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Reimagining enterprise IT in the social, mobile age with open cloud

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I believe the enterprise IT application delivery model as it exists today in many organizations is broken. With the advent of cloud, social and mobile, it requires new thinking.

Users seem to agree as shadow IT has grown exponentially in recent years. The advisory firm CEB estimates that 40 percent of all IT spending at a company now occurs outside the IT department, a great deal of which is spent on infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) cloud services.

(Related: Why the contract between IT & the business needs resetting for cloud)

IT departments challenged to adapt

I spend much of my time assisting IT departments who are being challenged by their business users to deliver mobile, social and cloud based applications to generate new business value.

Users are demanding agility, greater flexibility and expect lower costs.

enterprise IT cloudTo adapt, they are looking for guidance across multiple domains (technical, cultural and organizational) as to how to meet changing user expectations of IT service delivery. All too frequently, if IT is not delivering, the users look to external cloud service providers who can offer agile, pay as you go (PAYG) services.

I do not believe public cloud service provision is the only future. Custom infrastructure, private cloud and hybrid combinations offer value propositions that cannot be met with public cloud alone.  However it requires major change on the part of IT.

To remain relevant, enterprise IT needs to be reinvented.

Broad perspective of new capabilities

Over the last 18 months as CTO for cloud computing at IBM UK, I have worked with many IT organizations that are grappling with the adoption of cloud technologies. This has given me the chance to look at the challenges they face and the new capabilities they require from many perspectives. Also I have been able to engage with IBMers and the industry to bring to bear best practices, trends and solutions.

In my role I have been fortunate to be able to take a broad view working with different lines of business and solution disciplines. From this client, industry and IBM perspective, I have formed my view of how enterprise IT can be reimagined based on open cloud.

Open cloud and integrated application delivery

My belief is that open cloud solutions based on open source and open standards provide the building blocks on which to reinvent IT.

Interest in open cloud is evidently high as at the Open Cloud Summit at IBM Pulse 2014 was standing room only to hear about IBM’s and the IT industries’ commitment to open cloud.

A second aspect is that delivery of applications and services to users needs to be integrated across development and operations if it is to realize the agility and time–to-market benefits that cloud automation solutions can bring. This builds on the classic plan-build-run delivery model.

Reimagining enterprise IT

This is the first in a series of blog posts based on my experience of engaging with these organizations, addressing the questions they pose and challenges they face as they adopt cloud.

Over this series of articles my intent is to show the value of open architecture and open standards in adopting cloud solutions and some of the necessary cultural and organizational changes. The following are some of the topics I will be covering over the coming weeks:

• Resetting the contract between IT and the business
• Applications in the age of social and mobile
• An open cloud architecture for IT
• Cloud and plan-build-run for application delivery
• Delivering systems of record and systems of engagement
• Is OpenStack ready for the enterprise?
• Abstracting infrastructure complexity with APIs
• Application delivery using patterns versus composable PaaS
• Software Defined Environments
• Transformation of enterprise IT service delivery

Are there other aspects of enterprise IT adoption of open cloud computing I should also cover? What are your thoughts? Comment below, or connect with me on Twitter @SteveStrutt.

More from Steve Strutt: 

Four IT innovations to deliver mobile and social

The seismic impact of social and mobile on IT

Why the contract between IT & the business needs resetting for cloud

More reasons why the IT/business contract needs resetting for cloud

Will improved efficiency lead to increased consumption of OpenStack products?

Dispatch from IBM Pulse: Standing room only at OpenStack Summit

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