I recently wrote about what I see as the inevitability of a server-free future. I suggested that migrating to the cloud is a necessary progression for businesses that want to innovate, cut costs, and optimize operations. But while it’s easy for CIOs to say that moving to the public cloud is at the top of their to-do lists, doing so can be an enormous challenge. An organization needs to change its DNA.

CIOs with a dual mandate to run better and run differently need an effective operational discipline for provisioning and managing traditional workflows in systems operations (SysOps). They also require agile development, deployment, and management with cloud-native workflows and operations (DevOps). Needless to say, the required resources and skill sets are fundamentally new, with software-defined approaches and policy-driven controls pushing infrastructure as a code, which is now dominant in underlying IT systems.

Managing a cloud or creating and running a viable development operation (DevOps) in which applications are scalable, agile, on-demand, and interactive requires a different operational style than what was needed to manage a traditional IT infrastructure. The complexities and dynamics between people, processes, and tools have to change.

Fortunately, corporate adaptation to structural and environmental changes can happen far more quickly than the evolution of DNA in nature. When businesses need to evolve, they strategize, test, and then refine new models as their competitive environments demand and as market opportunities allow. That’s how businesses can adapt to cloud environments, making themselves better suited to survive and thrive.

CloudOps: next-generation IT operations

TS497252878_webWe are on the cusp of the convergence of SysOps and DevOps into CloudOps, the new operating model for digital businesses. CloudOps demands establishing a discipline for smarter operations, using rich predictive and actionable insights to meet the demands of having a constantly ready infrastructure.

The CloudOps model supports deployment, provisioning, operations, and management to run hybrid cloud-based systems optimally, so they can drive business agility. Designing, implementing, developing, and managing a CloudOps platform can be simplified either by refurbishing the existing set of tools in the operating environment or by outsourcing to a cloud managed-services provider.

In turn, CloudOps demands a next-generation suite of management tools that together create a platform that can offer orchestrated multi-cloud services and governance. Such a platform simplifies management of on-premises and hybrid cloud services and provides a number of additional capabilities, including accelerated development cycles; policy-driven automation, metering, and analytics; and integration with current IT environments. It allows organizations to implement an anything-as-a-service (XaaS) model—from optimizing existing IT systems to increasing operational efficiency. Driving innovation and growth through agile systems is critical for businesses to transform themselves to digital without sacrificing scalability and flexibility.

Hybrid CloudOps: feature-rich and flexible

Cognizant’s cloud-management platform, Cloud360, offers the rich features necessary for operating digital business with high visibility and control over on-premises and cloud environments through a single lens. Cloud360 offers integration with multi-cloud providers (such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and IBM), along with integrating with third-party products and tools, including IT service management (ITSM) such as ServiceNow and automation such as CHEF as well as Puppetlabs, security, continuous integration, and application-performance management.

Flexible and extensible, Cloud360 includes provisioning, auto-scaling, and multi-cloud orchestration. And it integrates with other “best-of” monitoring and automation tools—including, for example, those for analytics, brokerage operations, and IT service management.

In nature, changes in DNA take eons. But the advent of the cloud doesn’t represent an evolution to which we can slowly adapt. It’s a revolution that’s forcing the radical recoding of leading organizations’ DNA. As more cloud-native business applications come online, providing flexibility and scalability at lower cost, becoming more digital will be unavoidable.

Rather than an existential threat, however, organizations can look on the necessity to migrate to a CloudOps environment as enabling. It frees organizations by giving them a new way of coping—efficiently and effectively—with a radically changing competitive environment. That promises long-term benefits.

What are your thoughts on characteristics of DNA for cloud adoption? Share your views with me.

Raja Renganathan

Raja Renganathan

Raja Renganathan is a Vice President and Global Head of neXgen Infrastructure Services Business at Cognizant and focus on Cloud, Automation and... Read more