. Our own solution, CGI Unify360, delivers the consulting, operational and technical capabilities required for modernizing and managing evolving hybrid IT landscapes. If you’d like to learn more about this fast-evolving area and our work within it, feel free to reach out to me.