RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Today’s companies are embracing a broader spectrum of cloud capabilities and services to unleash greater innovation.
  • But with the power and flexibility of the Cloud Continuum comes complexity that can be hard to manage.
  • A Continuum Control Plane enables smooth integration across a multi-vendor landscape and provides unprecedented visibility throughout the enterprise.
  • Building a Continuum Control Plane doesn’t have to happen all at once; we’ll evolve existing capabilities and scale incrementally based on priorities.


An opportunity to supercharge the business

For those that are willing and able to capitalize on it, the Cloud Continuum revolution is delivering huge leaps forward in organizational agility, speed and innovation. Today, most enterprises are adopting a hybrid and multi-cloud mindset — but not all are reaping the benefits equally. According to Accenture’s research:

15%

of organizations are seeing substantially greater gains than the rest

These Continuum Competitors are using the cloud in a fundamentally different way to transform everything their business does—from customer interactions to product development to data insight generation and beyond. As a result, these leaders are seeing significant advantages in IT cost reduction, innovation, sustainability and more.

Cloud transformation isn’t about how many workloads you’ve migrated to the cloud. It’s about using the full spectrum of Cloud Continuum capabilities to radically enhance the speed, effectiveness and efficiency of IT and the business without compromising security and compliance.

The complexity trade-off you can’t ignore

Nothing in life comes for free. And the extraordinary flexibility and power of the Cloud Continuum comes with a cost: it can be much more complex to manage. That level of complexity requires a fundamentally different approach to architecting, engineering and operating infrastructure, applications and services.

Continuum Control Plane: A way to create harmony out of complexity

A Continuum Control Plane simplifies the complexity of modern IT environments, providing integration across a multi-vendor landscape and giving business and IT Leaders unprecedented visibility throughout the enterprise. It enables a consistent, unified, real-time view into what’s working and what’s not across the organization.

The Continuum Control Plane is a holistic approach to instilling transparency, orchestrating change, driving innovation and delivering higher and more cost-effective IT performance.

How a Continuum Control Plane delivers value across the business

It helps leadership cut through the noise and stay focused.

It helps IT holistically tackle complexities.

It allows developers and operators to automate more of their tasks at scale.

It helps CFOs take out a significant proportion of their cloud costs.

It helps security teams better manage risk in complex distributed hybrid environments.

It helps people managers attract and retain the best IT talent.

And it does this in a consistent and integrated way—regardless of the type of cloud.

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But what exactly is a Continuum Control Plane?

A Continuum Control Plane is a unified command, control and decision support center providing visibility into critical aspects of the entire business.

But don’t think of it as a single tool or a specific platform. Rather, think of it as a way of bringing together a modular collection of best-in-class tools, services and platforms. These are integrated and abstracted, and amalgamated with new processes, new kinds of automation and new analytics enabling enterprise IT to run more efficiently, with more agility, security and predictability.

It’s differentiating feature? The extensive use of automation and self-service. This radically simplifies how organizations build, manage and consume services across the full range of Cloud Continuum infrastructure.

Six lenses through which to view performance

A fully fledged and mature Continuum Control Plane consists of six distinct lenses into the performance of enterprise IT and the broader business.

FinOps lens

Provides control over cloud costs, enabling capabilities like show back and chargeback across the hybrid cloud estate.

AIOps lens

Provides critical transparency and monitoring functionality across the technology stack, from infrastructure through middleware to applications.

SecOps lens

Enables the business to apply market-leading security and compliance, both within each cloud estate and across the enterprise IT environment.

DevOps lens

Enables Development and Operations to automate tasks, minimizing the potential for human error, reducing outages, and increasing speed to market.

GitOps lens

Enables automated provisioning and infrastructure-as-code. Cuts configuration drift, speeds time to market, and supports continuity.

BizOps lens

Provides critical service intelligence, offering real-time insight into the whole of the technology stack.

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A way to balance agility with stability

A degree of stability and predictability are the keys to honing the IT estate for ever more efficient, effective and secure performance. But there’s a tension between this need for stability and the need for greater agility. Because IT also needs to help the business innovate quickly with new concepts, business models, products and services. It needs to adapt quickly, innovate, automate more functions and offer real time insights into performance

That’s where the Continuum Control Plane really comes in to play: Organizations can embrace automation and self-service to secure, operate and govern a complex cloud estate. Meanwhile, they can continuously optimize and mobilize innovation across private and public cloud provides as well as on-prem data centers. The organization is better equipped to adapt to change. In this way, a Continuum Control Plane helps the business realize its future-focused cloud ambitions with greater speed and certainty while simultaneously mitigating risk.

How to get started? Most likely you already have.

Building a Continuum Control Plane isn’t like scrambling towards a seemingly unreachable summit. There are many paths to the top—or some place in between if you prefer. That’s because some organizations already have a solid start in some areas (e.g, FinOps or AIOps). Others are already evolving their operating models for the cloud and embrace automation.

So building a Continuum Control Plane is typically a question of taking what the business already has, updating it to modern standards and amalgamating it with new capabilities that span the entire Cloud Continuum—in the areas the business most wants to focus on.

The key point: this doesn’t need to happen all at once. The organization can evolve its Control Plane capabilities incrementally, focus area by focus area, platform by platform, cloud practice by cloud practice.

Make beautiful music: unify your edge, multi and hybrid clouds

A Continuum Control creates harmony out of the complexity. It’s a way to create the IT foundation that lets the business rapidly innovate with a culture of continuous reinvention, and to sync everything together to make beautiful music.

A Control Plane-enabled enterprise gains greater visibility, insight and control of the business.

It provides additional tools and processes to inform, enable and optimize business performance and simplifies decision-making by filtering the noise of an increasingly complex environment.

The simple fact is, if you’re operating in a multi-cloud, hybrid cloud and edge computing environment, you need to be thinking how to orchestrate your infrastructure, your applications, your data, your network, your people and your processes to deliver both stability and agility.

For that, you need a Continuum Control Plane. Now’s the time to start the journey.

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Michael Heyen

Managing Director – Global Practice Lead Hybrid Cloud


David Wood

Managing Director, Growth & Strategy Lead – Cloud First

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