Bridging the Infrastructure Gap: ITaaS and the Rise of Cloud Brokerage
Cloud technology drives disruption, wherein, according to Forbes, traditional IT processes are often upended by on-demand services and scalable resources. But the cloud can also create distance between DevOps and IT ops teams; the former looks for agility and speed while the latter wants security and control.
Making things more complex are the increasing demands from C-suite executives to move IT away from a cost-center model and embrace a new role to underpin line-of-business objectives. For IT professionals, bridging the “infrastructure gap” created by cloud expectation and IT reality demands a new paradigm: IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) and the rise of cloud brokerage can provide the necessary blueprints for evolving success.
Although the cloud has enabled IT process migration across a host of industries and applications, this off-premises preference can cause problems between traditional IT pros and more agility-focused DevOps teams. When it comes to building a new app, for example, IT operations staff looks for improved access control and ease-of-oversight, while DevOps tends to focus on usability and time-to-market.
Often, adversarial atmospheres develop as current cloud offerings are stretched to their limits — IT ops pulls back while DevOps pushes forward. The result is an ever-growing infrastructure gap. Add in a quickly expanding cloud services market and corporate IT often faces the triple-challenge of lost insight, increased risk and rapidly rising costs.
The Automation Advantage
First up is automation. Both IT ops and DevOps teams are stuck doing more manual input than they have time for, but is often necessary to address the needs of aging infrastructure. What if some — or all — of these processes could be automated? Reduced reliance on manual data entry, for example, not only speeds completion but minimizes error.
Meanwhile, the ability to automatically provision, deploy and monitor infrastructure resources from a common “pool” offers a way for ops and dev to meet in the middle without a shouting match. This “composable infrastructure,” as noted by InfoWorld, is becoming a big draw among large technology providers who have the expertise and resources to meet the evolving needs of agile companies. ITaaS is meant to integrate multiple aspects of business infrastructure, and by combining various pieces of equipment and software in this way, support can effectively manage the needs of applications it may otherwise not be able to use.
Automation is just the beginning. With so many cloud options now available, it’s difficult for IT professionals to narrow down the best fit for their company, let alone ensure effective integration. Cloud brokerage platforms have emerged as a way to manage the “middle office” of multi-cloud deployment, such as sourcing, procurement, packaging and billing.
Brokerage also enables the next step in ITaaS: outsourcing repetitive or non-critical tasks to trusted third parties. This gives front-line staff the ability to self-serve specific IT offerings so it’s possible to shift the focus of IT from simply maintaining systems and networks to innovating core business models. This drives downstream corporate change as a result.
Brokerage Solutions streamlines this process by relying on “solution blueprints” to ensure maximum cooperation and coordination. Written as code, these blueprints are designed by IT ops staff and customized by DevOps pros to ensure that both sides get what they need and enjoy an open line of communication. Not only can a brokerage-driven blueprint model encourage faster project delivery, but it can also increase quality, lower total costs and simplify scalability.
Infrastructure is next in line for cloud transformation. With cloud-based disruption responsible for much of the rift between DevOps and IT ops, it’s essential for companies to embrace automation and enable communication for current development cycles, and consider a move to cloud-based brokerage to help blueprint future projects and deliver scalable ITaaS alternatives.