For years, IT has created efficiency and reduced the support overhead by creating “standard” environments and platforms, effectively creating an underlying IT infrastructure with one size fits all mentality. With the rise of cloud technologies and services, the IT consumer is already presented with the choices that they want. IT has found it hard to adapt and become the enabler in providing that same choice to their customers.
The IT department still needs to consider its own costs and efficiency. It is not as simple as creating multiple service offerings for the consumer. In the modern world, where the IT consumer expects choice and self-service the IT department needs a single platform that enables them to deliver just that! The technology world has transformed, there are various combinations of choices in compute, storage, networking and services that software will provide on top of that underling infrastructure.
The IT department needs a single management platform that abstracts the consumer from the underlying complexity in those infrastructure technologies but still allows them to choose which is the right combination of technology for the task in hand, or service that they are creating. IT simply needs a single platform that offers multiple tiers of service.
We are naturally transitioning to a self-service cloud enabled world where we expect to have choices in order to customize our interaction with IT. We have that choice already through our smartphones and tablets, but more and more IT consumers expect to be offered real choice in the IT services that they consume.
For example, my development team are in the early proof of concept stage of a creating a new application. At this stage, they are in short development cycles, and their core requirement is agility. They don’t need high performance servers or the latest SSD storage.
As the development of the application matures they need to start considering the performance and availability that is required in the production and their core requirements change. By creating multiple tiers of service the first environment would be on a low tier, using commodity hardware and storage, and perhaps a free hypervisor. As time goes on, its time to move the application to a higher tier in the stack. A hardware and software stack that mirrors production.
The key here is providing the choice to the IT consumer through a single platform which enables them to make choose the service tier that they want through self-service.
So to answer my earlier question, are choices clouding IT, to that I would have to say no. More choice = more flexibility.