Do data centres still have a place in the IT infrastructure of the future or will they lose out to cloud technologies? In order to meet employees’ demands for adaptable work solutions while ensuring more flexibility and simple scalability, over the past few years, many companies have been turning to cloud systems. Does this make data centres obsolete or will there be a renaissance?
As digitalisation progresses, cloud applications are in high demand. Many employees want to have the freedom to work flexibly from different locations while still using the IT resources they are used to. This poses new challenges in terms of technology and equipment and on-premise data centres are starting to come apart at the seams. In order to enable flexible work solutions and manage the increasing amounts of data, modernisations are almost always needed.
Companies looking to drive innovation are having to leverage new IT opportunities. Has the data centre as we know it had its day? Fact of the matter is, by virtualising their IT architecture, organisations can better react to whatever comes their way, but it’s important to find the right balance between on-premise and cloud infrastructures. With cloud technologies comes the hope of being able to save on maintenance and support costs. Public clouds guarantee a faster deployment of applications, more simple scalability and less maintenance as these are the responsibility of the provider.
Another attraction is that many new technologies are offered as a service from the public cloud. AI algorithms analyse large data volumes, enable electronic contracts to be securely drafted and automated with blockchain, and digital currencies become counterfeit-proof payment means. Businesses looking to integrate tools such as AI into their working day have to modernise their IT infrastructures. Silo structures need to be broken up and made more automated, flexible, affordable and uncomplicated to free up IT departments and resources. This means IT employees have fewer routine tasks and have the freedom they need to develop innovative ideas.
Public clouds guarantee a faster deployment of applications, more simple scalability and less maintenance as these are the responsibility of the provider.
Businesses are no longer only interested in reducing costs through the use of cloud applications and IT optimisations. There is an increasing focus on the need for quality, agility, dynamics and flexibility. A modern IT infrastructure has to be high-performing and tailored to the needs of the organisation and new technologies need to be quickly operational and easy to use. To meet these needs, innovation projects should be well-thought through before implementation at employee level begins. This is why businesses need to put existing processes and technologies under the microscope and involve employees from the very start so they are fully on board for the upcoming changes, because experience gained from other projects shows that only well-informed employees actively support changes and, therefore, contribute to the long-term success of the company.
The first step is to closely analyse the existing IT infrastructure and the expectations the individual departments have of IT. This is important because it needs to be clarified what the objectives of the innovation projects are and what the new, digitalised business processes and value chains should look like. The next step is to research suitable technologies, services and providers This strategic approach leads to the creation of an individual infrastructure that is tailored to the needs of each organisation.
Despite benefits in terms of flexibility and maintenance, unexpectedly high budget overruns or security and control issues are increasingly leading users to switch from the public cloud back to on-premise infrastructures. This is often due to a lack of strategy and insufficient planning before cloud migration. Current surveys therefore show a heterogeneous hybrid (multi) cloud as the IT model of the future. An overarching managed system is the ideal infrastructure and covers three areas: The in-house data centre, production and employee-facing edge IT as well as on-premise and public cloud solutions. This means that the data centre will not disappear in the foreseeable future, but shall continue to play an important role in the IT infrastructure.
The new standard could be a combination of the private cloud—with own PCs—and services from one or several public clouds. When this is uniformly manageable and interoperable, computing loads can moved around as required. The question remains if businesses should tackle these challenges alone or if they should seek out a partner for support. External support makes sense when the organisation does not possess knowledge of the new technologies and IT submarkets, or if employee training in these areas would cost a lot of time and money.
Each company’s own situation results in its own special requirements for its IT infrastructure, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are, however, some very clear trends: Performance and quality are more important than costs. IT solutions have to be individually tailored, flexible, yet secure. On-premise data centres offer more control and security than public clouds. Hybrid (multi) clouds combine the flexibility of cloud solutions with the security and control of data centres. The increasing dominance of hybrid clouds ensures that data centres will continue to play an important role in IT infrastructures in the future.
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Business Manager Datacenter
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This post was published on Aug 10, 2020.