Topic: Cloud Computing

Application Strategy Improves IT Agility

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A series on CenturyLink’s Information Technology team’s move into the cloud

As part of our journey to the cloud, our CenturyLink IT team has made a commitment to migrate 90% of our strategic applications to the cloud. The foundation for this is our long-standing strategic plan for our application portfolio that we call “cap and grow”. Driven by both natural IT strategic evolution and numerous acquisitions, we’re “capping” our investments in many legacy systems and retiring others, while “growing” our investments in existing and new, strategic applications.


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Bi-Modal IT and Innovation

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We’ve all read them – amazing case studies about software-driven startups that disrupt established industry incumbents with born-in-the-cloud thinking and development agility. We read the articles, listen to the stories, and get increasingly frustrated at how unfair it all seems.  “That sort of thing couldn’t work at my company!”

Now more than ever, enterprise IT leaders are waking up to the fact that if their company hasn’t been disrupted yet, they will be soon.  Anyone who claims that fast-paced agility “would never work here” is engaging in self-fulfilling prophecy.  This has led to the emergence of a hybrid technology leadership model, where some resources are focused on the traditional business, and others are focused on exploratory innovation. Dubbed “Bi-Modal IT” by Gartner, this trend represents a critical strategic concept for IT leaders in many different industries to understand and embrace.

However, the trick with Bi-Modal IT is that, by adopting it, you can actually drive a wedge through your organization which does more harm than good.  The stakes are high!

In our next episode of the Hybrid IT Files, we shift our focus to yet another layer of the IT stack – the business strategy layer.  Alignment between IT and the business has been a critical challenge for decades.  But in the face of disruptive innovation, companies need to figure out how to re-invent themselves on the fly without jeopardizing their existing revenue streams that keep the lights on.  Our guests will be technology thought leader Jonathan Murray and Odell Riley of CenturyLink, two technology executives with strong perspectives on what Bi-Modal transformation is like on the front lines of leadership.

  • We’ll get at the answers of questions such as:
  • What is the origin of the term?
  • What are the motivations and thought process for adoption?
  • How do you get over molehills to implementation?
  • What are the industry trends surrounding the success and failure in adoption of Bi-Modal IT?

We hope you’ll join our live broadcast on Thursday, February 12th at 9AM Pacific, you can join us here in our viewing room on Crowdchat and if you visit the page you can add the session to your calendar. – and if that’s too long to wait, we hope you’ll catch up with Episodes 1 and 2 of The Hybrid IT Files on our CenturyLink Business YouTube channel. See you then!

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Advancing in the Gigabit Economy

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The Gigabit Economy

Shirish Lal discusses The Gigabit Economy

The IT sector is having one of its periodic moments of congruity and clarity, where seemingly disparate trends come together and form the basis for accelerated change.Several key technologies have matured and created a nexus of rapid innovation: High-performance/low-cost bandwidth, cloud-based computing, and the virtualization of machines and network functions, plus the proliferation of smart and mobile devices enable enterprises to be competitive using new IT models. When businesses seize on unlimited bandwidth, computational power, and scale for strategic advantage, we like to call this the “The Gigabit Economy.”

The overall IT ecosystem is shifting under our feet as the Gigabit Economy ushers in a new phase of cloud growth. The data supports the notion that things are not the same, and won’t be the same in enterprise IT going forward. Gartner posits that half of enterprises will have hybrid clouds by 2017[1].

You can see the changes taking place when you consider how difficult it was historically to consume, produce and distribute applications. Buying a major piece of enterprise software like an ERP application or database required an IT department to make a major upfront purchase at a significant cost. It was typically a lengthy decision-making process across IT, line of business, finance and the executive team. Overall, a very difficult and time-consuming process for everyone involved.

Now we have a radically new approach. You pay for software on per-use basis rather than upfront.  Gartner projects that the global SaaS market will grow by 20.2% per year, or from $18.2 billion in 2012 to $45.6 billion in 2017[2]. The pay-per-use fee also includes the hardware it’s running on, maintenance, security and connectivity. It’s a very different risk profile. The result is a real simplification of the consumption process. With this, a lot of things change, and we’re leading the way.

