Cloud Agility vs. Established IT: Is There A Middle Ground?
Like plenty of ChannelE2E’s readers, I’m sometimes skeptical of private cloud solutions — which often claim to deliver the best of public clouds in an on-premises way. For Global 2000 companies across all vertical markets, the situation is particularly challenging: How do you keep up with pure cloud rivals that spring up overnight — without ripping and replacing all of your existing processes and associated applications?
You’ve heard a few of the pitches over the years. Offerings like Eucalyptus (now owned by Hewlett Packard Enterprise) and OpenStack (championed by Rackspace and Mirantis, among others) certainly offer public cloud capabilities in an on-premises way. And Miranis is growing fast. But even Rackspace has conceded that OpenStack sales cycles and deployments can be quite lengthy.
Still, traditional corporate IT departments want to move toward a more agile, DevOps mindset — where continuous software delivery becomes the norm. And that brings me back to the core question: Can traditional businesses truly become agile without ripping, replacing and/or abandoning existing IT systems and associated business processes?
Application Release Automation
Perhaps the answer resides over in a market called Application Release Automation (ARA), where companies like Automic Software reside. Lucas Carlson, senior VP of strategy Automic Software, says the company’s approach protects existing IT investments while unlocking the power of DevOps and continuous software delivery. Frankly, it almost sounds too good to be true.
But take a closer look, and you’ll discover that roughly 2,700 businesses — from BT to Ocean Spray and Netflix — leverage Automic to automate software updates. The platform supports automation for well-known enterprise applications (Oracle, SAP) and various cloud services.
Automic is based in Austria but the company continues to expand its U.S. presence. You’ll find a U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., and Carlson is based in San Diego, Calif.
Automic Channel Partner Expansion?
In theory, Automic could be both a VAR and MSP play. VARs could resell the solution into corporate IT departments that need to automate more heavily. And MSPs could leverage Automic to manage software rollouts and DevOps processes for their end-customers.
But are my theories correct? Let’s just say partners should stay tuned… I suspect some Automic milestones for partners and customers will arrive later this year.