Most of us have taken a long road trip and we know there is an instinctive strategy for those journeys. You target spots during the day to stop and stretch your legs or get a bite to eat. You plan certain key goals to stop for the night and sleep. You might have a big destination in mind, like an amusement park or a relative’s home. But, at some point, you’re back on the road heading home and this familiar strategy of breaking the journey into achievable goals takes over your thinking. It’s a natural rhythm. These smaller milestones allow you to freshen up and set your eyes on the next leg of the journey.
Our travel journal describes a path through the multi-cloud landscape that we feel many other companies can follow – using the same strategies, platforms and tools that we’ve used on our own.
Many IT leaders look at their journey to the cloud in these terms. At CenturyLink, we certainly think this way. In fact, we’ve been keeping a bit of a “travel journal” as we conduct our own digital transformation journey across a series of important milestones.
A little over two years ago, we talked about how our “Journey To The Cloud” had begun for many of the applications in our IT portfolio.
We knew that CenturyLink had ample opportunity to streamline our delivery of business applications, and we knew that by aligning our vision for internal service delivery with the expectations of the market, we had a great opportunity to transform the way our business worked. We had a destination; we needed a route to get there.
In late 2015, we wrote about how Hybrid IT – done right – was the key to create this “transformative effect over time.” For many IT managers in our organization, the first step of the journey was consolidating datacenters, and then freeing up resources by taking advantage of common managed hosting environments for legacy applications. Once those costs were ameliorated, the dividends could be invested in new innovations for our lines of business. So that provided a means of funding our trip and paying our tolls. But the journey still only just begun.
Last year we checked in again with a journal entry that talked about how important platforms are in the journey towards digital transformation. In many ways, choosing your platform strategy is much like picking your mode of transportation. In the road trip analogy, you choose your vehicle based on considerations such as how much cargo you are hauling, how fast you need to reach your destination, what types of road conditions you anticipate and other relevant factors. Together, they guide your decision on whether you take a sports car, a sedan etc. In our case, we realized that our journey needed a platform strategy that could operate at “cloud speed” for all the layers of our Hybrid IT portfolio: workloads, infrastructure and network.
Our latest entry in this travel journal is based on CenturyLink passing a recent milestone – we’ve now started to expand our platform to be able to manage workloads on various cloud infrastructure platforms. This brings up one of the most important questions around any journey – whom do you want riding with you?
Choosing fellow travelers becomes an important decision in our digital transformation journeys. It’s easy to take wrong turns, waste resources or grow distracted. Having a driving partner who can share the load, bring along the right tools and deliver sound advice – can be the difference between a successful journey and getting hopelessly lost.
CenturyLink’s recent release of Cloud Application Manager is like having the perfect travel companion who keeps you awake and alert, chips in on gas and tolls, and keeps the driving experience enjoyable. We’re not claiming that Cloud Application Manager has some type of epic mix tape, but it does include many of the critical things IT leaders need on their journeys:
- Application Lifecycle Management – Lets you model and manage applications from build phase through deployment and operations with automation policies designed to scale, update and migration applications across environments
- Managed Services Anywhere – Lets users engage with proven managed services expertise for on-demand monitoring, patching, backup and remote administration across a range of service platforms
- Cloud Optimization – Helps consolidate provisioning, billing and reporting for multiple cloud service platforms, simplifying vendor management and optimizing costs over time
These tools are great, but what sets CenturyLink apart is the commitment to making sure our onboarding specialists, service managers and consultants can “ride shotgun” with you to make sure that you reach your desired destination.
What is becoming clear to us as we continue on this next leg of our journey is that we are building tools and capabilities for our own digital transformation that can help many of our customers with their own. Our travel journal describes a path through the multi-cloud landscape that we feel many other companies can follow – using the same strategies, platforms and tools that we’ve used on our own.