Orchestration isn’t just a fancy term for automation.
It is full-service management for Hybrid IT, built to make sure everything works in harmony across complex and expanding environments. It also makes sure this harmony isn’t disrupted when enterprises deploy new services and solutions.
This is a topic I’ve written about extensively here on the Hybrid Hive. Many businesses are already talking about orchestration, but few are putting those ideas into practice.
Why? They simply don’t know where to start.
This is backed up by a piece of research from Fujitsu carried out by Forrester earlier this year. Among the findings is the sense that enterprises are at least willing to take the next steps in embracing the benefits orchestration can bring to Hybrid IT.
However, complexity makes it hard for them to do so. The study found 55% of enterprise IT decision-makers feel their cloud estate is too complex to manage.
Other challenges include security, lack of visibility, integration of cloud services, management of costs, failure of governance and compliance.
The research also suggests that there’s a tendency for organisations to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to this technology.
There were a few other points that really jumped out at me:
- 71% see cloud as core in delivery of services to customers
- 79% want to move workloads between clouds more easily
- 92% have plans to adopt cloud orchestration in the next two years, or they are already using it
So what should enterprises do about it?
At Fujitsu we see the six key pillars of orchestration – service, supplier, security, process, compliance and technical – to be the answer to many of these challenges.
The barriers that enterprises face in its adoption, choosing the most appropriate vendor (64%) and cost implications (53%), are the most easily overcome when you apply this model.
In the research paper, Forrester also recommends appointing a service orchestration champion to create a unified strategy and approach across IT and the business.
Orchestration is needed to be able to fully achieve this. The business value in orchestration is not only in the individual technologies and services.
Indeed, by definition, cloud orchestration is used to manage an organisation’s cloud services.
It includes everything from service management, down to the technology layer, providing governance, visibility and control of all services against changing business needs.
It’s in how it all comes together to deliver a secure, seamless customer experience and help drive the business forward. This places an extreme burden on the shoulders of business and IT leaders to be clear on their strategic business goals.
Understanding the landscape is an important first step.
Luckily the Hybrid Hive is packed with guidance on orchestration – including this handy explainer, as well as this article around the six pillars of orchestration mentioned above. These are all useful starters as well as guide points, regardless of where your organisation is with orchestration.