Cloud Maturity Stage 3: Automate
When a client is able to automate processes or workflows, they then start to reap the benefits of a highly streamlined, virtualised, and automated data centre.
A well-integrated infrastructure platform can leverage automation technologies to perform more automated provisioning of virtual resources, to meet shifts in business or application needs.
Because an integrated infrastructure crosses some of the traditional IT siloed roles, some organisations may need to address current roles and responsibilities.
But the benefits of a consolidated, integrated and automated data centre can lead to a more streamlined operational model, from design to deploy.
Cloud Maturity Stage 4: ITaaS and Self-Service
At Stage 4, the internal IT department has pretty much begun to provide most of the components of a private cloud environment.
The client’s internal IT department has begun to turn itself into a private cloud provider to the company.
This means IT resources are outward-facing to the internal business units, and the underlying infrastructure and processes have become both service-based and service-oriented, in an effort to identify top business needs and the accompanying IT services best able to support those needs.
Creation of a self-service portal allows business users to self-provision services while IT still retains control.
Cloud Maturity Stage 5: Hybrid Clouds
Most industry experts expect hybrid cloud environments to be the most common deployment.
IT departments will provide internally hosted private cloud services, while having the knowledge, expertise and flexibility to use a hybrid (private/public cloud mix) model to choose which type of cloud resource will best support the company’s specific application, platform or infrastructure needs.
A challenge I see is selecting the right type of management for this environment. It is important the right tools and processes are put in place to ensure the IT organisation maintains control, cost and provisioning of the overall hybrid environment.
So in summary, this is just a high-level overview of the various stages associated with transforming your data centre to initially a private cloud, and then a hybrid cloud, environment. A guideline generally accepted as the path to follow.
Not every organisation will follow it as a roadmap.
However, it does make sense to create a roadmap for your data centre that defines where you are, where you want to be and how to get there, wherever ‘there’ may be.
By Joel Pulham - Principal Sales Specialist for the Data Centre Business Unit, Dimension Data New Zealand