IT management and operations in the cloud
As a business moves to a cloud-based model, the importance of proper management and operations can't be overstated. Unfortunately, few organizations are prepared for the IT management shift that's required for success in building a cloud-first operating model. This section of the Cloud Adoption Framework outlines the operating model, processes, and tooling that have proven successful in the cloud. Each of these areas represents a minor but fundamental shift in the way the business should view IT operations and management as it begins to adopt the cloud.
Brief history of IT management
Before the cloud, IT management grew from a simple acquisition function. Acquisition of technical equipment to support business processes required technical expertise and deep experience with a specific group of equipment vendors. IT management consolidated the selection, acquisition, and configuration of IT assets. Generally, the acquired assets included storage, computing power, networking, and other similar assets that are required to power the desired business function. As the primary subject matter experts on the equipment, IT was also tasked with operating the equipment to ensure maximum performance and minimal business disruptions.
When the business builds out new technology solutions, it has a clear need that can justify the significant expenses associated with acquiring assets, or even building out full datacenters. When it builds solutions, the business sees the acquisition costs as an investment in the future. After the business need is met, the perception of the same costs shifts. Costs that are associated with existing solutions are seen as operational drag that's created by past needs. That perception is why many businesses view IT as a cost center. It's also why many IT organizations experience regular cost-control exercises or reductions in IT staff.
The historical IT operating model was sufficient for over 20 years. But that model is now outdated and is less desirable than cloud-first alternatives. When IT management teams move to the cloud, they have an opportunity to rethink this model and drive greater value for the business. This article series outlines a modernized model of IT management.
For a deeper understanding of the new cloud management model, start with Understand business alignment.