The cloud is transforming IT service delivery, with organisations building their own private infrastructures or moving their data and apps onto external public networks, to enjoy cheaper and more efficient delivery of IT services. This HP whitepaper explains the transformation and outlines why the cloud is now so central in how IT services can be quickly and flexibly delivered to customers.
It must be said that many traditional IT departments are losing the tight control of data they once had through the rise of cloud services. At first, this was a gradual shift, but the pace is now undoubtedly quickening, as whole organisations or departments change the way they work with their IT department. There are a number of reasons for this, not least the rise of mobile and remote working, BYOD (bring your own device), and cloud "self-service" functions like HR.
The days when only the IT department had the decision as to whether a particular mobile device or app could be supported on the corporate network are long gone, as other departments - like HR, sales and marketing - are increasingly being given the power to choose what they need to run their operations.
Adapt or become a non-entity
The IT department will have to adapt, otherwise it will end up as a non-entity in some quarters of the business world. The cloud offers executives the business control they demand, so IT departments will need to become more collaborative and innovative as a result.
Research from Cisco in conjunction with Intel confirms that the rising adoption of cloud services is fundamentally changing how businesses consume IT. The research found that, in the majority of organisations, the control of IT planning and purchasing is increasingly being shifted to lines of business (LOBs), such as HR, sales and R&D. Their rising influence represents a marked departure from the traditional "top-down" approach mentioned above, forcing IT departments to adapt.
The Cisco Impact of Cloud on IT Consumption Models report – based on a global survey of over 4,000 IT decision makers – found that, while 43 per cent of funding currently comes from LOBs, 59 per cent of respondents predicted this will rise. To illustrate the point, the cloud is said to already represent almost a quarter of total IT spend (23 per cent), with that figure expected to rise to 27 per cent by 2016.
Given that 70 per cent of respondents believed that IT planning will increasingly involve stakeholders from LOBs, and 59 per cent believed purchasing authority will also eventually reside with LOBs, the role of the IT department looks set to change forever. Companies have to make the right choices when it comes to their cloud IT management and application delivery. This is where HP can help.
HP Helion is a portfolio of cloud products and services that enable organisations to build, manage and consume workloads in mixed IT environments. It incorporates existing HP cloud offerings, new open-source OpenStack-based products for cloud management, and professional and support services under a unified portfolio to help meet customers' specific business requirements.
"Customer cloud challenges include how to manage, control and scale applications in a hybrid environment that spans multiple technology approaches," says Martin Fink, chief technology officer at HP. "HP Helion provides the solutions and expertise customers need to select the right deployment model for their needs and obtain the greatest return for their investment."
20th Century Fox
Such solutions are already being used by John Herbert, the executive vice president and chief information officer at 20th Century Fox. Herbert says, "The 'journey to the converged cloud' might sound like the title of a movie, but at 20th Century Fox Film it's a different kind of blockbuster: the path to a world-class digital supply chain focused on operational excellence for managing media."
One of the world's largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. "Like most enterprises, our IT department has historically allocated a significant amount of resources to ongoing operations and we're constantly challenged with keeping up with the pace of our business using traditional IT infrastructure," says Herbert. "We expect our journey to HP's converged infrastructure and converged cloud offerings to change that as we move to creating an industry-leading digital supply chain empowered by HP technology."
The new HP solution at 20th Century Fox Film is expected to allow the company to address three core business areas.
First, Herbert explains, "We must deliver solutions to support our content management needs at the pace our business is running. The converged cloud approach allows us the scalability and flexibility our business requires to transport and automatically deliver content to our customer's digital ecosystems."
The outcome of this approach, he says, will be the ability to do the above in a matter of hours, rather than days, for traditional media delivery. The company will use the "cloud bursting" capability of HP Helion's CloudSystem technology to make use of HP's public cloud when peak demand requires additional capacity.
Furthermore, security risks to companies' high-value content is growing, and HP gives organisations the ability to create high-security cloud zones for media management and content distribution, delivering the full flexibility of a digital enterprise while mitigating the risk. "The converged cloud approach will fundamentally change how we support our customers as we go to market with our products," Herbert says.
Efficiency and scalability
Second, HP's cloud solution will help the company "redefine the boundaries of its global enterprise, while still being highly efficient and scalable", says Herbert. "Because we support several entities across 90 countries, we need to collaborate and coordinate decision-making on a moment-to-moment basis." The company will now be able to efficiently and flexibly manage and support customer requirements for the delivery of marketing, promotional and production content, managing several million media files across its worldwide ecosystem, he adds.
Third, a converged cloud approach will allow 20th Century Fox Film's IT department to better align itself with the business. "We aim to reverse the 'operations versus innovation' ratio, shifting more resources to creating new applications and services that drive business results," according to Herbert.
With HP Helion, the company plans to cut compute and storage provisioning times from five weeks to 15 minutes, reduce the cost and footprint of its data centres by 70 per cent, drive real-time consumption and capacity monitoring, as well as provide a transparent and competitive cost structure that will be rate-card driven.
"By transforming into a cloud-enabled enterprise we are delivering the scalability and agility our business partners demand. In addition to media management, this highly efficient, cost-competitive cloud solution provides an ideal environment to support our internal cross-divisional customer needs," Herbert concludes.
For more information on how HP cloud can transform IT delivery, follow this link.