Cloud Empowered Enterprise™: A Strategic Framework to Enable an Agile Enterprise
The new digital reality of social, mobile and cloud is transforming how every organization connects, transacts and collaborates with customers, partners and affiliates. This can be seen across all industries, organization types and society. From e-commerce to payments to delivering news and providing government services, the way the world conducts its daily business has transformed to a real-time, always-on digital world. Successful businesses are merging the legacy offline and online worlds together in a social business, mobile-connected and cloud-empowered platform to transform how they deliver value for customer and shareholders.
Leading CIOs are revamping their investment strategies to address the limitations of application service delivery infrastructure and unlocking differentiated business value through the use of a Cloud Empowered Enterprise™ strategy that centers on a business-driven, policy oriented, dynamic and abstracted cloud-based application service delivery and management approach to deliver business innovations to the market faster.
Business, government agencies and service providers are all being pushed to embrace an agile enterprise model of conducting business — socially oriented, mobile connected and cloud based. These have at their core an integrated platform of application services, information and technology components requiring both development and runtime execution control with varied service, cost and performance levels. The ability to aggregate and manage in different combinations of connectivity, consumption methods with different rates of service will enable technology leaders to continuously keep pace with both challenges and changing conditions.
While cost is an ever-present obligation, business and technology leaders across all firms should equally focus on achieving greater flexibility and economies of scope and scale to support their global operations. To do so, the business needs a cloud-empowered application service delivery platform that doesn’t create barriers in terms of time, cost or flexibility. The answer is the Cloud Empowered Enterprise.
Everybody wins with a Cloud Empowered Enterprise strategy. This strategy specifically reduces time to market for critical business applications, improves application operations and performance, while reducing total cost of ownership of application infrastructure. The business gets what they need, when they need it; application developers improve agility to respond to business needs while governance, compliance and security are enforced by an extensible policy engine, and IT operations is able to realize a self-service model for business and applications while gaining the ability to flex resource allocation for performance and efficiency objectives at the same time.
The CSC Agility Platform has emerged as a leading technology provider to enable the Cloud Empowered Enterprise. The CSC Agility Platform continues to be selected by leading enterprises as their strategic application service delivery platform for the cloud. Survey results asking why these firms chose the Agility Platform consistently call out key capabilities of agnostic, open platform support with rich policy management and full application lifecycle support from development to production. Feedback was also consistent that competing vendor offerings originating from a virtual machine management or runbook automation heritage created vendor lock-in in terms of the development and runtime models, thus limiting the ability of business and application groups to innovate without constraints.
THE CASE FOR ACTION
Nicholas Negroponte, founder and Chairman Emeritus of MIT’s Media Lab, wrote in his Being Digital, “We are not waiting on any invention. It is here. It is now. It is almost genetic in its nature, in that each generation will become more digital than the preceding one.” His statements are not only true of people but of businesses, service providers and governments that provide goods and services for them.
Businesses, service providers and governments are all being pushed to embrace a new socially oriented, mobile-driven and cloud-based digital enterprise model of conducting business. These concepts have at their core an integrated platform of application services — information and technology components requiring both development and runtime execution control with varied service, cost and performance levels. The ability to aggregate and manage, in different combinations of connectivity, consumption methods and rates of service will enable technology leaders to continuously keep pace with both challenges and changing conditions.
A major imbalance impedes this journey to the digital enterprise. In particular, the growing imbalance between business demand and IT service fulfillment of applications and capacity. Complicating the issue is the explosion in both quality and quantity of demand. The quality of demand is escalating at unprecedented rates of change and complexity in terms of rules, regulations, compliance requirements, privacy issues and security. There is an insatiable velocity and quantity of demand — created by ubiquity of mobile smart devices with a new social collaboration consumption model — for content, data and instant knowledge, resulting in difficulties with reaching and sustaining quality of service execution while ensuring compliance and governance requirements are met.
On the supply side, there exists a typical automation and management model not built for the demand and complexity explosion caused by the digital enterprise. Historically, the IT infrastructure factory is a siloed, hard-wired model approach to applications, data, workflow policy, systems operations and resource allocation. Silos appear in development environments and proliferate through production runtime. Silo approaches lack service orientation and orchestration ability to accommodate requirements, regulations, quality and class of service. Silo approaches cannot manage and orchestrate service execution in a fluid and dynamic manner that mirrors business behavior and dynamic “day in the life” context of organizations today. Bottom line: You can’t change delivery to the business if you don’t fix the management of runtime service execution control in the IT factory.
The answer is the adoption of the Cloud Empowered Enterprise — an integrated business and IT operating model of self-service, dynamic assembly of application services, information and capacity, orchestrating as business needs, when business needs and how business needs.
