Amid all the enthusiasm around digital transformation, there’s been relatively little mention of the disturbing gap emerging between an organization’s digital ambitions and its internal resources and capabilities.
This wasn’t the script most expected to unfold. When cloud computing began winning adherents in the corporate computing world 10+ years ago, the conventional wisdom was that enterprises would be in a stronger position to handle the growing demands of managing more and more data and apps.
Yet few could have foreseen what came next, the overwhelming and ever-expanding digital universe. Considering that the amount of data being created in the cloud is growing 36% annually, according to IDC. Meanwhile, the volume of data being collected at the edge is increasing at a 33% clip. On top of all that, there’s been no let-up in demand from business users for faster apps, which continue to proliferate at record rates.
Add to the challenges, annually flat IT investment figures and a continual skills shortage, and some would argue the current cloud-only approach is difficult to sustain. In fact, many organizations that hastily moved into the cloud now find themselves scrambling to manage sprawling, multi-cloud environments.
But that all could be about to change as more enterprises turn to hybrid cloud environments that combine and orchestrate on-premises, cloud, and edge workloads with efficiency.
There are steps that organizations can begin taking, however, that are critical to consider in order to start to steer toward better enterprise performance.
1. Modernize and transform apps
Every organization needs modernized applications that allow the business to utilize data when they need it and where they need it. The organization cannot drive business outcomes if data is not available at the precise moment it’s required.
2. Seek and find data insights
A couple of decades ago, organizations wished they had data to help inform their decision making. Nowadays, we have the opposite problem with data overload. The key to data insights is knowing what data is available and knowing that it’s complete, accurate, protected, and usable.
3. Measure and track cost optimization
Data management is not inexpensive. I’ve had customers ask for assistance because of the sticker shock they received after migrating fully to the public cloud. With hybrid, data gets deployed where it’s most cost-effective to allow organizations to grow their business.
4. Strive for platform consistency
This is about how data gets managed. Your organization needs to be able to manage your infrastructure through a single pane, not through multiple platforms that creates headaches for your team.
It’s getting harder and more expensive to move increasingly larger datasets from application to application. The problem will only worsen in the months ahead as datasets scale. That has real business ramifications since any resulting reliability or resiliency issues with data and workloads may disrupt availability during workload spikes or slow down the time to market for new app deliveries.
As if that wasn’t enough, cloud security and compliance risks are on the rise. It’s not that public clouds are inherently insecure. But as more data gets copied and moved back and forth, there’s a consequently larger attack surface to defend. You cannot outsource compliance and so it’s on individual companies to ensure maximum uptime for their applications and cloud workloads while mitigating risks from outages, ransomware, and data loss.
Hybrid Cloud Groundswell
That’s why growing numbers of savvy organizations are migrating to hybrid cloud platforms to overcome the challenges posed by this increasingly distributed data fabric.
And there is a groundswell of deployments taking place. According to a Forrester survey of 313 global IT decision-makers, more than half indicated they planned to adopt or expand their use of hybrid cloud and multi-cloud within the next two years. They want cloud solutions that deliver a consistent management of enterprise data fabric across edge, core, and cloud on a single data plane. They’re also looking for a cloud setup that offers suitable capacity, cost, performance, data protection and recovery. And, most importantly, they are looking for ways to get out of the business of manually managing multiple IT systems and clouds, but rather manage service levels for the business.
This is where hybrid cloud is emerging from the pack as first among equals. We should expect this trend to accelerate in the year ahead as the gap between data and resources grows. Enterprises that fail to respond risk falling farther behind while those that act may well find that hybrid fulfills the original promise of the cloud — delivering more efficiencies, greater insights, lower costs, and a true competitive advantage.
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