Re-thinking hybrid cloud

As businesses continue to transform and new systems and services emerge, the operational model faces fresh challenges. Companies have moved on from using just one central on-premises system: most now use a mix of cloud services, legacy systems and third-party solutions working together to form one complex hybrid infrastructure. The challenge now shifts from the maintaining and adapting of one system – to the integration and communication of many.

By: Jelle Frank van der Zwet

Rethinking the hybrid IT environment

Many companies are still basing their IT around traditional network architecture, using Wide Area Networks (WAN) with their enterprise data centres as hubs for their applications and data. But with a growing number of cloud services, and an increasing need for all-hours access to critical business data on the move, architecture based on on-premises strategy lacks the agility needed for a successful and high-performing hybrid environment.

So how can service providers update their operational model to take full advantage of the hybrid IT environment, and what do they need to consider when mapping their strategy to future-proof not only their business, but their customer’s business too?

The new challenges for service providers

Hybrid IT models today create fresh challenges for service providers. With businesses now demanding a wide range of cloud applications, the service provider not only needs to provide access, but also needs to maintain a good customer experience across all the different systems used. This includes maintaining IT performance, even in the face of aggressive customer cloud migration as a way to reduce capital and operating costs. 

Interconnectivity as the key

Each cloud solution, IT system and application has its respective advantages and strengths, but in a modern environment, they also need to interact well with each other to build one efficient infrastructure. It’s clear that hybrid environments create completely new demands on the connections between users, applications and processes.

This has prompted providers to find new ways to safely and reliably access different services, without incurring connection costs or risking critical data being exposed. But how can you determine whether your provider is up to the job?

A gateway to hyper-connection

With the old on-premises model no longer standing up, providers may choose to move instead to a modern hyperlinked data center. Built for the new age of cloud computing, these managed centres – gathering together different IT players in the same location – open up new opportunities for collaboration.

In this scenario, the service provider becomes a gateway to a breadth of cloud services, with the data centre also offering the greater cloud accessibility, connectivity, scalability and flexibility customers need for their newly merged hybrid environments. This in turn will help your customers achieve more cost-effective, future-proofed and well-planned digital transformation.

Preparing for uncertainty

One huge challenge for both companies and IT service providers is the uncertainty around how IT will be produced in the future. Will customers consume more Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, SaaS – or other, brand new forms of services?

Although the exact method of delivery is still unclear, what is certain is that trends for flexibility, adaptability and interconnectivity will remain at the centre of the newly forming digital economy. They will be crucial to remaining competitive in an ever more crowded market.

Want to learn more about how to create better flexibility and connectivity with colocation? Then please download our IT Service Provider Transformation Guide.