NEED FOR THE CLOUD EMPOWERED ENTERPRISE
In the new normal of economic uncertainty, capital preservation, and constant change, technology leaders across enterprises and service providers alike face uncertainty of budget and great scrutiny of the quality of their service delivery for dollars invested.
While eliminating cost is an ever-present obligation, technology leaders should equally focus on achieving greater agility, flexibility and economies of scope and scale to support their global operations.
Enterprise technology leaders need to prepare their strategy and plans to accommodate these goals. They would do this with a cloud-based, dynamically tailored application service delivery platform that can provide dynamically tiered and policy enforced servicing of applications ranging from: application development to expense management, cash management, back-office functions to customer engagement, customer profiling, automated transaction processing, client self-service convenience and functionality. Moreover, a CIO and team need to be designing and building application service management functionality to accommodate the next-generation workplace functionality supporting a mobile, social, cloud-based, ubiquitous work model.
Businesses need consistent digital process flows they can deploy effectively and efficiently, accommodating the business function priority along with compliance and regulatory rules in a best execution manner (i.e., high-priority/policy sensitive/best execution may include customer interaction or revenue functions with data privacy rules that must be enforced concurrently, operating with routine functions such as expense managed execution in a lower priority/lower execution manner).
To do so, the business needs a cloud-based application service delivery foundation that doesn’t create barriers of time, cost or flexibility. The answer is the Cloud Empowered Enterprise platform
THE CLOUD EMPOWERED ENTERPRISE
We are entering a new phase of enterprise IT, where organizations must orient service delivery across the entire IT supply chain to behave and operate in a real-time, always adjusting manner. Those organizations that don’t embark on this transformational journey will not deliver the desired business growth and maximized shareholder value that is the fiduciary responsibility of IT executives, in support of their businesses.
A new integrated IT delivery model, the Cloud Empowered Enterprise is being adopted by leading innovative firms looking to improve the long-term competitive position of their business — by delivering anytime, anywhere IT resources as the business needs/how it needs/when it is needed. The Cloud Empowered Enterprise requires firms to implement the well targeted capabilities of service agility, optimized transaction unit cost of IT, as well as dynamic application service runtime execution control that is policy driven, automated and can sense and respond to ensure both service level and governance requirements are fulfilled in the best manner possible.
THE CLOUD EMPOWERED ENTERPRISE PLATFORM: DEFINITION
- A business platform system fabric that is software defined, providing execution and governance control that includes: assembly, distribution, coordination and service orchestration of the necessary components to fulfill business execution requirements (business rules, apps, info, content, and infrastructure)
- A platform that enables the business to operate in an agile delivery paradigm with capacity and services provisioned on demand with self-service to exact business needs, across a best- fit execution venue matching the appropriate service characteristics of performance, cost, compliance rules, resiliency and efficiency that are required or desired
- Operates in a “lights out,” dynamically adjustable manner providing the capability for enterprise IT to flex services and capacity on the fly based on business and compliance policy adherence at runtime. This ensures that appropriate users access the appropriate applications, data and resources in a service execution manner compliant in terms of service level required, governance rules enforced and best fit at time of request
WHY THE CLOUD EMPOWERED ENTERPRISE IS SO IMPORTANT
The business should be the ultimate driver of enterprise IT investment, and that investment should be correlated to the business views of growth, agility and reduced execution risk. The Cloud Empowered Enterprise is differentiated in its strategy, impact and the capabilities it can provide a firm. Here is an explanation of how implementing such a strategy may impact a firm:
The business drivers it helps firms address ...
Enhanced Delivery of IT: Creating “time to value” differentiation by enabling the deployment of applications, IT services or infrastructure resources and platforms needed on-demand in a policy controlled, self-service manner so they can innovate in support of the business
Enriched User Experience: Providing a consistent, rich, secure and integrated user experience that is enabled by “anyhow — anywhere — by any means” to connect, communicate, collaborate and execute business in a mobile-connected, social-driven, cloud paradigm
Agility: Creating an ability to respond to changing business consumption “as-needed, when-needed” without sacrificing compliance policy adherence
Efficiency: Providing “maximum return on assets — with minimum capital invested” thru optimal use of people, processes and technologies with this new delivery paradigm
Survey results: Key performance ... Cloud Empowered Enterprise
The following metrics indicate potential results that can be achieved by employing a Cloud Empowered Enterprise platform and strategy:
Time to Market: Reduce time to create new business services and applications by up to 50%
Total Cost of Ownership: Reduce silos (app, data, IT kit) by 60% or greater
Performance: Improve application transaction performance by as much as 50%
Enterprise IT Productivity: Reduce cycle time and labor required to package, deploy and change applications, services and infrastructure by 70% or more
Source — Author industry research and benchmarks. Next Generation Datacenters — Driving Extreme Efficiency and Effective Cost Savings (Elsevier Press, 2009)
AVOIDING CLOUD EMPOWERED STRATEGY EXECUTION PITFALLS
A critical and common dilemma confronts organizations today — how to solve business strategy and IT delivery challenges in terms of how services, infrastructure and resources are automated, integrated and managed.
