IT World Canada,S Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Content Officer (CCO) sat down with Jim Love peter passCanadian National Technology Director Vmware, during ITWC’s Digital Transformation Conference and Awards. This fireside chat covered the benefits of the transformational cloud infrastructure, and some of the pitfalls organizations are facing during this transition.
Traditionally, as almost mentioned, “old tech” teams are very fragmented.
“An infrastructure team that has grown over the years naturally organizes itself into server teams and storage teams and networking teams,” he said. “It’s very difficult for organizations to break into the way they’ve been doing it.”
As organizations move to the public cloud model, these siled teams will need to break up to adapt to a new business structure. Organizations that continue to use the private cloud in the “old, structural way,” as Close put it, are less successful than organizations that adapt to the public cloud model.
Organizations moving to the public cloud are forced to completely redesign their team structures and practices. Once that’s done, businesses can go back to a private cloud model if they choose, and still find great success with optimizing their team and infrastructure.
“That forced organizational change has been an overall benefit to innovation in Canada,” Near said.
The benefits of moving to public cloud systems come in the form of cost and delivery speed, and many organizations choose a ‘happy medium’, where the use of both public and private cloud platforms meets the needs of the organization as well as their audience. .
As part of this rethinking process, Near said that one of the biggest hallmarks of great technology infrastructure is resilience.
“The last few years have taught us as a country that we have to be able to react quickly to things,” he said.
One barrier against the flexibility of businesses when attempting to transition to the public cloud model is the black-and-white thinking of legacy systems.
“Most Canadian organizations, especially mid-sized organizations, are in ‘cloud chaos’ mode at the moment,” Near said. “Where you’re just trying a few things, and a lot of what you’re working for ends up in you.”
He said the goal is to move to a ‘cloud smart’ mode of operation, where organizations take a more pragmatic approach to what goes on the public cloud versus what stays on-premises or in the private cloud.
Organizations that move everything to the cloud at once tend to drag goals out instead of circling and prioritizing specific objectives. Once an organization has identified its objectives, which are called “higher top-line value,” it can look at its legacy platform and decide which data it should move to the cloud.
“The worst thing you can do is just leave it [data] where it is and use it as an excuse to continue with old behaviors you’ve done in the past,” Near said.
He explained that finding the organization’s sweet spot, structurally speaking, and ensuring it can be built upon for years into the future is key. For IT and other technology-focused organizations, that middle ground is Kubernetes, An open-source system that automates the management, scaling, and deployment of containerized applications.
“All clouds have some form of Kubernetes, and our private cloud also has some form of Kubernetes,” Near said. “It looks like it’s emerging as the new dial tone for modern infrastructure architecture.”
Near Recommended Businesses look at Kubernetes from a team development and infrastructure perspective.
He asked the question, “How do I build an infrastructure that can equally support the applications I have that are on virtual machines and Kubernetes at the same time, regardless of where they are located?”
With all these elements in mind, it should come as no surprise that such major structural changes come with their challenges.
“Part of the reason why it’s beneficial is because it’s a little tougher,” Near said. “Getting there requires a rethink of how you do technology, but more importantly, people and processes.”
He said many organizations learn how to restructure their people and processes by learning from peers, attending conferences, or engaging others already through a similar restructuring.
But the bottom line is simple, Love pointed out, “Get on a cloud infrastructure as early in the game as possible, and it will accelerate your digital transformation.”