If you’re reading this, we can assume you are determining whether migrating some workloads to the cloud—with the corresponding benefits of cost savings, agility, scalability and increased collaboration — is right for your business. You’ve also known that some of your computing infrastructure should remain in a traditional IT environment, while other parts are well suited for this transition. Moving to a cloud environment is complex and is rarely a wholesale abandonment of your existing operational base, but rather a series of smaller, carefully planned migrations that result in a hybrid IT infrastructure.
Hybrid IT, by definition, is the result of using a combination of internal and external resources, including cloud services to provide computing power to your organization. Successfully managing within this hybrid environment means shifting to a consumption-based services delivery model that provides insights into exactly how your business is utilizing computing resources. The best processes allow you to view computing usage in totality with granular details. When viewing your entire IT infrastructure in terms of consumption and unit costs, you can enact cloud deployment plans with greater success and fewer surprises.
The increased granularity of usage-based data allows you to see who is consuming what level of resources, what the technology costs, where those resources are deployed, what technology is involved, and what patterns are emerging. Blending all of this data from numerous sources into a heterogeneous set of reports spanning all types of operational decisions is a must.
Your transformation is enhanced when you have the information that empowers you to have a value-based conversation regarding your optimization strategies. The three “C’s” of consumption based service management provide clarity into your computing consumption, control over your computing expenses and cost savings as to how you evaluate and utilize your resources to select solutions that are timely and cost effective.
Prior to making any decision that is going to drastically alter your technology infrastructure, it’s imperative that you have the appropriate information at your disposal to make informed decisions. You need detailed insights into what is being used and what activity is being supported in order to understand the consumption of services you provide on multiple levels: by business unit, geography, and application. You must know precisely which members of your team use what resources and adjust your plan accordingly as workloads change. Comparing sourcing alternatives for workloads, both private and public, requires a total cost of ownership (TCO) view. This must include a calculation for unused equipment life, one-time migration costs, and consideration for imbedded infrastructure. The strategic technology evaluation must be matched with sound cost data to give you clarity in your options and decisions.
Even if you work out of one central complex, you’ve got seemingly countless computing resources to monitor. Add the differing service requirements from multiple departments in multiple locations using your facilities and the task of monitoring those resources becomes noticeably more difficult. Moving workloads to the public cloud adds even more complexity. Economic controls come from understanding the supply and demand for your resources. With reliable, repeatable historical cost and usage information, you increase operational control. You clearly understand trends in consumption and can identify changes early, allowing time to forecast, and decide the best way to maintain quality service. Knowing what action is needed, before a crisis occurs, puts you in control of successful sourcing decisions.
Merging usage data in a hybrid environment is challenging. Most vendors provide some type of usage collection capability with the hardware or storage solution they sell. Those tools are great if you have one type of technology deployed, but they are truly ‘siloed.’ In a hybrid environment, you can’t rely on managing within a single type of technology, you must be able manage across resources. With the advent of cloud service providers, the number of choices for workload deployment and optimization has increased dramatically. This range of choices can be great for your organization, but may, at times, seem overwhelming. As more providers vie for your business, it becomes mandatory that you have accurate, fact-based consumption and financial data to empower your negotiations and decisions. Cost transparency based on consumption, enables you to compare and optimize costs so that you can move specific computing resources confidently to the right cloud or traditional arrangement.
Don’t let the move to hybrid operations leave you scrambling. Too often, the technology side of IT strategy gets all the focus and attention to the detriment of selecting the right tools to manage all the IT usage and costing. The days where the biggest decision about whether to use Capex or Opex for your next piece of hardware investment are gone. The CIO leading an IT transformation recognizes that consumption-based management is an imperative. IT must be able to show the value delivered to the business in terms that the business believes in and trusts. Marrying your consumption data with financial data, by technology platform and user, creates an operational and financial control plane with powerful information at your fingertips. Clarity, Control, and Cost Savings are benefits you should seek to leverage in the management of your environment; and, on a real-time basis.