Increasingly, we here at Flexiant are running into projects involving multiple infrastructures, geographies, and service delivery models.  Cloud service provision is fast establishing itself as the preferred business model for enterprise application and service delivery. The additional capability to provision application and infrastructure services nearly instantaneously, while avoiding significant capital expenditure is very attractive to many customers.

Unfortunately, IT departments often discover that public cloud service providers (CSPs) cannot reliably meet the governance, security, or identity management they expect; particularly full integration with existing enterprise infrastructure and security models.  Service level agreements often fall short of availability and recovery requirements where the hosting of mission critical applications is required. This drives the current requirement for a hybrid service delivery model utilising public cloud services, and dedicated cloud services whether on premise, or hosted private cloud environments alongside existing infrastructure.   

Within the enterprise, internal customers have an increasing expectation that IT departments will provide flexible on demand services via internal private clouds that not only house critical applications, but also provide self-service, rapid-provisioned, metered IT services.

Those IT organisations who do not meet the challenge, do risk being bypassed as democratisation of IT services extends beyond BYOD (bring your own device) policies to service and software services.  Salesforce.com demonstrated this effect when it gained early adoption through sales teams self-procuring licenses, self-administrating, and socialising the service gradually up the hierarchy via managers to the C-suite. Adoption and buying decisions are increasingly being made by the end users themselves.

Hybrid service delivery requires reliable, next-gen connectivity as well as innovative solutions to deliver data classification and identity management to meet enterprise requirements including governance.  Reliable and seamless application and service delivery across private and public clouds invariably requires a service-oriented architecture approach. As technology and systems become increasingly heterogeneous, a single pane of glass orchestration approach to orchestrating and metering both internal and external cloud environments becomes inevitably essential.

In this view of the future, the IT leaders become both broker and mediator, the challenge then becomes orchestrating interworking between disparate cloud based services and internal IT, connecting service requests with the most appropriate service provider, be it external or internal application and service delivery.

In this context, the role of CIO or IT manager is evolving towards that of Cloud Service Orchestrator, and CSP’s are rapidly becoming mission critical suppliers, providing truly transformative business services.