As I wrote in a previous blog post, the world has recently undergone unprecedented changes that have wreaked havoc for CIOs as they struggle to ensure operational continuity, especially in scenarios where extreme changes happen overnight.
What does operational continuity look like as businesses move forward in the framework of the new normal? In the earlier blog post, I highlighted some significant paradigm shifts the new normal includes, with a specific focus on these areas:
- Unified communications – Recent months have enlightened many business leaders regarding what can be accomplished remotely, and IT leaders will require tools to optimize audio and video cost and productivity for a workforce that can change dramatically overnight.
- Automation – IT leaders have long sought a “lights-out data center” where everything is automated, but there is a new level of rigor to build these solutions to increase efficiency, deal with dynamic workforces and architectures, and remove the element of human error.
- Cloud mobility – Cloud computing has obviously already had a huge impact on IT architectures, but going forward, IT leaders will require tools to help seamlessly move workloads to and from the cloud and to help them understand when to do so.
In this blog post, I’ll take a closer look at the new focus on cloud mobility. Cloud computing is mainstream, and the vast majority of businesses have cloud deployments in some fashion. Despite this, most medium and large organizations’ IT infrastructures were still mostly on prem. COVID-19 has definitely impacted this in a number of ways. Efficiencies gained from having the infrastructure where the employees worked were quickly diminished. In many scenarios, the IT staff being remote also brings the on-prem management capabilities more in line with cloud management capabilities. But most of all, many companies realized overnight they needed to be more agile.
“Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing.” - Paul Maritz
A new priority has been placed on cloud mobility — the ability to not only move workloads between clouds but also from on prem to cloud and vice versa. This means being able to seamlessly migrate workloads in physical infrastructures to/from public, private and multicloud environments without disruptions. A significant challenge for this is understanding system interdependencies and having a clear view into all systems that constitute an IT service. This includes before, during and after cloud migrations occur.
In order to simplify cloud mobility, organizations should ensure the feasibility and benefits before moving systems to or from the cloud (or between clouds). The ideal way to do this is to manage public and private cloud platforms along with traditional infrastructure deployments from a centralized view. This enables them to quickly and effectively transition workloads while ensuring consistent service delivery across cloud and on-prem systems. A unified view can also help to identify redundant equipment and eliminate the costs of repairing unnecessary systems before migrations occur while also introducing new levels of redundancy and scalability during cloud migration, reducing operational costs.
The emerging trends are unlikely to abate when normalcy is restored in our abnormal world — organizations are changing their mindsets from architecting solutions built to last to architecting solutions built for change. As such, cloud environments will continue to be given even more consideration in almost every circumstance, and it’s more important than ever. This is only possible with automated service impact models — the only way to quickly visualize all infrastructure dependencies for a given service regardless of the type or location of the assets, whether on premises or in the cloud. This has been an elusive accomplishment, but modern monitoring and AIOps solutions are making it a reality.
Intelligent monitoring and AIOps capabilities can be combined to derive the much-needed context, an ingredient that has proven to be paramount in enabling efficient cloud mobility with minimized risk. When data collection and analysis is ubiquitous, this can result in the much-needed improvements in IT efficiency while simultaneously lowering costs and mitigating risk. Innovative organizations are focusing their monitoring and analytics approach to develop this elusive context.
The world has changed dramatically in 2020, and this has prompted a significant change in long-term planning. Innovative organizations in all industries are changing their cloud mobility priorities for the long haul, not just to endure the current situation.
This blog post is one section of a white paper. To download the full white paper, click here.