Chuck's Blog: Policy-based IT – the next frontier?

ATN-300InsightaaS: A few weeks ago, we featured a post on software-defined infrastructure from the highly-regarded Chuck’s Blog. The blog’s author, Chuck Hollis, is a former EMC executive who is now chief strategist for VMware’s SAS (storage and application services) business unit, and his background and position gives him an intriguing perspective on trends in storage, cloud, and related areas. In the post we are featuring today, he turns his attention to what he sees as a pending transition from ITaaS to policy-based IT, which he defines as a means of delivering “a sequence of order-of-magnitude improvements.” Hollis traces a path through applications and application policy, showing how a policy-based approach can help arbitrate across multiple resource-hungry systems. Hollis believes that as policy-based systems evolve to deliver all of the benefits that can be expected from automation, they will enable consistent reactions to corporate policies, support the development of the platforms and consistent data needed for collaboration across departments and locations, and ultimately, spur a change from “bottoms up” to “top down” approaches to IT service management that will drive new IT org charts that are “overweighted towards all aspects of process: process definition, process measurement, process improvement – just as you would find in non-IT environments that invest heavily in automation.

Several years ago, it became clear to me that the next aspirational model for enterprise IT was “IT as a Service”, or ITaaS.

At its core was a simple yet powerful idea: that the core IT operational model should be refashioned around the convenient consumption of IT services.

Under the ITaaS model, most everything IT does is now presented as a variable service, marketed to users, with supply driven by the resulting demand.

IT becomes the internal service provider of choice.

Now, several years later, that once-controversial idea has clearly grown deep roots, with many examples of progressive IT organizations embracing this perspective.   Some have made the transition, some are mid-journey, others have yet to begin.  The IT world has moved forward.

So, it’s fair to ask – what might come next?  I have a strong suspicion as to what the next operational model will be…

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