The Gigabit Economy opens the door to wholly new digital business models and the disruption of industries. One telling note of change is how more and more technology decisions are being guided by line of business managers. They are taking advantage of a simpler, faster IT consumption process to speed up their time to value. Bandwidth, software platforms, hardware, network are all available on demand. Companies can focus on their core businesses and not get caught up in infrastructure.  They can develop and deploy applications in the cloud, leveraging a host of options from dedicated servers to containers. The business unit gets what it wants more quickly and IT stops taking the unfair rap for being slow.

We fuel this kind of innovation by building the cloud, network, and security services that support big data and big apps.Our goal is to give businesses the speed and agility to seize market opportunities and deliver better online customer experiences. To be at the forefront of the Gigabit Economy, we have harnessed our own innovation and assets to create Platform CenturyLink, a new way of working with us to realize your business strategies through enterprise-class cloud computing.

Platform CenturyLink unifies our previously separate products and service offerings into single point of control. The Platform puts our network, cloud, hosting, and co-location assets into a highly scalable, API-driven service offering that’s easy to manage. Through a single interface, you can manage sophisticated IT projects in the cloud across all phases of their lifecycles. If you want to innovate in the Gigabit Economy, we give you the means to move your ideas forward quickly and economically. With the Gigabit Economy in effect and Platform CenturyLink, you can confidently create and deploy sophisticated IT projects in a cycle that’s fast enough to keep you out in front. We help businesses succeed in the faster, ever-changing Gigabit economy.

I invite you to give it a test drive. It’s time to get started!

[1] https://www.gartner.com/doc/2637515/forecast-it-services–q
[2] https://www.gartner.com/doc/2637515/forecast-it-services–q

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The Hybrid IT Files: The Truth is Out There

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In the business world we work amidst a plethora of industry “buzzwords.”   Buzzwords start out meaningful, yet over time have lost their originally intended meaning.  And technology buzzwords achieve a special level of irritation – they tend to mean different things to different people.  Not only have they been over-used, but also over-interpreted.  Buzzwords pull off a rare trick – they are at the same time meaningless and precious.  Everyone seems to have their own unique reason for hating them.

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Committing to Excellence in Data Center Operations

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CenturyLink announced our commitment to certify all 57 of our worldwide data centers to meet the Uptime Institute’s Management & Operations (M&O) guidelines. We will be the first company to be evaluated at the global portfolio level for the Institute’s M&O Stamp of Approval. Getting there involves committing to audit all 57 of our data centers over the next two years to provide third party verification of operational excellence, sustainability and consistency in meeting the 100% Uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA).

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Value of a Hybrid IT Environment

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CenturyLink is a premier sponsor of the upcoming Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) Management Conference. The theme of this year’s event is Leading I&O:  Delivering New Levels of Innovation and Productivity and will be held in Las Vegas on Dec 2-5 at the Venetian Hotel.

To exemplify how the data center is playing a leading role in innovation, I will be hosting a panel of our customers at the event titled “How IT is helping the Enterprise Revolutionize their Markets.”

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Managed Services and Office 365: A Better Working Environment

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For many businesses, managing a full complement of IT services in-house has become costly, complex, and inefficient. Companies of all sizes, in a variety of industries, are seeing the benefits of moving some or all IT functions off premises for a third party to manage.

Through managed services, businesses are able to keep IT costs in check, and technology — such as cloud, network, and data solutions — flexible and efficient. So business and IT leaders can focus on the big plans that add value to the organization.

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Transforming Networks: A Look at Government IT Challenges

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The IT requirements in Washington are vast and complex — much like the government itself. So when it comes to cybersecurity, cloud computing, and IT networks, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

To better serve the government’s needs, IT leaders within agencies can look to industry leaders for ways to innovate and implement solutions that are mindful of current challenges.

Together with Ciena, we took a look at some of these government IT issues in our “Transforming Networks” video series:

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