Many Factors Can Help Determine the Following: Is Hybrid IT Right for Your Business?
Many factors need to be taken into account when looking to optimize your business’ IT infrastructure before answering the question, is Hybrid IT Right for Your Business? Whether your organization has been established for decades and the intent is to primarily maintain systems, or you are looking to optimize your system performance and potentially reduce cost, or even if you are a startup looking for the right solution to get your business off the ground, there are many different ways to approach the effort. Below is an outline of steps you can take to ensure you consider key factors in determining your IT strategy.
First, do you know what your requirements are? Before you grab a tool out of the toolbox, it’s critically important that you are aware of the parameters of the task and have defined the target outcome. Using a hammer to drive a screw is not going to yield the desired results. Documenting system requirements can seem daunting, but begin with a few questions, and you’ll find yourself moving down a path that becomes more clear as you progress.
Here are a few considerations:
- Is the system operating normally or is it failing?
- If it’s failing, what is the cause? Hardware or software?
- What is the total cost of owning and operating the appliance?
- What are the business’ key objectives?
- Remote access?
- Information security?
- Data integrity?
- Reducing cost?
Three Main Categories of System Architecture
Next, understand the opportunities available to you based on your requirements. There are three main categories of system architecture to consider: on premise, public cloud and private cloud. Hybrid IT is a term that refers to a combination of these, which essentially allows you to pick and choose which platforms to leverage based on organizational need.
On premise servers are those physically on location, in your own IDF or server room. One major benefit to this configuration is that the server is in your control at all times. It is under your roof, accessible only by those whom you’ve designated, and so many organizations prefer to keep proprietary information or sensitive data in this form. Virtualization and the ability to customize servers based on performance requirements are ways that on premise solutions may be leveraged to enable the business to both modernize and scale. Some organizations prefer to own the risk of downtime, while others prefer to transfer this risk by instead outsourcing server management and maintenance to a third party. Value-added solutions provided by the right partner can make on premise solutions a more attractive option by outsourcing the server management and maintenance while maintaining ownership and control. However, the primary driver for organizations to consider alternatives to on-premise systems is the ongoing overhead required to continuously support and scale the legacy on-premise system, such as, physical real estate, cooling, power, and IT manpower.
This brings us to the nebulous cloud option. Cloud can actually be broken into two different solutions: public cloud and private cloud. Both cloud solutions offer ways to refresh computing and storage appliances, faster application deployment with a more flexible and scalable model, and enhanced disaster recovery solutions. System availability (99.999% uptime and minimal latency), accessibility (ease of access from any device, anywhere), and redundancy (ability to continue processing with automatic failovers and backups) are the areas most organizations reap the benefits of the cloud.
The public cloud is a resource made available to subscribers looking for computing and storage solutions without having to invest in the capital and ongoing overhead for owning and maintaining on premise servers. The public cloud has proven to be a valuable resource for development by allowing organizations to pay only for the needs of the moment, with the opportunity to scale and expand over time. The public cloud certainly has advantages, but also has inherent risks. For example, if using the public cloud to handle business functions that are critical to the business, the data is somewhere else. So if the internet is down, or if the third party system were to be compromised, the organization is at the mercy of the public cloud provider to reconnect and restore the data. As organizations scale and require more storage and computing power, the public cloud can become costly, and due to the contract model, the public cloud provider can make it cost prohibitive for an organization to pull their data out in order to make a change.
The private cloud is a great solution for organizations looking for the ease of deployment and ability to scale without the added risk of data being kept in an environment that is out of their direct control. Information and network security methodologies can be directed by the organization, while providing users with an experience that is efficient and optimized for the business. Affordability of a private cloud can be advantageous as compared to an on premise solution. Private clouds can leverage third-party data centers and reduce the overhead cost to the organization. For new development projects private clouds can keep the upfront investment to a minimum and still empower the organization to innovate. The layered architecture of the private cloud is what makes the efficiency and system optimization possible.
The Wrong Solution
There is no silver bullet in optimizing IT operations and architecture. Every network is unique, every organization has a unique set of requirements and every user experience matters. Selecting the wrong partner to build and integrate your hybrid IT infrastructure could leave you with a short-term fix that is not cohesive with existing infrastructure, is difficult to manage, lacks flexibility and could leave you with an unexpected expense to scale as business requirements evolve.
Hybrid IT comprises multiple platforms and complexities that warrant the need for a systems integrator, not just a traditional VAR (value-added reseller). Consider the breadth and depth of the portfolio, expertise and partner ecosystem for any prospective service provider. If you get a quote in the first meeting, consider it a red flag. You deserve a partner that takes the time to learn your business, to delve deep into the specific KPIs or performance metrics needed to achieve the desired results, and builds a solution that is tailor-made for your organization.
CBT engages each client using an informed, educated and consultative approach. Whether looking for an on premise server refresh, or a complex system migration, CBT identifies value-based solutions that align with organizational needs of our clients, generating a true return on investment. We are partners in the short-term, mid-term and long-term for both projects as well as ongoing system management and maintenance. Our proactive and predictive approach empowers our clients to optimize their resources today while planning for their future. Want to get started? Schedule a meeting today.