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Rackspace IT: Drive to the Open Cloud

Our IT department is just like your company's IT organization: we service a rapidly growing business and face the challenge of maintaining a traditional IT infrastructure. Recently, we found ourselves struggling to deliver services at the pace our business required. We disappointed our internal customers—and ourselves. We knew it was time to re-examine the way we delivered IT services.


So we decided to take our own advice and hire our Enterprise Cloud Solutions team. And in the spirit of Transparency (one of Rackspace's core values), we want to share our story with you, so you can learn from our plans, our missteps, and our successes.



Why we're doing it

5 requirements drove the decision to begin this process:

  • Desire to drive more business value: The majority of IT resources being spent on run-the-business activities distracted IT from delivering new business value at the pace demanded by the Rackspace business.
  • Need for speed: Rackspace business stakeholders have increasingly high expectations for service delivery, including the ability to provision and deploy new capacity in real time. Traditional IT processes were to slow to meet these expectations.
  • Scarcity of talent: Scarcity of talent: The Rackspace IT organization faced growing challenges recruiting and retaining the talent required to scale its traditional operations model.
  • Need for flexibility: The rapid pace of change in the Rackspace business required that Rackspace IT be able to quickly change direction with shifting priorities. The open cloud presented a more attractive alternative than large-scale capital purchases that might quickly become misaligned with changing direction. The dynamic nature of the open cloud also provided a means for quickly conducting pilots to try out new ideas versus a traditional slow and capital-intensive waterfall process.
  • Increasing complexity: As the organization’s IT environments became increasingly complex, IT leadership was concerned that their ability to manage and control these environments would not keep pace using traditional provisioning and management processes and tools.


Migrating to the open cloud

Rackspace CIO Steve Mills partnered with the Rackspace Enterprise Cloud Solutions team to embark on his drive to the open cloud, using the Rackspace IT Transformation Framework.


The Enterprise Cloud Solutions team conducted workshops and assessments to help Mills craft the future vision of Rackspace IT. As a result, Rackspace is developing the IT department of the future, truly becoming a service provider to the business. We are also following our 5 keys to cloud success. Rackspace is living the methodology we teach. Rack­space IT is becoming an enter­prise cus­tomer of Rack­space, using the same solu­tions Rack­space offers our exter­nal cus­tomers, and dri­ving as many of our enter­prise appli­ca­tions as pos­si­ble to the Rackspace open cloud.



Learn from our journey

This is what we hope to achieve:

  • To free up Rackspace IT resources that can now focus on delivering business value rather than time-consuming maintenance and operations activities.
  • To get a leaner, faster, more focused IT team closely aligned with internal business customers.
  • To define best practices and detailed processes for adopting cloud as the business model of future IT. This will help you, as you work through similar transformations in your own organization.

We hope our experience migrating to the open cloud will give you new insights for your business. Check out our webinars, articles, and more on our Resources page.



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