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Evolution of the Modern Data Center: Embrace a Hybrid Cloud Environment

Ranganathan Rajkumar

April 1, 2022

There’s no question that the public cloud is gathering momentum and attention from a mass number of enterprises and corporations. Businesses of all sizes are dabbling in digital transformation, and the cloud is their final destination.  

Updating legacy systems and embracing a complete digital upgrade is not for the faint of heart. However as IaaS systems and SaaS systems become imperative to enhancing customer experience, it’s inevitable. Regardless of the fact that moving business systems to the public cloud has sparked great interest, many companies refuse to take the leap.

Hesitancy to Embrace the Cloud

If operating on the cloud follows through on every promise, such as improved scalability and reduced IT costs, then what is keeping companies from marking the move? There are a few perceived issues that hold various businesses back regarding digital transformation and moving systems to the cloud. 

First of all, it’s a huge job. Embracing a cloud environment, though necessary, is a whole lot easier said than done. The reluctance to move while continuing to operate via internal-infrastructure teams could come down to a better total cost of ownership. Operating costs over the lifespan of a business are extremely individual. 

It would be ignorant to advise every business that moving to a cloud environment would be financially beneficial. At best, it can only be assumed based on what we’ve seen in the past. With change comes a certain level of fear, primarily when that change might be impossible to avoid.

Safeguarding Sensitive Information

Many business owners and their development teams fear the inability to safeguard sensitive information in an online-only cloud environment. There is an assumed lack of control concerning security features and regulatory needs.

In reality, there is no online security system that is completely foolproof, period. Yes, the cloud is extremely secure. It depends on which operating system and the company you choose to utilize to host your cloud, but security features are typically extensive and state of the art. Again, this hesitancy is understood, because nothing is completely hacker-proof. To set minds at ease, business owners should speak, in detail, with the cloud service providers they think they’d like to work with. Information is the key to making a decision.

Established Skill-Set Enterprises

Companies that hesitate to move to a hybrid cloud environment worry quite a bit about the established skill-set they already have that pertains to their legacy systems. Years have been put into the way your company currently operates, and change is virtually terrifying.

Business owners that are satisfied with the way their business is currently run should think hard about embracing a cloud hybrid environment, mostly because it’s beneficial, and partly because it’s completely inevitable.

Navigating the Inevitable Multi Cloud Infrastructure

If you aren’t familiar, the multi-cloud concept is the way businesses operate on more than one cloud service. It could be two or more public cloud services, or one public and one private. The combinations are endless, and so are the corporate benefits.

Utilizing the multi-cloud is a fantastic way to scale business operations and put a SaaS application into effect while running on old legacy systems. The biggest benefit of the multi-cloud is the fact that businesses can take advantage of specific services from different cloud vendors to put together a system that works for them. 

While it seems simple to operate on a multi-cloud infrastructure, it is not. Companies attempting to gather the best of both worlds are struggling to evolve their services because they lack a strategy that makes sense. 

The bottom line here is that various cloud providers offer shiny services and attractive features that encourage businesses to use more than one. While this approach to the cloud works well when executed correctly, the service gaps are becoming more apparent. If your multi-cloud services do not mesh well, it’s your customers that will face the largest amount of discomfort, and that will show in your numbers. 

Addressing Multi Cloud Issues

To fully address the issues that come with the multi-cloud, including the pressure to build faster systems that jump-start growth and encourage speed and fast delivery times, it’s crucial to fully grasp a firm knowledge of the necessary technology.  

The time has come for internal and infrastructure teams to seriously alter the approach they are taking to utilizing cloud platforms and putting them into action. Proper planning is beyond essential. It is completely inappropriate for us to register for cloud services because they’re offering a feature that will work for our business without assessing how it will affect other business operations. 

Companies, and every employee within, must fully embrace planning, service operations, capacity delivery, and strategic sourcing. Without encompassing every piece of this puzzle, and negating to inform your teams in regard to what changes to expect every step of the way, it is impossible to see transformative change on a digital scale. 

Using the hybrid multi-cloud to its full extent means experiencing extreme savings in labor and expenditures while fueling your capacity to deliver. The whole point of this venture is to improve the customer experience, and when you plan strategically, you will see massive improvement.

A Focus on Internal Infrastructure

There is an obvious gap between companies that can financially support an almost overnight switch from legacy systems to a hybrid multi-cloud. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have made it undeniably apparent when internal-infrastructure teams are not what they should be. 

Plain and simple, consumers appreciate the pricing transparency, delivery capacity, and overall journey taken with the public cloud and the perks it has to offer. Customers have become comfortable with relying on “hyperscale” companies (like Amazon) to deliver the latest technology and absolute best in customer attentiveness. 

Because of the massive success seen from operating on cloud technology, there is a substantial amount of attention drawn to those with internal-infrastructures. The cycle is far too long and capacity remains fixed, often with teams predicting business needs too many business quarters in advance. All of this increases the possibility of error. 

It’s not to say that those companies that run on an internal infrastructure don’t have some advantages. For example, they have a much more intricate knowledge of the company itself and the customer base. Because of these factors, it is easier for them to deliver an excellent total cost of operations in most cases. 

In short, those companies with internal infrastructure can find both hardware and software customer solutions. Internal infrastructure is not bad, but it shouldn’t inhibit growth into external infrastructure where it’s necessary.

The Answer: A Hybrid Data Center

A hybrid, world-class data infrastructure is the answer to finding the balance between companies that are hyperscale and those that rely on internal operations. There is no wrong or right way, but there is a way that comes highly recommended by tech and business experts around the globe, and that is finding a balance between legacy systems and the multi-cloud. 

It’s difficult for companies to harness operational agility by using the cloud only. Instead, they should be assessing the way their infrastructure is stacked and evaluating how it works. If they want to increase speed, reduce costs, and ramp up services, complete integration is required.

Moving to the Cloud Means Teamwork

While it might sound tacky, moving successfully to cloud services while keeping the necessary legacy systems intact takes teamwork. Every person on every team has to know their role and move forward with the company as a partner.

When you work on the same level as companies that place their focus on hyperscaling, you have to seriously upgrade your operations. Design and engineering talent will become an in-house necessity, and that’s just fine, because having the talent on hand makes it possible to continue to succeed in a hyperscale multi-cloud environment. 

The bottom line means embracing digital service, planning for capacity and taking a more strategic approach to sourcing. When your internal IT teams can manage all of the above, it means your company is well on its way to embracing a hybrid cloud environment and meeting customer expectations.

By

Ranganathan Rajkumar

Vice President - Intelligence

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