To avoid the execution pitfalls that have trapped enterprise IT organizations on their journey toward the Cloud Empowered Enterprise paradigm, research has identified three areas of execution risk that need to be managed closely by the CIO and their team:
Orientation — drive strategy from a top-down perspective
Capability — solve the user experience and application delivery model
Investment — pay as you use, grow and derive value
How an organization orients their approach to application service execution automation and management has a direct consequence on the ability to realize the value, impact, control and sustainability of their Cloud Empowered Enterprise model.
A classic trap of IT is to orient from the bottom up in terms of how they view delivery of IT to the business. In particular, the focus is on resources and automation as the only asset in the value chain of application service execution. It is logical to orient in this manner because it maps to span of control. However, this approach creates a disconnect between behaviors and actions in terms of how the business consumes services and how IT delivers.
To successfully realize the Cloud Empowered Enterprise model that senses and responds to business-IT execution as needed, the CIO and team must employ a design, deployment and management orientation approach that marries business processes, application assembly processes and governance policy in an integrated IT delivery paradigm that operates like a dynamic supply chain, adjusting application service delivery in support of daily business behavior while enforcing policies of service level, governance and exception processing.
Bottom line: A top-down, service-oriented and policy driven approach is necessary to realize optimal agility and business impact.
The next execution barrier that must be overcome is the approach to the capability model. This becomes another trap of convenience or comfort level — IT focusing on capabilities that address only resource pooling and virtualization, without incorporating application service delivery capabilities that can accommodate constantly adjusting business and governance requirements while fulfilling user experience demands.
Bottom line: Firms must design and deploy an application service delivery capability model to accommodate the user and application lifecycle model of the business, not the IT resource management perspective.
Another trap for IT’s ability to transform application service delivery and differentiate business execution is how firms approach investment and procurement in the same, capital-heavy seat or core count manner.
The unit of value that intersects between business and IT is the workload. When workload executes correctly, at the correct unit of cost, and accommodates business fluctuation without additional time, delay or investment, maximum IT business value is realized.
If business consumption is dynamic, then why can’t IT delivery execution be procured and operated in this manner? There is no need to burden business with large capital outlays, drag out time to value in exhaustive and dated procurement processes and tax the business for months to years before net incremental value to the bottom line is realized.
Bottom line: Find a vendor who can help implement a top-down orientation, provide the necessary service execution management capabilities, sell or be willing to sell their technology on a workload-executed basis, and accelerate the time to net value realized.
THE CSC AGILITY PLATFORM IS WORTH A LOOK
The Agility Platform is worth investigating to help address the challenges ahead in implementing the Cloud Empowered Enterprise. The business got an early start in 2008 focusing on global enterprise customers and the challenges of transforming enterprise IT through the use of hybrid cloud computing, policy-based governance models and application release automation to accelerate software development lifecycles. The feature set has been developed into a single product, as opposed to nascent large vendor offerings in the cloud management and DevOps space that are pursuing piecemeal vendor acquisitions or dependencies on extended legacy product portfolios.
The Agility Platform and its charter customers claim to have delivered impressive results, and the product does have key differentiators in its approach to application-centric cloud management and governance. CSC adheres to an agnostic hybrid cloud implementation model and includes a powerful policy engine, which provides a viable pathway for central IT organizations to successfully operate a cloud brokerage model spanning private and public cloud services and thereby deliver key tenets of the Cloud Empowered Enterprise.
Diversity of business demand is going to continuously increase pressure on Enterprise IT. Business-as-usual approaches to IT delivery are not sustainable.
Cloud Empowered Enterprise strategy calls for visionary and thought leaders across enterprise IT to cross boundaries, connect and understand the business and how it executes. Dig in and determine how application and business functionality is created and could be created with a different application and IT service delivery model. Design a top-down approach that can sense and respond to business as needed, when needed. And finally, find a vendor that provides a platform for delivering cloud-based application delivery capabilities and lowers the barrier of execution risk by charging on a pay-as- you-use and -grow basis, creating a win/win relationship.