From complexity to clarity: Managing IT landscapes in a hybrid cloud world

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IT plays a key role in achieving sustained business success against a backdrop of constantly changing industry and economic challenges. Today’s IT systems not only underpin business operations but enable the projects and initiatives that deliver on every aspect of a company’s business strategy.

Over the last five years, there has been a significant transformation in the business systems and IT landscapes that IT teams are required to manage. The COVID 19 pandemic played a large role in this shift, with businesses having to rapidly incorporate new capabilities to facilitate remote work and maintain daily operations. Over time, these ‘temporary solutions’, plus others that have been implemented since, have become embedded in many organizations. 

The operating environment has also undergone changes. Heightened competition and globalization, continuous political and supply chain instability, and rising consumer expectations for seamless, personalized digital experiences, are all influencing business operations. These shifts place new expectations on IT teams, demanding they enable increased business flexibility while simultaneously driving operational efficiencies and supporting sustainability agendas.

Against this backdrop, it is hardly surprising that, according to Daisy’s research, 90 percent of IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) say building, managing and maintaining their IT landscape has become more complex. Such complexity makes it difficult for IT leaders to gain the end-to-end visibility needed for consistent security and reliability. This lack of visibility means ITDMs don’t have the necessary insight to dynamically adjust their infrastructure to meet changing workload demands. Understandably, 89 percent of ITDMs say simplifying IT infrastructure management has become a priority.

Head in the clouds

Most organizations today are using the cloud in some way or form, with the pandemic further fueling the acceleration of cloud services adoption. ITDMs estimate 38 percent of their IT estate is currently in the cloud and in three years’ time they estimate it will be more than half.

Cloud services give organizations unprecedented flexibility and scalability, alongside increasing processing speeds and greater support for new technology use cases -- including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Yet challenges remain: an organization’s ability to harness the power of cloud depends largely on their existing IT landscape. If the landscape is overly complex and, as is the case for many, significant technical debt remains, moving to cloud can be an incredibly tough job. In fact, half (50 percent) of IT leaders claimed the complexity of their existing IT infrastructure posed the greatest challenge when undergoing cloud migration, along with data security concerns (46 percent), and applications that simply cannot be migrated (40 percent).

When looking to move more of their IT estate to the cloud, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of ITDMs say they have ended up with a hybrid cloud environment by accident rather than design, with applications and services running across a variety of public cloud, private cloud and on-premises platforms. While this is the natural result of external pressures and internal constraints experienced at the time, there is a clear need to pivot to the adoption of a “consciously hybrid” approach.

Making things simple

Organizations restricted by legacy infrastructure and applications now have the option to create cloud-like experiences across the entire IT landscape by using modern hybrid cloud management platforms and adopting cloud-native services where possible.  These platforms and services can bridge the gap between on-site infrastructure and cloud with a single management and observability layer that brings the cloud experience to apps and data wherever they live in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. This helps them better manage performance, cost, security and compliance across their hybrid cloud estates.

To meet business objectives and deliver sustained long-term success, organizations need to optimize their use of tooling and work with expert partners to streamline, simplify and standardize IT operations across every aspect of their cloud experience.

Image credit: Oleksiy Mark / Shutterstock

Andrew Bevan is Head of Cloud and Digital Transformation, at Daisy.

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