The typical internal IT infrastructure is mired in complexity; costly and cumbersome to manage; and the opposite of dynamic and agile. Any on-premise server that is not fully utilised represents a costly waste of resources. Extrapolate that across the entire company, and the inefficiencies are likely to assume staggering proportions.
It is in this context that an organisation’s interest in cloud-based systems and services will typically originate. An overwhelming sense that sourcing IT this way will be cheaper and more cost-effective is borne out time and again by analyst research and real customer case studies.
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Yet there is often reticence to go all out and apply a remote delivery model to the company’s underlying infrastructure. Instead, organisations may look at data centre consolidation and internally shared services involving server virtualisation as means of driving greater efficiency. But they remain nervous about letting physical assets and data storage move outside of the company firewall. A psychological need to see where the boxes sit and ‘touch’ the data seems to stop infrastructure managers cementing the benefits of cloud services.
And yet a company’s applications and IT systems and the network they run across are inextricably linked. They are intrinsically co-dependent. For maximum benefits then, infrastructure managers need to review the way that ALL of these resources are run and managed. Utility-based computing is 100% viable today and it is only by reassessing every component part of the IT service that teams can hope to achieve optimal efficiency, performance, flexibility and resilience.
Where infrastructure managers feel restricted by custom-built legacy infrastructures, those limitations will be even more keenly felt if they insist on remaining tied by them. From a maintenance and support perspective, and in the interests of progress and competitive responsiveness, individuality isn’t a good thing. It may have served the business well to have grown its IT estate organically and with a custom-build approach over time, but the result now is that changing and updating it is slow, expensive and a barrier to innovation.
In the interests of consolidating resources, and facilitating greater mobility and general agility, it is important to consider where to put IT services if the decision is to centralise them. Ideally, consolidated services should be sited so that facilities are equidistant from the dispersed national or international user base. Ultimately that means placing systems and data ‘in the network’.