Open hybrid cloud is the future of IT management
Cloud computing has emerged in recent years as the way for organisations to provision for most, if not all, of their IT infrastructures and solutions. While this approach to "future-proof" IT brings various benefits, such as scalability, it also requires organisations to look at IT management differently.
The cloud can be simplified into three types: private (an on-premise and privately owned architecture); public (an off-premise and shared utility); and hybrid (any combination of the previous two).
The hybrid cloud is the best future-proof option for the consideration of IT management. CIOs need a robust and strategic IT plan, that includes the hybrid cloud. Without this, IT management risk becoming a business inhibitor, rather than a business enabler. Indeed, a hybrid cloud will enable the organisation to use its best internal solutions as well as external cloud services. An open software platform with a broad ecosystem of public cloud providers that use or support the same virtualisation and middleware platforms is also recommended.
Presently, there is a disparity between IT and business executives in that IT feels compelled to own all IT services. This prevents many CIOs from understanding their true value to the organisation and this can restrict organisations from implementing a future-proofed IT strategy. Also, since the hybrid cloud is not considered as internal IT, it is often under-valued.
Cloud computing is a utility and since utilities are paid for based on consumption it would be logical to consider how internal IT can be paid for on a consumption basis. Few CIOs embrace the concept of chargeback for a variety of valid reasons, and yet this avoids the reality where business users today procure and use externally hosted IT resources without the involvement of IT, often finding it a more gratifying experience than using internal application.
The Age of the Cloud calls for a very different way of thinking about technology, with many traditional IT approaches not being applicable in a cloud landscape if compared to siloed IT environments. Organisations need to consider not only the internal platform, but also the ability to leverage external cloud platforms.
There are many cloud environments; open source is emerging as one of the more popular cloud development platforms for reasons that include cost, openness and the community. Cost is the key factor driving the adoption of open source software for cloud development in most cases by avoiding the initial capital expense that software licenses demand.
This is particularly the case given the scale that cloud computing involves. Many public clouds deploy open source because of the openness of the platform with a large community driving innovation and contributing to knowledge, while the word "community" no longer refers to hobbyists or students, but includes multibillion dollar organisations with significant vested interests in the success of open source. Public cloud providers also use open source software for its potential of new services and features.
Damien Wong is Red Hat's Asean general manager.