Automation and standardization have become the dominant paradigms for designing and deploying IT infrastructure. The effects are profound: Enterprises have unprecedented access to a range of IT infrastructure environments and can make choices about the best execution venue for almost any application based on any number of external factors. The next wave of change in IT will come from automating these selections and deployments based on desired business outcome.

Executive Summary:

The IT market has reached an inflection point: The cloud infrastructure model (public, private, hybrid, platform and SaaS) has become the default option for IT operations across all industry verticals and almost every enterprise. Cloud transformation, application modernization and migration are the order of the day. Moreover, basic components of this infrastructure have now become regularized and fungible in consumption: APIs, virtualization and on-demand access, among others, apply across every major cloud platform and provider in highly congruent ways, meaning specialized technical investment is no longer necessary for basic infrastructure.

Automation and standardization have become the dominant paradigms for designing and deploying IT infrastructure. The effects are profound: Enterprises have unprecedented access to different venues and modes of IT infrastructure. Choosing the best execution venue for applications is more important than ever to maximize impact to the IT organization. In today’s market, IT organizations can easily select, configure, provision and deploy the IT stack needed for any given workload, whether from a virtualized resource farm in-house or from external providers. These resources can be connected almost like a child’s construction set with common interfaces, provided an enterprise executes a strategic commitment to the cloud computing model; most enterprises have done or are doing this.

Despite the widespread mainstream adoption of cloud computing, most enterprises are still in transition. But it is abundantly clear that choice, automation, and availability of infrastructure and services dominate the market today.

Best execution venue strategies center on the notion that every class of IT-related business need has an environment where it will best balance performance and cost, and the IT organization should be able to select that environment (or even have the application select it automatically) as part of the general practice of IT. There’s a strong element of associated business value in assessing best execution venues, because it presents the IT practitioner with an opportunity to improve efficiency and time to market with the available IT infrastructure. More than ever, business strategy and business outcomes now drive IT consumption, partly because IT can be the engine of economic development for enterprises today and generate revenue, but also because technological barriers have never been lower.

The best execution venue for any workload can depend on a number of factors and can shift easily depending on market developments, meaning workloads may shift more than once, but more importantly, that too can be automated. Massive web properties such as Netflix and eBay cycle infrastructure on and off as demand ebbs and flows in different parts of the world; Facebook transitions user media uploads from primary to archival storage based on demand and time, and shunts applications workloads into proximity automatically based on user behavior patterns. These trends will inevitably filter down to enterprise IT as applications, data and workloads become increasingly decoupled from infrastructure.

This Technology & Business Insight report on how enterprises are approaching best execution venue choices is based on a combination of insights and data gathered through direct interviews with each of the vendors mentioned in the report (with a few exceptions) spanning a wide variety of vertical applications and our analysts' deep experience in IT infrastructure industries. The full report includes:

  • Context around what enterprises currently approach execution venues
  • An examination at the changing role of infrastructure
  • Workloads and venue trends

Let us know if you're interested in the full report!