The hybrid world has already arrived. Many organisations are operating in a hybrid business model and with hybrid technology estates that map across both traditional on-premises platforms and modern scalable estates. As a result, the technologies featured here are already at the stage where the business can begin planning, experimenting and possibly deploying them as part of a business transformation strategy.
The technologies are in one of three stages of evolution — emerging, experimental and established — which determines how they are managed and deployed. These correspond to custom, product and commodity in Wardley Mapping, described in the paper Investing wisely in a hybrid technology world.
FinOps, or Financial Operations, is an emerging practice — a cultural change — that breaks down barriers between technology users and technology producers and suppliers in an organisation. With the barriers removed, all members of the organisation can jointly see, discuss and share responsibility for adaptations in the cost and speed of a technology outcome.
FinOps delivers planning for deploying, operating and optimising cloud-based platforms and the technology estate as a service with financial understanding. When all teams fully understand each other, then innovation can thrive, and business sustainability is ensured. Enterprise FinOps will provide a new pane of glass for business and technology leaders to make decisions. Further evolution will see AI-FinOps embedded into systems to self-regulate and govern.
Serverless, or function-as-a-service, technology is the next evolution of enterprise cloud computing. In simplest form, serverless removes the need to account for technology infrastructure. As organisations accelerate digital business process and customer services, software engineering that sits on serverless foundations has the opportunity to be truly flexible, with infrastructure demands being triggered by events or functions. The benefit to the business is that when there is no functional demand, the infrastructure is invisible. Another benefit is that the enterprise technology team’s accountability shifts from tactical to strategic: from underlying infrastructure to the customer, and to the apps and code that support a tangible business outcome.
The enterprise technology team’s accountability shifts from tactical to strategic: from underlying infrastructure to the customer, and to the apps and code that support a tangible business outcome.
Although serverless appears as a commodity (established) on the Wardley map in the Investing wisely paper (see Step 4 figure), its adoption is still experimental.
Automation is already having a profound impact on business processes. As software and technology increasingly become the core of the business and its data metabolism, the IT estate will mirror business processes and become automated. Automation of the technology infrastructure is essential in the hybrid world as a key enabler of speed and accuracy, increasing technology adoption and capability. As a result, people will be freed up to focus on and develop new, higher-order skills, reducing waste and creating more flexibility and business agility. Only through automation can accelerated technology deployment reduce error rates and deliver value.