Cloud services sign

Hybrid IT will be the new normal for Irish organisations

Image: Stockfresh

18 March 2016

Hybrid IT is the new normal, as most organisations cannot abandon their existing infrastructure for a move wholesale to cloud services.

That was the central message in the latest TechFire briefing, as experts and attendees agreed that most organisations will have a mixed usage of internal and external ICT resources for the foreseeable future.

While some organisations, mostly start-up or young companies, have already made the decision that their critical infrastructure will only ever be in the cloud, organisations that have existing investment in on-premises infrastructure will likely move gradually to the cloud, as applications, workloads and demand dictates.

Cloud panacea
Cloud has not been the panacea that many, including the technology vendors themselves, had expected, said Chris Ducker, head of proposition marketing Europe, Sungard AS. Consequently, organisations have found that application and workload needs are what really drives how organisations determine what goes where. This means that while some suit continued on-premises deployment, others are better suited to public cloud platforms or services, meaning that for a broad range of organisations hybrid IT really is the new normal.

Ducker also observed that even among those organisations using public cloud platforms and services, there is very little migration of workloads between service providers, as this has proven to be a complex and difficult process.

Young hybrid
Michael Crean, founder and CTO of added that from his perspective, moving their cloud-based workloads to another vendor would be a difficult prospect and would require a very compelling set of arguments before he would contemplate it.

Crean said that by having the company’s critical infrastructure in the cloud, with the security, scalability, elasticity and availability that has provided, has allowed the company to focus on developing its own technology at a rapid pace, often with more than daily updates. This speed and agility has allowed the company to grow at a remarkable rate and take full advantage of its hybrid nature, with its major hosting done in the cloud, but its development, analytics and fraud prevention kept on-premises.

When the audience was polled for its own perceived usage of hybrid IT, the majority agreed that they did see their respective organisations as hybrid IT users. When asked for drivers, flexibility, resilience and freedom to focus on core business were all cited. However, one respondent said that it allowed them to reduce reliance on a couple of internal “IT heroes,” which was seen as a potential weak point for the organisation.

Data protection concerns
Questions from the floor were varied, with data protection, responsibility and sovereignty in a hybrid IT landscape being a recurring theme. The panel addressed this by pointing out that many vendors, including Sungard AS, were actively expanding their data centre sites to accommodate geographical constraints for data, thus making it easier to comply with regulation. This combined with ever greater self-service and orchestration tools, said Steve Dumbleton, product manager, global secure cloud services, Sungard AS, allowed end users to retain control and visibility of data to ensure compliance, whether in governmental or highly regulated sectors.

Other questions explored whether there was a ‘boiler plate’ approach to evaluating cloud solutions, in cooperation with the relevant business units. Ducker addressed this by saying that as applications and workloads tended to determine the requirements, it tended to follow that each case was different. He acknowledged that while there could be a checklist of issues to cover, this did not necessarily add up to a boiler plate solution for the task.


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