In my last blog, we talked about the current age of digital disruption and how unicorns are changing the tech landscape.

What Does This Mean For You Though?

As a result, IT and LoBs are under more competitive pressure than ever before. A new wave of disruption faces them – hence, businesses need to react fast, innovate and release. This is where Shadow or Rogue IT comes into place – LoBs want to fail fast, and fail often. You can’t do that if it takes 2-4 weeks for a VM, never mind with access control restraints. At Cisco, our Cloud Consumption Service helps find on average 5-10 times more cloud services than the CIO was aware of. Shadow IT or Rogue IT is just the business trying to react to the market: the path of least resistance wins.

Developers and Decision Makers

At the recent Paris OpenStack summit, Chris Launey, Director of Cloud Services and Architecture at Disney, outlined it best.

He said: ‘it use to be about being Faster, Better, and Cheaper. Now it’s about being Fast, Fast, and Fast. Empower developers and get out of their way. They will make their own better and cheaper’.

This embodies the concept of Developers as “The New King Makers”, first coined in Stephen O’Grady’s book, chronicling the rise of developers as the decisive force in tech and other sectors.

Developers are truly the heart of innovation and want things to be easy, fast, and predictable. This is why public clouds such as AWS have achieved such success and ease of use. You can read more in Scott Sanchez’ post [Why Compromise Your Public Cloud Experience?] where he shows why it is important to empower developers with solutions like Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud while not sacrificing security, economics, or control.

I want to emphasize: compliance, control and Developer agility do not have to be enemies. IT can take back control while also empowering King Makers internally to defend against Unicorns. Fast Innovation requires Fast IT, but also needs to satisfy varying IT needs. Different people, processes, and technology solutions can help support different Business and IT goals. I like Gartner’s framework of Bi-Modal IT: Traditional Enterprise IT AND Agile Development. Fast IT needs to address both of these areas while empowering Kingmakers.

Control <> DevOps Agility

Traditional Enterprise IT need to optimize cost and efficiency, freeing up staff for strategic work, and running the business. CIOs need to optimize traditional enterprise workloads with resource efficiency and automation. Why? Because costs are the main driver. 70% of the IT budget is spent on keeping the lights on.

With Gartner’s 2nd mode Agile Development, IT needs to move fast and deliver new apps, services and products to business teams and customers. This requires different approaches, like Agile DevOps innovation and continuous delivery, to build new cloud native hyper-scale apps. Hence, speed is king here and empowering Kingmakers internally is critical. Adding new features should take weeks, not months. 4-6 weeks to provision a VM. Because we are now in a new era of digital disruption via Unicorn’s­ powered by rival King Makers, IT needs to take back control while empowering their lines of business and Developers to innovate.

Successfully implementing Fast IT for Bi-Modal IT will require embracing DevOps. DevOps is not just a set of tools but a methodology. To be successful, people, processes and technology need to be both considered and transformed. Change management and overcoming cultural habits will be the hardest part and thus, the criticality of top down C-level support on such initiatives. Fast IT, encompassing Bi-Modal IT of both Traditional and Agile IT approaches needs buy in from key stakeholders. Additionally, both management and developers should be bought in to be successful.

Agility, Choice, and Control with Cisco and the Intercloud

Your developers are asking for “real cloud” because they want easy, fast and predictable access to resources so they can deliver applications and features at scale faster. How do you enable those developers to move at the speed that the business is asking? How do you best balance control, security, and visibility required by IT in a post Snowden era to face a world of Unicorns and Kingmakers? Enter the Intercloud.

Just as Cisco connected isolated protocols to create the Internet, Cisco is building the Intercloud to provide developer friendly Hybrid Cloud solutions for a multicloud world. The Intercloud, from Cisco and partners, is the only globally connected network of clouds capable of delivering secure cloud applications and infrastructure everywhere in the world.   At Cisco, we are committed to providing customers with choice and control from a full spectrum of Bi-Modal IT solutions.

Even if you want some applications on private cloud, and some on a public cloud, the Intercloud can meet these various application needs. How? We are building an open and interoperable OpenStack platform to meet diverse needs for both today and tomorrow.

What about Private Clouds and how do we solve “Traditional” IT needs? Well, we do this through our Cisco Enterprise Cloud Suite, which provides choice and automation across hypervisors and one single pane of glass to manage and provide IT services. Leveraging our Cisco Managed Servicescan free up budget and IT staff so that they can start to manage DevOps, not just infrastructure. By combing these two our new Cisco On-Demand Private Cloud solution streamlines how you deploy, manage, and consume Private Cloud. It provides customers a fully functional, on-premises, and hybrid-ready deployment of a Private Cloud which is Cisco owned and operated that they consume as a service. No upfront investment. No Architecting. No complex management. On-Demand Private Cloud reduces your operational, financial, and technological risk while you focus on managing application delivery and empowering your lines of business.

Similarly, for Gartner’s 2nd mode Agile IT, delivers a true public cloud experience, privately–in the customer’s data center, behind their firewall. Now available worldwide as Cisco OpenStack® Private Cloud, we deliver a remotely engineered and operated private cloud — built for developers.


In an age of Unicorns and Kingmakers balancing these unique needs of Bi-Modal IT is critical. This balance of Bi-Modal IT, or as Scott Sanchez coined, “the blend” is critical for mutual IT and line of business success.

Rest assured with Cisco, we deliver customers Agility, Choice and Control to battle Unicorns and Kingmakers.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog! Feel free to leave a comment or continue the conversation with me on LinkedIn. Until next time, Ryan.



Ryan MacBan

Vice President