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Infosys Creates Cobalt Cloud Community to Support Hybrid Multi-Cloud Adoption

 

As clients begin to adapt to the new normal post-Covid-19, we see a paradigm shift in the approach to cloud adoption. Previously cloud adoption was driven mainly by cost reduction and improved agility; the trend is now toward market responsiveness, personalized experiences, real-time insights, innovating at scale, expanding into new markets, and launching new products and services. Covid-19 has seen clients accelerating migration to hybrid multi-cloud environments to support increased demand, flexibility, scalability, resiliency, and security to support business continuity. This includes migration of on-premise infrastructure to hybrid cloud, including legacy application modernization to cloud-native systems, or re-architecting for scalable private cloud deployment.

A NelsonHall survey of over 1,000 IT services buyers globally conducted earlier this year shows that just over a third of large enterprise infrastructure landscapes are housed in the cloud today. However, buyers indicated they expect to house 42% of their infrastructure landscapes in the cloud by 2022. As of 2022, buyers expect public cloud adoption to increase by 5% to reach 23% overall, with private cloud increasing 3% to reach 19% overall, and on-premise decreasing from 66% of overall infrastructure landscape in 2020 to 58% in 2022. This growth is only partially driven by public cloud adoption, meaning hybrid cloud is still the default option and will remain the dominant cloud adoption strategy in the future.

Infosys Cobalt enables clients to create new products and services

Infosys views the cloud as the foundation for broader digital transformation and is looking to drive grassroots-level innovation on industry cloud solutions and platforms. It has recently launched Infosys Cobalt, which includes a set of services, solutions, and platforms to enable cloud-powered enterprise transformation. This includes a set of IPs (e.g., Polycloud Platform, Infosys DevOps Platform, Infosys Innov8, Wingspan, and Infosys Enterprise Service Management Café), and ~200 business assets (across oil & gas, BFSI, telecom, media, healthcare & insurance, manufacturing, and retail sectors). In addition, third-party services, solutions, and platforms to accelerate enterprises’ cloud journey.

Infosys Cobalt enables businesses to redesign the enterprise from the core (DC modernization, app & ERP modernization, mainframe and legacy transformation, and technology standardization) and build new cloud-first capabilities (APIs, data and analytics, CX, industry 4.0, IoT, CX, and AI/ML-driven business and systems) in public, private, and hybrid cloud, across PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS landscapes. Infosys aims to combine the art (working with clients to identify and solve business problems) with the science (modernize the core and build for cloud-first) as the overarching framework for Infosys Cobalt.

Increasing innovation, speed to market, and security

One of Cobalt's key components is Infosys’ Cobalt Cloud community, which works from the grassroots level upwards across industries, organizations, functions, and technologies to develop reusable cloud assets to solve business problems. It includes technology and business innovators, partnering with clients and technology partners to help expand innovation. If required, it will co-create these solutions with partners and clients. Building on Infosys’ Be the Navigator program pioneered a few years ago, it seeks to replicate this with the cloud. In essence, everyone in Infosys trained and certified in the cloud can contribute to the Cobalt Cloud community in the form of solutions, accelerators, and building assets to help solve the client’s business problems.

Currently, the Cobalt community includes Infosys, its partners, and Infosys’ clients with plans to expand to startups, academic institutions, gig workers, and cloud developers. For example, Infosys has partnered with Rhode Island School of Design to improve UI/UX. Also, in partnership with Purdue University, Infosys is training 3k cybersecurity professionals over the next three years, who will go through Purdue training and certification, and then join Infosys as part of the program to create its own talent.  

Developing industry-specific blueprints

Infosys’ growing Cobalt Cloud Community currently provides a catalog of 200 industry cloud-first blueprints, curated from 14k cloud assets. Here, Infosys has created blueprints (reference architecture) across multiple industries. It takes these to clients to enable them to pick and choose from these components and then deploy to the wider market. 

