The cloud computing ecosystem has evolved at a scorching pace – from being only a hosted, elastic, commoditized infrastructure a decade ago, to a complex set of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS offerings that are available today across a variety of deployment options. Given the easy access to cloud applications, technology selection and adoption has become faster and more decentralized today, as compared to traditional IT processes.
The growth of ‘hybrid’ IT models has, in fact made it even more necessary for IT teams to ‘democratize’ the process of technology selection, and the role of IT is quickly evolving to business service enablement and value creation across all organizational stakeholders. We have moved far ahead from the days when all IT decisions were taken by a single, centralized IT department. Today, while IT teams continue to manage provisioning and deployment, companies are also empowering various teams and departments to make their own choices, especially when it comes to SaaS based applications such as CRM, project management, team collaboration, mobile engagement, etc.
For IT decision makers, decoupling IT decision making from IT provisioning involves a few critical decisions to be taken. For one, it is important to identify areas where greater IT oversight would be required, and therefore having a centralized strategy for cloud applications / infrastructure would be more effective.
At the same time, we are seeing many scenarios today where teams and departments are in a better position to take the right decisions in terms of technology selection. IT teams, in these cases, are often too far away from the real-world needs to assess the nature of business requirements. A departmentalized approach to cloud application selection would make sense in the following scenarios:
For many IT departments, moving from a tightly controlled or centrally governed enterprise IT organization to a loosely governed structure can be quite disconcerting initially. A Cloud Management Platform (CMP) is generally a good way to maintain control, oversight and reporting for all cloud applications and deployments across the enterprise. Of course, long-term infrastructure / architecture decisions, e.g., choice of CSP, technology stack, network monitoring, security protocols, etc. will continue to be in the hands of the IT department. By taking a balanced approach to IT decision making, enterprises will be more successful in building a cohesive, secure and agile hybrid cloud strategy.