Service management in the age of hybrid cloud

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Service Management hybridDisruption has become as commonplace in business as the number of taxis and hotels that once defined urban travel. Then came Uber and Airbnb, innovative, digitally-driven companies at the vanguard of the new sharing economy.

The evidence that top companies believe their business will be significantly disrupted in the next three years is everywhere. Clearly, nearly every industry must be focused on the future and become increasingly digital to survive and thrive in this new environment.

An IBM study confirms that hybrid cloud is the necessary IT platform for the future and cloud adoption is growing rapidly. More than 1,000 C-suite executives from 18 industries revealed that most companies are using cloud, but not for their entire business. 78 percent said their cloud initiatives are coordinated or fully integrated currently, compared to 34 percent in 2012.

A hybrid service approach is needed to support hybrid cloud adoption. Both blend old and new. The approach will incorporate cloud, collaborative and cognitive capabilities with still-relevant traditional service management best practices and processes to become both agile and efficient.

Hybrid cloud and bimodal IT

The hybrid cloud model uses a mix of private and public cloud services to create more compelling customer experiences and develop innovative business models. Hybrid cloud allows fit-for-purpose and bimodal approaches. The two modes are:

  • Agile mode systems of engagement that touch users and systems of innovation typically reside in cloud-native environment. You leverage these systems to rapidly roll out and iteratively improve apps. They’re often supported by DevOps teams and methods.
  • Traditional mode systems of record and systems of automation are bedrock capabilities that typically reside in private cloud. The rate of change is slower. Support is often from more traditional IT operations teams and models like Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

Hybrid cloud applications span both modes and can go from mobile to mainframe.

Hybrid cloud service management

Hybrid cloud differs greatly from traditional service management. Applications are more decentralized and tools more varied, ranging from cloud-native to private cloud. Support spans DevOps and traditional IT operations teams.

Organizations must bring together the best of agile and traditional modes to address their company’s unique needs. DevOps is agile and collaborative but will not always bring the scalability and efficiency IT operations requires. Traditional service models like ITIL have still-relevant best practices and processes, but must adapt to the times.

Hybrid service management is changing. Hybrid cloud service management is helping IT support critical business initiatives in exciting new ways. These changes are propelling the trends and directions for hybrid service management, and will be the focus at IBM InterConnect, March 19th-23rd.

Succeeding in the hybrid world

Success typically involves having an overall vision, but implementing in stages. Hybrid service management will not be different. Successful organizations can take these steps:

  • Get agile by embracing the best of DevOps. This includes leveraging cloud-native tools and toolchains to ensure continuous delivery is backed by continuous availability.
  • Collaborate across teams with shared context. DevOps and operations teams must work together to support hybrid applications. This is best enabled by a lean set of common capabilities, including collaboration and notification services.
  • Structure hybrid operations to scale. As hybrid applications become larger and more complex, organizations become swamped by a wave of alerts and notifications. Implement effective event management and resolution automation.
  • Utilize cognitive insights for efficient operations. The hybrid cloud world depends on cognitive capabilities for actionable insights and proactive operations.

If you are attending InterConnect in Las Vegas, come see the IT Service Management trends and directions session. You can learn more about how IBM and smart organizations are approaching hybrid service management with clients and IBM hybrid cloud executives. Additionally, you can stop by the IBM hybrid service management Concourse area to see demos and talk to experts. I hope to see you there.

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