Reliance on Partners when embracing Hybrid IT

Blog by Séamus Matthews, of Digital Realty Ireland

Séamus Matthews, Senior Director, Strategy and Business Development at Digital Realty Ireland recently wrote an op-ed for Tech Central based on recent research from Digital Realty commissioned by Amárach Research, in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE). The research explores the opportunities and challenges that are driving enterprises, from a cross-section of industries, when it comes to digital and IT transformation.

Find a summary of the article below and a link to the Tech Central piece here: Reliance on partners when embracing hybrid IT -

Data acts as our digital currency - it powers our economy, drives innovation, and demands that we optimise how we manage and organise our data to ensure we can derive the insights necessary to deliver better business outcomes. It empowers us to serve our customers more effectively and navigate phases of rapid change and tumult in the world around us.

While data has been a critical resource for decades, so many organisations, and specifically those in Ireland, rate data management and all that it entails as one of their biggest challenges.

According to our latest research report, in partnership with HPE, nearly one in three (28%) respondents said they grapple with the management of the ever-growing amounts of data within their organisation and over a third (36%) of organisations reported they would like to understand how to make better use of their data. Overwhelmingly, 64% said data security was their main IT challenge.

Critical to underpinning the right data management strategy is having the right IT infrastructure to meet the rapidly changing business requirements Irish businesses now face. Not surprisingly, Irish businesses are recognising that a move away from storing data in owner-operated server rooms is required, and almost half (45%) of Irish organisations are making a move towards a Hybrid IT approach, whereby they plan to leverage both on-premises systems and off-premises cloud/hosted resources to support their IT infrastructure. Taking this further still, our research indicates there will be a significant (63%) reduction in the reliance of on-premises facilities over the next two years.

While the benefits of embracing a Hybrid IT approach remain clear, making such changes are not without complexity. For many, the reality of transforming an organisations’ IT infrastructure remains daunting. That is why finding partners to influence the design of, deploy and support new hybrid IT environments requires careful consideration before embarking on any transformation journey – often taken one application or workload at a time. This claim is mirrored in our findings, with the majority of enterprises saying that they rely on partner vendor support to enable them to achieve their IT goals. 

In fact, a third (31%) of Irish enterprises currently use systems integrators or managed hosting providers to manage their infrastructure. The ecosystem doesn’t end there, with almost all the companies surveyed saying they rely on multiple software and hardware vendors, consultants, and cloud services providers to navigate their IT transformation journeys. While a fifth (21%) of companies stating they plan to use a data centre or colocation provider to support the deployment of their hybrid IT strategy.

Respondents stated also, that in terms of partner services and capabilities, what they ranked as being most important was the ability to deliver global coverage ranked no. 1 at 47%, followed closely by direct connection to the public cloud.

By having the right ecosystem of partners around them they can more easily achieve this. And in fact, building and maintaining these relationships with key IT partners is equally important.

As businesses become ever more dependent on digital resources, channels and capabilities in order to grow, they also become more vulnerable to technological disruption, particularly if they remain tied to internal server room installations, often expensive and inflexible and certainly lagging in terms of connectivity.

Delivering a hybrid strategy demands flexibility, investment and partnerships that can meet the need for public cloud access, capacity assurance, security, connectivity, compliance and cost-effectiveness - all of which were highlighted in our survey findings. Today, many Irish businesses are only at the beginning of their digital journeys, while others are well underway. The wider impact on our domestic economy, and for the future of society more broadly, promises to be both challenging and exciting.