January 26, 2022
January 26, 2022
Contributor: Meghan Rimol
Support digital transformation by increasing infrastructure automation, modernizing legacy applications and considering as-a-service cost models.
Infrastructure is changing as enterprises accelerate digital transformation. In a cloud-first and increasingly automated world, infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders must rethink how infrastructures are utilized and managed.
“As cloud computing continues to grow, application portfolios are becoming more diverse and more hybrid,” says Thomas Bittman, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “Strategic infrastructure standardization, modernization and automation efforts will be critical for successful digital transformation.”
Download eBook: The Top 3 Strategic Priorities for I&O Leaders
These four Gartner predictions will help you navigate the path to digital infrastructure platforms and prepare your enterprise for the future of infrastructure.
According to the Gartner 2021 I&O Leaders Survey, 80% of respondents consider automation as a top tactic to achieve cost optimization. Yet, many I&O organizations struggle to know where and how to start with infrastructure automation, leading to hesitation and missed opportunities.
Infrastructure automation should be seen as an ongoing discipline, as it requires proper planning and coordination to drive productivity. Creating a dedicated team can help ensure scale, efficiency and consistency. When beginning an automation journey, focus on productivity and efficiency as initial drivers, enabling teams to offload routine work to automation and improve the volume of work that can be executed. As infrastructure automation matures, cost optimization will emerge as a key output.
Many I&O organizations have focused automation initiatives on tooling technology selection, rather than skills and role development. In fact, the survey showed that a top challenge for IT I&O organizations is insufficient skills and resources. Without the relevant skills, automation technologies become “black boxes” that aren’t well understood or integrated.
Shift perspectives on infrastructure automation by focusing on developing a mix of skills and roles to achieve business goals, such as efficiency and agility across on-premises, cloud and edge. Defining the roles of designers and architects to support automation is essential to ensure that automation works as expected, avoids significant errors and complements other technologies.
Read more: I&O Professionals: Develop Emerging Technology Skills in 6 Key Areas
Today, about 10% of all workloads are cloud-native applications, and the majority of new development is cloud-native. Infrastructure will soon reach a state where approximately one-third of workloads will run in the cloud, one-third can migrate or move to the cloud with increased complexity, and one-third will not run in the cloud because of complexity, performance, economics or regulatory constraints.
I&O must optimize infrastructure delivery for each application based on these categories. Lifting-and-shifting applications and workloads will lead to suboptimized delivery, increased costs and further complexity. Standardizing infrastructure by modernizing or rationalizing legacy applications will enable more applications to be ready for cloud delivery, driving down costs.
Cloud computing has trained users to leverage on-demand, operating expenditure (opex)-based solutions, many on a pay-as-you-go basis. As buyer sentiments and expectations shift, system providers have turned to financing their capital-intensive hardware products to offer them “as a service.” For example, emerging infrastructure offerings such as bare metal as a service and edge as a service fit this model.
When considering compute, storage and networking as-a-service offerings, evaluate the trade-offs in agility, cost, control, performance, potential for lock-in and governance between a hyperscale cloud offering and dedicated infrastructure offered on a consumption basis. Optimize costs by choosing consumption-based infrastructure for applications that must be refreshed or redeployed but cannot be served from the public cloud. Eliminate or reduce unintentional costs by bringing the same cost tracking and analysis approaches to consumption-based services as those brought to public cloud services.
Get prepared to be inspired by the world’s leading infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders and Gartner experts and explore the latest technologies.
Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Predicts 2022: Driving Toward Digital Infrastructure Platforms
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.