The Scalr CMP Realizes Gartner’s Bimodal IT

February 18, 2018 Ron Harnik

A few years ago, Gartner developed their longstanding “Bimodal IT” model. The model suggests that enterprise IT should work in two modes: Mode 1 focuses on what is predictable and well-understood, with a focus on order, accountability, and safety. This often thought of as “Traditional IT”, working with proven systems and focusing on stability.

Mode 2 Focuses on experimentation, faster time-to-market and building a more agile business that leverages cutting-edge technologies. This is where businesses should try new things, examine new workflows, and see if they can adopt technologies that will allow the business to modernize.

Essentially, Mode 1 and Mode 2 refers to playing it safe we the systems we know, and trying new things and trying to go faster. It also aligns with a common struggle between Enterprise IT and DevOps. One group is tasked with supporting company-wide efforts and seeks to maintain stability, security, compliance, and costs at the same time, while the other needs to be able to “move fast and break things” and are pressured to deliver solutions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This type of dissonance is what leads enterprises to the now-dated buzzword: “Shadow IT”. The traditional IT process, while ensuring compliance,  is too slow and restrictive so users seek faster and easier ways to get the job done.  This typically results in blown budgets, security risks, and a harder time for everyone involved.

So what role does Cloud Management play in all of this? A big one. Based on the recent Cloud Management Landscape Report, 81% of enterprises are either evaluating or already using a Cloud Management platform. But how does a CMP work for an enterprise that wants to make the Bimodal IT model work.

Trying to reconcile these two “modes” is often a major driver for a management system. In a lot of the cases, this means providing a method of access for both standard provisioning of servers and containers, and to advanced cloud services as well. A CMP that takes the “Lowest Common Denominator” approach prevents teams from leveraging advanced services, causes more adoption friction, and will eventually become shelfware due to the same “Shadow IT” issue.

A successful cloud strategy offers multiple paths of workload provisioning, for basic and advanced users. The Scalr CMP does this by building customized provisioning portals, enforcing conditional policy guardrails, and offering controlled Native API access to advanced cloud services.

With this approach, Central IT reconciles the need for governance over security, cost, and placement, with DevOps’ need to leverage advanced services. By building a provisioning workflow that reconciles cost and security standards with team productivity across multiple platforms, enterprises are building stronger, faster and safer clouds.

Scalr supports Mode 1 with a policy engine that creates repeatable workflows for provisioning and migrating resources on AWS, Azure, VMware, GCP, and OpenStack. Policies can be conditional, for example, when a developer provisions an application stack – that stack can be subjected to different policies if it’s a set of containers, a Linux, or a windows service.

Policies can also be based on location, the networks used in the app and more. This is mode 1 of the model, users have a customized provisioning portal that allows them to efficiently provision resources in a manner that transparently injects safeguards into the process.

Mode 2 is supported by the Cloud Services Gateway and advanced cloud service support, as well as by the integration engine. Advanced DevOps users who wish to leverage higher-order services are able to do so with native APIs via the Cloud Services Gateway, while IT doesn’t need to compromise on on control.

Administrators can centrally track, grant, and revoke access to cloud services as well as enforce policies on advance service usage. The Scalr integration engine empowers users to leverage the existing ecosystem tools they have in place in their workflows. Tools like Chef, Ansible, and Jenkins can be seamlessly tied into provisioning and operating workflows to build a productive platform for developers.

Bimodal IT envisions an IT organization that is able to both maintain the efficiency and compliance required at a large enterprise while pushing the business forward with the latest technologies and trends.  The Scalr Hybrid Cloud Management Platform has helped enterprises from every vertical build a safe, cost-efficient platform that unifies all major public and private platforms, drives up team productivity and maintains IT control and compliance.


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