How the cloud and DevOps will change the way you run your IT department

June 11, 2015 bentannahill

Software is "eating the world". In the cloud even infrastructure can now be coded.

Your application is now your key business differentiator. Just look at the dominance of Uber or Airbnb.

And application delivery is accelerating towards continuous deployment as cloud computing undergoes hyper-growth.

These trends are precipitating a power shift in organisations.

Central, traditional IT departments are becoming application groups and business units in their own right.

It has not just suddenly dawned on companies that their developers are surprisingly useful. Application delivery is nowadays simply the name of the game.

Clearly, this is a huge opportunity for the IT department to drive business transformation.

And maintaining yesterday’s assumptions about infrastructure and department organisations will be fatal.

But Claranet’s 2015 Research Report confirms that the average European IT department is some way off from arriving at Gartner’s third era of enterprise IT, ‘digitalisation’. This is when the IT department continually provides new opportunities for growth, innovation and market differentiation.

What’s to be done?

DevOps and cloud

You must transform your IT department from the legendarily stubborn “Department of No” into a centre of strategic innovation in your business. Your IT department needs to be focused on experimentation, rapid application delivery and close alignment with business units.

If these characteristics are a key driver of value in your business, cloud and DevOps are mutually reinforcing strategies for maximising the value you derive from them.

There are hundreds of different definitions of DevOps. The only thing that needs to be understood is that the vision that underpins it is one of a streamlined, integrated organisation that facilitates an accelerated application lifecycle.

John Rymer, vice principal and principal analyst at Gartner, says:

"Change your organization structures. The whole theme here is to be responsive, and so that app-dev organization structures have to be much more closely connected to the business than they ever have been before.[2]

It’s about having an idea and making it a reality quickly.

Benefit: you can make your application better, more often.

End result: your service is better than your competition’s.

The cloud is a direct solution to the need for agility and speed in an organisation.

The majority of applications today – and all applications tomorrow – are built around the cloud. The rate of applications delivered in this way is accelerating. IDC estimate that the average number of cloud based deployments per month is expected to double in two years.

Supporting the symbiotic view of cloud and DevOps, IDC also report that cloud-based delivery for DevOps practices will grow significantly over the next two years.[1]

But while most people think the cloud is about saving money, the real value of cloud lies in the ability to reduce waste and increase speed and agility.

On top of that, crucially, cloud services can allow your team to spend less time looking after infrastructure and more time driving innovation and adding business value.

And more time turning your IT department into that centre of strategic innovation.

Rethinking the way you work

The acceleration in business change today means a complete rethink of traditional IT processes, in how we collaborate inside and outside of the business.

Cloud is whipping up a storm. Applications not developed with the cloud in mind will wilt. And DevOps will enhance your agility, responsiveness and accelerate the application delivery lifecycle when moving applications into the cloud or developing for the cloud.

But you also need the right cloud services partner to help you on that journey.

There’s no point in putting effort into your killer application only for it to be insecure, unstable and unreliable.

They should offer you reliable 24/7 business continuity, security, compliance, fit-for-purpose SLAs and disaster recovery capability. They should also be experts who are able to advise you on the right solutions now and in the future.

Talk to Claranet to find out how we can ensure the security, stability and availability of your killer app. And help you do amazing things.

References
[1] Elliot Stephen. DevOps and the Cost of Downtime: Fortune 1000 Best Practice Metrics Quantified. IDC 2015
[2] http://www.cio.com/article/2929021/cloud-computing/cloud-computing-more-...

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