Hybrid IT orchestration: an introduction

Hybrid IT orchestration: an introduction

Two-thirds (65 per cent) of enterprise IT organisations will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before the end of 2016, according to analyst IDC. On top of that, Gartner says nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of next year.

This is a wake-up call for any organisation that isn’t already implementing or planning for a Hybrid IT environment.

But with such a fluid mix of public, private and managed cloud, alongside legacy systems, how do you bring everything together and make Hybrid IT a reality?

The American singer and songwriter Tori Amos describes an orchestra as a creature, and the conductor as “the dragon tamer”. It’s an apt analogy for Hybrid IT where orchestration is key to taming the complex mix of cloud and traditional IT environments.

In this context the conductor must bring together all the moving parts of Hybrid IT – the services, suppliers, security, processes and technology.

Fast and legacy IT, analogue, and digital, must all be orchestrated to help the business create and deliver a seamless user experience across all platforms and channels.

Yet while orchestration is increasingly talked about, few enterprises are actually doing it well.

What does good look like?

In practical terms orchestration of Hybrid IT is not just about striking the right balance between traditional IT and the cloud. It is also a balancing act involving many other factors. Agility, fast delivery, automation, compliance and security all need to be catered for when designing the right service.

What makes this difficult is that, orchestration doesn’t follow the traditional 12-month cycle of constructing an IT plan, from getting the budget to presenting results back to the board a year later.

Here are some pointers on when orchestration works well…

  • The customer experience for both internal users and consumers is consistent, regardless of the engagement or delivery channel.
  • IT services, whether cloud or non-cloud, are integrated to drive value.
  • Each application, workload and service is optimised and executed on the right platform.
  • IT processes are aligned with the business needs to deliver the required outcomes.
  • Security and data protection is inherent.
  • The supplier ecosystem delivers cost-effective services aligned to the business requirements.

Now think back to the conductor example I mentioned earlier. As well as deciding which instruments best complement a musical score, a conductor manages the nuances of tempo and volume and links it all together so the audience hears a perfect piece of music.

That makes orchestrating a Hybrid IT environment complex and challenging. However, when working with the right partner it is completely achievable.

The value in orchestration is not in the technology. It’s in the service, supply, processes, the people and how they all knit together to deliver a secure, seamless customer experience.

Fujitsu has suggested some top tips to get you started:

  • Do be crystal clear on what the strategic business goals are. Is it to cut cost, to be a market leader or to be more agile and quicker to respond to market trends?
  • Do seek advice based on your specific needs. Your organisation and the orchestration of its Hybrid IT environment is your unique fingerprint.
  • Don’t worry – there is no one-size-fits-all way of doing orchestration but there is good and bad practice. However, there are global IT suppliers experienced in supporting you.
  • Don’t worry if you haven’t started to think about Hybrid IT. Acknowledge these first steps and explore the rest of the Hybrid Hive for other practical advice and guidance.

In my next blog post, I’ll take a closer look at the five key areas of orchestration, and how they work within a Hybrid IT environment.

Want to find out more? Download Fujitsu’s free white paper on Hybrid IT orchestration. 

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