The challenge facing many IT professionals is complex – if, why, how, what and when to migrate to the cloud. According to the CDW Cloud 401 Report, 35 percent of services are delivered totally or partially by cloud and 54 percent of those were originally housed in a traditional data center.
However, barriers to cloud migration remain, and security tops the list at 47 percent, according to the report. For businesses subject to regulatory compliance or client SLAs, migration options may be limited.
Which Way for Workloads?
While there is pressure on IT to deliver more services faster and to support developments such as mobility and digital transformation, IT is not yet ready to commit everything to the cloud.
For now, a hybrid infrastructure that utilizes both on-premise facilities and cloud offers a practical compromise. And, it’s gaining support. According to Gartner, 90 percent of businesses will adopt a hybrid strategy by 2020.
Cloud promises to deliver the agility and access that business expects, and it gives IT teams the flexibility to focus on service development, rather than routine management and maintenance tasks. But, for those services like ERP, CRM and customized applications, on-premise remains the preferred choice.
On-Premise Must be Simpler
While a hybrid strategy makes it easier to decide which workloads to migrate, challenges remain. A high proportion of IT budgets are spent on maintaining the status quo – up to 90 percent, according to some commentators.
In a hybrid environment, IT teams must therefore look to simplify on-premise management and maintenance tasks to reduce costs. At the same time, they have to ensure that service delivery offers similar performance to cloud in terms of access, availability, scalability and agility.
Infrastructure upgrades can prove expensive in terms of time, cost, resource and downtime, but Infrastructure-as-a-Service offers a potential solution. Deploying IaaS switches CAPEX to OPEX and offloads the infrastructure management and maintenance burden to a service provider. IT may prefer to retain some mission-critical applications on traditional infrastructures, but it now has more options within the overall strategy.
Automation can also help reduce the burden on teams responsible for on-premise systems. It simplifies management and monitoring and frees skilled staff to concentrate on development tasks.
More Flexibility for Hybrid Solutions
Looking ahead, a hybrid strategy may provide even greater flexibility. Vendors are currently developing solutions that will allow IT teams to easily move workloads within a hybrid environment, controlling the process through a management portal.
When this type of solution is available, IT teams can make decisions about the environment for different workloads by monitoring application and service performance. Performance is key to meeting business demands for improved customer and user experience.
When fast, convenient, 24×7 access from any location or device is taken as the norm, IT must be able to respond. A hybrid environment with the ability to move workloads will provide that flexibility.
IT teams must concentrate on delivering value to the business, while making the most effective use of their own resources. A hybrid infrastructure strategy can help maintain the balance.