These cloud assets are classified under four broad categories, which include:

  • Business assets: include platforms, solutions, and services focused on industry verticals and sub-verticals. In addition, horizontal business capabilities and cross-industry business assets
  • Engineering assets: platforms, frameworks, services, AI/ML models, and bots (e.g., Infosys Polycloud Platform, Infosys DevOps Platform, Cloud Native Development Platform, Infosys Wingspan, and ESM Café)
  • Knowledge assets: includes frameworks, solution capability models, reference architectures, and process models for project implementation. These could consist of project documents, proposal templates, case studies, and large deal submissions
  • Learning assets: learning modules as videos, playgrounds, quizzes, assignments, and assessments on technology, hyperscalers, and business solutions delivered through Wingspan. This enables Infosys to train and re-skill resources on cloud technologies.

These assets are made available on the Infosys Cobalt Cloud Store, providing a one-stop-shop for platforms, IP assets, offerings, and solutions. It operates on a marketplace model that enables clients to add their assets and solve their specific business challenges and pick and choose the services and capabilities they want.

Infosys further provides Cobalt Labs and Cobalt Playground at its global digital centers to help clients prototype and co-create new cloud-first solutions rapidly, utilizing its partner ecosystem. The assets, including solutions, platforms, knowledge, and accelerators, enable enterprises to move to the cloud and manage a hybrid multi-cloud environment through Infosys Cobalt's Polycloud platform (multi-cloud management platform with orchestration, brokerage, and AI-Ops). Polycloud allows a client to be cloud-agnostic while transforming into a cloud-native organization. It will enable AWS, Google, Azure, IBM, and other private cloud providers to operate within an enterprise concurrently, building and running applications in a cloud-agnostic way by facilitating portability across cloud providers.

Enabling efficient operations as SRE

As clients embark on their journey to the cloud, Infosys seeks to help them transform operations into a site reliability engineering (SRE) model. Infosys is taking an SRE-enabled approach as the default to manage end-to-end cloud services in a highly automated way through Polycloud. As clients move to the cloud and invest in, for example, containers, APIs, and microservices, clients need the cost of operations to come down through more tools-based automation. Infosys is bringing a de-coupled team structure across infrastructure, DevOps, and middleware into a single team to manage everything as code. Across assets, it is looking to deploy infrastructure as code, creating templates and models where the service catalog will improve architectures used to deploy infrastructure in the cloud, enabling a highly automated model to deploy workloads in the cloud. Infosys also works closely with the client to develop the right cloud strategy for business impact, allowing them to decide, for example, what to keep on-premise, what to put in the cloud, what to SaaS, etc.

Outlook

Infosys plans to build a Cobalt community of ~100k resources in the next 18 months, coming from Infosys, clients, partners, academia, startups, gig workers, and cloud developers. This includes expanding its dedicated resources curating assets from the cloud community.

It also plans to increase its cloud assets to ~100k across business, engineering, knowledge, and learning. In support of its strategic initiatives, Infosys is also deploying its Cobalt capability internally, utilizing several platforms, including Wingspan, for training and development. It is also working in partnership with academia, including Purdue University, to develop skill sets required, in this case, ~3k cybersecurity resources. We also expect Infosys to further invest in its Polycloud Platform, supporting multiple cloud services across IaaS, PaaS, and CaaS – providing everything as a service through its Cobalt Cloud Store. Polycloud also provides API-driven architecture for IaC to expedite SDLC, and through AI-Ops, it aims to move clients from a DevOps to No-Ops construct.

For all clients currently on Infosys Infrastructure Management Suite (IIMS), it is providing a roadmap to migrate all existing client deployments to the Polycloud version at no additional cost.

Finally, we expect Infosys to further invest in its Cobalt Labs to expand its localization initiative to support cognitive and AI services and foster greater co-creation and co-innovation with clients and ecosystem partners in support of cloud services.

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