For many years, infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals have been dedicated to delivering services at lower costs and ever greater efficiency, but the business technology (BT) agenda requires innovation that delivers top-line growth.


The evolution and success of digital business models is leading I&O organizations to disrupt their traditional infrastructure models to pursue cloud strategies and new infrastructure architectures and mindsets that closely resemble cloud models.


Such a cloud-first strategy supports the business agenda for agility, rapid innovation, and delivery of solutions. This drives customer acquisition and retention and extends the focus beyond ad hoc projects to their complete technology stack. The transition to cloud-first mandates a transition for infrastructure delivery, management, and maintenance to support its delivery and consumption as a reusable software component. Such infrastructure can be virtual or physical and consumed as required, without lengthy build and deployment cycles.


Growing cloud maturity, the move of systems of record to the cloud (see my blog “Driving Systems of Records to the Cloud, your focus for 2016!)container growth, extensive automation, and availability of "infrastructure as code" change the roles within I&O, as far less traditional administration is needed. I&O must transition from investing in traditional administration to the design, selection, and management of the tooling it needs for composable infrastructure.


Taking advantage of a cloud-first approach, I&O must embrace a strategy that leverages what cloud and DevOps pioneers call "immutable infrastructure" — or, as Forrester recommends — "composable infrastructure."  This is the theme of my recently released report, “Infrastructure As Code, The Missing Element In the I&O Agenda”. 


The report discusses why the adoption of cloud is essential to the BT Agenda, what software composed infrastructure is, why it will become the norm, and the impact composable infrastructure will have on traditional roles within I&O.  The report is available now. I welcome your dialog or on Twitter (@RobertEStroud) on this important shift in how businesses will deliver new technology.