We have tackled this fundamental question in The New CIO Agenda, a brochure aimed at helping you advance your cloud innovation strategies. Whether your business needs to transform the supply chain or go deeper into social media, cloud services are likely to be part of the solution. If you want to run as fast as the lines of business, capture opportunities from trends like big data and consumerization, or just keep the lights on as efficiently as possible, you need to transform your IT shop into an engine for service delivery.
The brochure, The New CIO Agenda tackles this challenge head-on by talking to some of the industry thought leaders. You will find insights from Intelâ€™s CIO and other visionaries who are driving Intelâ€™s cloud and technology strategies along with examples of companies that are leading their own cloud journeys.
Becoming an engine for service delivery doesnâ€™t mean you need to do it all yourselfâ€”or that you immediately outsource everything to publicly hosted services. You start by building a plan which includes understanding the required services to run the business but also by looking for the services that are missing, but valued by the lines of business.
An essential step is to start by modernizing and standardizing your internal infrastructure, if you havenâ€™t done so already. Chances are youâ€™re well on your way to consolidating and virtualizing your server infrastructureâ€”a key starting point for cloud computing. The next step in terms of infrastructure is to modernize and virtualize your storage architecture, migrating traditional scale-up storage platforms onto intelligent, distributed scale-out storage platforms. Youâ€™ll also want to unify your networks on 10/100 Gigabit Ethernet, and re-examine every layer of your security architecture. With these actions, youâ€™re building a more secure, scalable foundation for cloud services and freeing up funds that can be used for innovative services.
In parallel, start developing a cloud services roadmap that spells out what services youâ€™ll deploy and how. As a rule of thumb, youâ€™ll want to keep core competencies and sources of competitive advantage on secure private clouds, so you can innovate quickly in areas that are critical to the business. This approach also retains critical expertise in-house. On the flip side, commodity functions are good candidates for externally hosted SaaS solutions.
Whether youâ€™re hosting services internally or externally, youâ€™ll need to clearly define each service, translating business goals into specific requirements and mapping service-level agreements back to the business owners. Pay close attention to requirements around performance, monitoring, auditing, and compliance, and identify ways of measuring them.
With each new service, you build your ability to rapidly deploy additional services, expand existing services, adjust on the flyâ€”and create strategic value. Because one thing we know as IT professionals: The lines of business will continue to surprise us.