In my last post I covered an introduction to Hybrid IT (take a read of that here!)
If you’re coming in on this for the first time, quite simply, orchestration is making your Hybrid IT landscape work together in order to deliver value. This means a consistent experience for everyone; IT services (cloud, or otherwise) are integrated, and IT processes are completely aligned with business needs.
Orchestration is complex and challenging to get right for any organization. In this second part, I’m going to discuss six key areas of orchestration that organisations should be focusing on. With this, you can start to get your Hybrid IT ecosystem working in harmony…
1) Service orchestration
How do you deliver quality of service across the different platforms the disaggregated, Hybrid IT world? Service Orchestration is key to maintaining a seamless service and customer experience to the end user, whatever makes up the technical solution. This is especially prevalent for the vast majority of organisations who have a Hybrid IT estate, comprising of Robust IT and Fast IT. Some call this bi-modal, but whatever you call it you need to be able to deliver at the right speed, with the right controls and deliver the right value.
For example, a business wants to increase the speed to market. The traditional large, slow and unwieldy IT project approach is replaced with an agile, outcome-driven one, where there is ‘just enough’ functionality in the initial delivery to meet the functional requirements of the business. Additional features can be added in iterative stages after that.
Service orchestration is vital to linking the release and change cycle to service desk and delivery. This way consumers receive the very best experience.
2) Supplier orchestration
In a Hybrid IT environment (made up of both cloud and legacy platforms), businesses have a much greater choice of suppliers than ever before.
Some organisations using SaaS are operating with well in excess of 100 vendors! Managing those contracts and relationships is complex and demanding.
With such diversity, maintaining control is a constant challenge. IT and procurement departments are trying to pull different suppliers together, dealing with the contractual limitations of each one. Supplier orchestration manages this complexity and embraces autonomy while reducing the risk of shadow IT.
This is achieved through clear policies and by aggregating the visibility and management of every supplier, regardless of which department signed the contract. Each project, department or use-case will have its own priorities – such as security, cost, data residency or scalability – for each service, application or workload.
How do you know you are using the right suppliers? Supplier Orchestration goes beyond Supplier Management and actually provides you with a brokerage which provides you with advice and manages the supplier onboarding or migration for you.
It’s a process not to be underestimated. It’s far more difficult than traditional service integration and management. This is because a Hybrid IT environment is often broken down into many separate platforms that rely on each other.
The disaggregated supplier model still needs to act like a joined-up ‘single’ team with the aim of supporting and enabling the business. The supplier orchestrator in this context adds a sense of collaboration across the various supplier organisations.
3) Security orchestration
Taking advantage of a multi-platform environment presents business benefits, but it also presents a security challenge. Security orchestration makes safe use of data possible regardless of the underlying platform, be it robust legacy, or fast IT.
Initial questions that need to be posed include: Which data should be located in my public cloud? Which data should be private? How will I unify the data in an integrated manner between these disparate environments?
Security orchestration is necessary to help identify the right platform to meet any prevailing compliance and data residency requirements.
A true Hybrid IT model can raise concerns around data being less secure and that an organisation may therefore be viewed as a target.
However, security orchestration helps ongoing monitoring of all systems and services within the environment. This keeps a stronger handle on current and historic cybersecurity issues, allowing an organisation to react faster and close the gap between discovery and resolution of security issues.
4) Process orchestration
In order for Hybrid IT to be a success, it requires agile, process-centric IT organisations to seamlessly orchestrate a wide range of different technologies, service levels and business models.
This means giving users what they want; staying on-top of a complicated arrangement of multiple vendors or giving your engineers real-time data analytics on any device.
For IT departments it means all processes have to adapt to work in this increasingly complex world.
Providing great IT services in this environment requires processes that join up the delivery of IT value from end-to-end, presenting complex ‘digital supply chains’ as single, integrated services, seamlessly provided by IT.
Achieving operational excellence therefore requires IT departments to clearly set out their business model, understand the necessary metrics and then implement and demonstrate the end-to-end control necessary to achieve them.
Process orchestration makes it easy to link processes into all of the people, systems and data required to deliver innovation and to automate services. This ensures outcomes are reliable, repeatable and fully joined-up.
This way CIOs become valuable to their businesses, not only by industrialising delivery, but also by freeing the organisation to focus on innovation.
5) Compliance orchestration
Moving wider than the process view, policies are the key in an orchestrated environment. Polices at an internal-organisational level or those which are necessitated based on external legislation or industry standards are essential to ensure that your organisation remains in control of its governance.
By setting a comprehensive set of policies, you are able to prevent any compliance breaches through automation and you are also able to detect any compliance breaches, so you can take immediate action.
Staying in compliance could be a simple as adhering to a cost optimisation policy of shutting down unused workloads during periods of low demand. They can also increase in complexity to cater for data residency compliance and other geo-specific standards which are becoming more and more important.
6) Technical orchestration
This is the foundation that underpins all other pillars of orchestration. The technology is the enabling platform; the value comes from how the business and users consume that platform.
Technical orchestration covers the integration of the different public cloud, private cloud, SaaS and traditional IT environments. APIs, technical security, data portability and dynamic workload management create the ability to flex and scale as needed without impacting the user.
Policy enforcement and automating decision-making is key. This makes sure every workload, application and project is run on the right environment for their requirements.
This should also take into account security, speed, scalability and cost. If requirements change over time, workloads can be moved automatically to the best provider.
It’s ultimately about organising technology delivery to integrate and seamlessly connect cloud and non-cloud environments to release business value.
Delivering effective technical orchestration turns technology into a business enabler, driving tangible value through improved time to deliver, standardisation, increased agility, flexibility and reduced cost.
And there we have it! Those are the six areas of orchestration in Hybrid IT. If you want to explore this is in more detail download Fujitsu’s free white-paper.