As we settle into the new year, the ever present push of the cloud is stronger than ever. The face of IT is being restructured across the globe, and the role of the traditional IT department is changing fast. Embracing a new set of responsibilities centred around maintaining centralised software, optimising IT spending and managing business charge-backs.
A new study published by IDC and Red Hat shows this, and examines in depth the changing role of IT thanks to the spread of cloud technology in business. Drawing conclusions from a survey of over 2000 IT professionals in North America, it was found that 69% of those asked were using at least four public cloud IaaS platforms including Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google, VMware vCloud, IBM Softlayer and Rackspace.
It is apparent from the findings and noted by IDC that the IaaS is clearly fractured, with no one service dominating the landscape - although there is a clear pecking order. This distributed ownership demands a new model of management. Despite the promising growth in adoption of hybrid services the tools to manage them are lagging behind, although this is set to change over the coming year, as outlined in our 2015 cloud predictions
The biggest challenges facing the creation of a new management model include developing an effective strategy for the governance of public cloud, in addition to the need to unify the management of public and private cloud resources. Just under a third of IT professionals surveyed said they were allowing users to manage services on their own, while just over a third said they were tasking IT with enforcing policy while exploring other ways to allow users to manage their own services.
Just under half of respondents cited the ability to deploy a unified cloud management platform as one of their top five initiatives for the future. Challenges they face going forward include managing charge backs and SLA reports for business, as well as maintaining a healthy relationship between business and IT goals.
Interestingly, it also emerged from the report that IT is unaware of how IT services are swapping to cloud providers. “Respondents displayed awareness of the proliferation of public cloud services, and they do recognise the need to increase their level of responsiveness to users, even if IT believes it is already offering a reasonable set of services,” the IDC report notes.
Gordon Haff, a cloud strategist at Red Hat, has this to say “Augmenting in-house IT with public clouds can help organisations develop the applications and services the business needs faster and deliver them more flexibly. However, a completely ad hoc approach to using public clouds is a recipe for high costs and compliance failures.
“A cloud management strategy lets you take advantage of new and innovative cloud platforms while maintaining control of IT and protecting the business,” he added.