This article originally appeared on Wired.com’s Innovation Insights, where experts cover the latest and greatest ideas for the next generation of business tech. A fitting place to start a conversation about our On-Demand Hybrid Cloud. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment below.
We have rapidly evolved into an on-demand society. People simply do not tolerate delays for goods and services. Just as consumers may opt to go through a drive-through instead of inside a restaurant, consumer behavior is forcing online businesses to rethink IT and how it’s delivered. Timelines are driving IT decision-makers to think “on-demand”and rapid provisioning of IT resources, rather than the stop-and-go of infrastructures built in-house.
IT Stretched Thin
The rise of IT as Service (ITaaS) is result of the intense rate of change brought about by technologies such as cloud computing, social media, consumerization, mobility, analytics and big data. The pace of change is only increasing, and these emerging technologies need to be rapidly integrated into modern enterprise, almost in real-time. An EMC-Meritas report focused on the healthcare sector alone showed that 88 percent of healthcare organizations were planning to adopt ITaaS platforms. The end-users put immense pressures on IT to quickly integrate new technologies in the workplace – additional stress on IT departments already stretched-thin. Making the situation worse, CEOs and an ever-younger generation of knowledge workers find that it’s taking far too long for these complex problems to be solved. They want big data analytics, better collaboration tools, BYOD, security and a plethora of other requirements, and they want them now. Enter ITaaS, on-demand.
In its various forms, ITaaS on-demand solves the myriad problems of modern IT resource consumption. When technology is restructured to be flexible, fast and ready, capabilities are provided based on usage. It meets the demands of CEOs who want IT to become an enablement sector in the enterprise and drive business objectives under fluid conditions without large Capex outlays.
The Case for On-demand Hybrid Cloud
The benefits of hybrid computing are tremendous. For example, it enables an agile IT organization such as SeriousPayroll to respond to changing market conditions by leveraging cloud hosting and traditional bare metal infrastructure at once. SeriousPayroll has found that its IT professionals can now leverage the power of bare metal dedicated hosting with the flexibility of cloud computing to connect all dedicated and cloud resources,depending on the application requirements. No more fitting a square peg in a round hole. The organization can build applications using the computing technology that best suits the needs of the application, all within one private network.
The hybrid approach also improves customer service, with both internal and external benefits realized. IT is sufficiently empowered to manage regulatory requirements and compliance if it structures on-demand and within well-defined service descriptions like ITIL and ITSM. Additionally, speed to market is increased so IT can tackle that “shadow IT” phenomenon, plus significant reductions in IT operational expenses. Above all others features is the new business agility.
Shift in Mindset
In order to fully realize the benefits of on-demand hybrid computing, there needs to be a paradigm shift – at least in terms of mindset – among IT executives in web-dependent businesses. The journey to on-demand hybrid IT can be summed up in four steps:
- Run an internal assessment of business priorities to find gaps and opportunities in all applications. Ask the hard questions. What type of infrastructure is ideal for which applications?
- Redefine IT architecture and how it will fit into an on-demand hybrid structure that leverages all the best technologies.
- Pick tech partners with common priorities: rapid provisioning, reliability, affordability, on-demand, etc. Strategy should be developed and communicated based on these business priorities.
- Lay out an appropriate plan for incorporating this new structure.
Transitioning to an on-demand hybrid infrastructure is a complete transformation that can support your future business goals, help fuel business innovation and turn IT from a cost center to a value center. This is the future of IT – on-demand, flexible, scalable and cost-efficient. The evolution from traditional IT to an on-demand environment is upon us. Hybrid computing is the ultimate resolution for the demands of IT today and in the future because it combines the best of performance, control and cloud flexibility into one platform that fits your IT model. Set the right foundation now to meet the needs of all things digital in the future.