Neerad Dwivedi, Head Microsoft Services, Sify Technologies Ltd.
Digital transformation can be realized only if the core technology infrastructure is reliable and secure, while being agile and flexible at the same time. Hybrid cloud ticks all the boxes.
Technology, is today viewed as the most crucial enabler for business transformation – especially, digital transformation. However, legacy technologies appear woefully inadequate in taking today’s businesses to the next level.
The business landscape is in a flux as consumer demographics continuously transform, new competitors rise, and buying trends undergo a change. All these factors are coalescing thereby making it extremely challenging for an enterprise to react to market needs and maintain its competitive advantage.
To match this evolution and achieve digital transformation, businesses have to alter their underlying infrastructure and application environment.
For an enterprise technology decision maker, the challenge, therefore, is to architect and activate a hybrid cloud environment that brings automation and orchestration to shift workloads dynamically depending on the business needs.
The answer lies in hybrid cloud simply because such architecture for IT operations delivers the best of both worlds– the private and public clouds. For corporates using critical data, it provides the high security levels of a private cloud, while allowing the advantages of accessibility and scalability delivered by a public cloud.
According to technology predictions by IDC, 65 percent of enterprises in the Asia-Pacific will implement hybrid cloud by 2017. This is because of the strong benefits offered by it.
The Hybrid Cloud Advantage
There are several advantages that come with the adoption of hybrid cloud making it a compelling business case.
Adaptive technology platform. The hybrid cloud architecture pushes an enterprise’s digital transformation agenda. Its capability to effortlessly provision the required infrastructure for application needs lends enterprises the power to adapt to market forces in a more timely and effective manner.
Agility. The underpinning technology of hybrid cloud delivers automation and orchestration, which allow for specific workloads to be migrated to the relevant IT architecture. This ensures that enterprises can dynamically prioritize business processes without their IT operations being disrupted.
Curbing costs. With a clear visibility of the cost of IT operations, it becomes easier for both the IT department and the business to put in place charge-back mechanisms and keep a tab on performance levels. This also helps a CIO in curbing shadow IT as businesses get the flexibility to deploy new applications. However, a CIO would have to spell out the IT strategy properly to SBU heads for a smooth functioning.
GRC Compliance. Even while at the design stage, hybrid cloud architecture accounts for governance, risk compliance (GRC), data residency and security. As the GRC environment undergoes a change, businesses can realign their workloads easily and make sure the data is compliant and secure.
The Way Ahead
The IT decision makers who have already adopted hybrid cloud need to calculate the RoI from their efforts aimed at driving digital transformation. As the automation levels increase, business will become more agile and productive. This is when the RoI becomes tangible.
Given the strong benefits accruing from the adoption of hybrid cloud, it is imperative that CIOs who have not factored it within their IT strategies do so urgently. In addition to building strong capabilities and skills, such technology leaders will have to put in place watertight knowledge management practices so that the core IP (Intellectual Property) of the enterprise stays guarded.
While enterprise technology decision makers should lay emphasis on the business challenge, they also need to focus on the IT architecture and the sourcing strategy, which will in turn have a bearing on the vendor choice.
Lastly, CIOs should remember that all tasks should not be done internally. To gain access to specialist talent and industry expertise, they should aim at partnering in certain areas such as application management, process automation, and infrastructure and application integration.