INSIGHT: Why Hybrid IT could be the best option for NZ businesses
- 05 March, 2015 11:26
Companies across New Zealand looking to address the challenges involved in managing complex IT environments should consider a hybrid IT approach.
That’s according to ICT services company UXC Connect, claiming that hybrid IT approach lets organisations manage some IT resources in-house and use cloud-based services and third-party provides for others.
“While most businesses now use the cloud to some extent, few were actually ‘born in the cloud’,” says Glen Bernardino, Hybrid IT Business Manager for Data Centre and Cloud, UXC Connect.
“They tend to use a single technology platform such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
“For the majority of companies, IT infrastructure includes a mixed workload, likely delivered by a combination of in-house resources and multiple service providers.”
According to Bernardino, this creates a “significant challenge” when it comes to managing complex IT environments.
“Even if these companies have adopted a cloud first or ‘as-a-Service’ strategy, simply buying compute and storage capacity is not going to be a quick fix to managing the entire IT structure of the company,” he adds.
As a result, Bernardino believes hybrid IT reflects the range of choices enterprises now have to operate their IT infrastructure, working for all organisations whether they want to use cloud extensively, or just for specific applications.
“To address the pressing business issue of managing the entire IT environment, organisations can use Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) with built-in services and expertise,” Bernardino explains.
“This combines the management and monitoring of the organisation’s entire infrastructure though a single provider.
“This significantly simplifies infrastructure management and lets the business free in-house resources for more productive, business-focused activities.”
Regardless of the preferred proportion of on-premises versus off-premises infrastructure, Bernardino believes organisations should consider four key issues when choosing the appropriate IT infrastructure:
1. Data sovereignty
When data is held offshore, it can be subject to different legislation and privacy concerns depending on where it is located.
To maintain data sovereignty, and to ensure that the data is protected according to Australian legislation, some organisations may prefer to keep the IT infrastructure within Australian-owned data centres.
Some types of data must not be stored offshore according to Australian regulations.
2. Technology platforms
Not all applications are equal, and one-size-fits-all compute and storage templates may not meet special business needs.
Organisations must audit their existing and future needs, as well as any unique requirements, before deciding on a technology platform.
3. Performance, availability and scalability
Network connectivity is critical so, wherever the organisation’s systems are located, they must offer excellent performance to distributed users, and be highly available and scalable as data flows grow.
Some services lend themselves readily to the concept of on-demand IaaS. There can be a significant benefits in creating dedicated development and testing environments on rented infrastructure, which let organisations scale rapidly up and down as the business requires.
This approach means businesses only pay for what they need, when they need it. However, there is often a cost-premium for such flexibility, so this must be accounted for in the business case and overall planning.
For internal IT operations to remain relevant and support their businesses in the era of cloud, Bernardino believes infrastructure delivery must be aligned with the evolving business needs of users.
Consequently, organisations should consider whether they should manage the entire IT environment themselves or if it would be better to outsource that management.
“Going for a Managed IaaS solution is a way to drive maximum benefits back to the business,” he adds.
“It delivers gains through good operational hygiene, more effective proactivity with more accurate demand planning and dynamic capacity management.
“It offers the expected increases in flexibility and scalability and it improves speed to market as businesses have the ability to immediately request and have a service uplift in place.”