Enabling evergreen IT

 

Enabling evergreen IT

Taking the time to stand back, take a proper look at IT strategy and ask the potentially difficult questions of why we’re doing things a particular way is a luxury we don’t have enough of. Our recent Focal Point event discussing Cloud and SD-WAN was a great opportunity for us to discuss these topics in detail in an open round-table forum with customers from a variety of industries. Each have their own challenges and objectives meaning the LIMA team fielded a variety of questions from headline strategy to technical implementation detail, ensuring that different perspectives, approaches and ideas provided benefit for all the delegates.

One of the topics the LIMA team has discussed following the event is the concept of Evergreen IT. When we reflect on the changes we see the way our customers buy and plan their IT environments, the clearer it becomes that the fork-lift upgrades that we were used to delivering are becoming a thing on the past. The cost, disruption and risk associated with large scale upgrades have always been incredibly unappealing but often unavoidable with smaller, more easily manageable incremental upgrades more preferable all round.


What is Evergreen IT?

“Evergreen IT is not cloud computing per se. The goal is to transition IT operations from predominantly manual to predominantly automated processes driven by intelligent software. The result is an approach where incremental IT investment no longer creates legacy systems. Instead, each layer of the IT stack can be continually refreshed without worrying about interdependencies between layers.” 2009, Price Waterhouse Coopers

What is clear from this definition is that Evergreen IT is more than cloud – it’s about how you pay for, manage, consume, automate and secure IT – and this is good news for those organisations whose applications or data can’t go into the cloud. 

Payment & consumption models

The move from Cap-Ex to Op-Ex is as prevalent in organisations as it is for us in our personal lives.  Where organisations often used to budget for IT with three or five year write down cycles, they’re now more commonly demanding monthly billing terms. SaaS and IaaS platforms are paid for on an as-you-consume basis but this model doesn’t only apply to cloud services. Vendors provide a range of finance packages for customers to expand or contract their infrastructure capacity over time rather than asking them to commit up front to anticipated growth in capacity within their on-prem infrastructure.

Management & automation

The concept of “software defined” is big news when you’re thinking about evergreen IT. Whether you’re talking software defined networks, storage or datacentres, the consistent principle is that the computing infrastructure is virtualised and delivered as a service with the management and control being automated by intelligent software rather than by the hardware components.

Security

As we discussed in our recent software defined perimeter blog workloads that have moved out to the cloud have also moved outside the safety of established secure borders. This requires us to extend our policies out into new realms to be effective regardless of the technologies being employed. At the other end of all this change is the user. User-centric security applied by device, geography or other defining characteristic is growing in popularity as the user becomes the only remaining constant in the chain.


How do you ensure the best of evergreen without going 100% cloud?

This is where LIMA comes in. Architecting a Private or Hybrid Cloud environment to deliver the benefits of Evergreen IT is no small task and the ongoing monitoring, maintenance and management can be costly in terms of time and resources. 

  • Our Consultants deliver formal assessment services to recommend the best path forward for you for workloads from on-prem to hyperscalers such as Microsoft Azure. 

  • Our Solutions Architects have a range of technical expertise to enable them to design a solution which encompasses the interdependences of the environment you already have and the future requirements you’ll need to address. 

  • Further down the line, our Service Desk deliver ProActive Managed Services to relieve you of as much of the day to day maintenance and management as you like.


For more information on similar topics, why not take a look at…

 
Katherine Pugh