As young children, we’re taught “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself”. Whether it is monsters lurking under the bed or ghosts in the closet, everyone must deal with some form of adolescent jitters. And while adults may not be scared of things that go bump in the night, most still fear the unknown – especially in the new digital world.
Faced with a massive amount of electronic data, companies have the opportunity to drive new revenues, create enhanced efficiencies and directly target customer demand. In a recent 451 Research report, 40 percent of IT respondents are reportedly actively engaged in Digital Transformation strategies – advancing service quality, driving continuous improvement, and redefining business models. At the center of these investments are advanced cloud and hybrid IT models.
Strong digital businesses leverage a variety of components to build agility. Hybrid IT mixes at least one external option beyond on-premise data centers, including colocation, managed services or cloud. This enables organizations to not only aggregate, unify and scale, but do the same for functionality – engineering a highly responsive infrastructure.
While nearly 75 percent of enterprises are currently pursuing hybrid models, there’s still a heavy dose of trepidation. In discussions with partners and customers, our experts have regularly observed five major roadblocks to successful hybrid IT deployments:
- Legacy Infrastructures: Legacy networks just weren’t designed to be scalable or agile. Complex and interconnected, these deployments are typically slow-moving and inefficient. Most designs are infrastructure, not application-centric. Advancing these environments for cloud is both cumbersome and expensive.
- Resources: Internal IT departments spend much of their time responding to infrastructure failures, rather than building strategic pathways. A recent study notes less than one-third of organizations possess the resources to manage hybrid environments. Even fewer have the special set of internal expertise to manage cloud deployments.
- Analytics and Metrics: With the digital universe expanding at an alarming rate, companies must work to harness data across cloud, on-premise and mixed environments to enable real-time decision-making. Applying analytics to data “on the edge” can also improve efficiency by eliminating redundancy, latencies and failures – boosting effectiveness of hybrid deployments.
- Education and Processes: Organizations must actively restructure old businesses processes to prepare for the new digital culture. Modifying approaches is difficult, demanding an atmosphere of continuous learning. Companies must invest in training and education to spark agility and innovation.
- IT Security: While CIOs are aware of the latest security threats, there’s no need to panic. Today’s cloud best-practices mandate the most rigorous technologies and processes to keep data safe. Security is further advanced by applying cloud where it makes the most sense – keeping the most sensitive data in-house, while pushing the rest to the cloud.
Enterprises increasingly rely on dedicated service providers like CenturyLink to overcome many of these obstacles. Perhaps that’s why more than 50 percent of respondents in an exclusive global study from 451 Research, Enterprise Digital Transformation Strategies: Turning Disruption into Differentiation, believe an effective partner is essential to achieving digital transformation.
- Offerings like Cloud Managed Services more readily “plug into” existing environments to boost the flexibility of slower infrastructures. And, resource bottlenecks are also almost immediately removed with the addition of staff and expertise from a dedicated provider.
- Data and Analytics Services can overcome other constraints by harnessing information flowing from interactions, social media and search traffic – significantly improving customer experiences, optimizing operations and managing risk.
- Effective hybrid deployments are more secure and compliant than ever before, with many providers adopting a “defense in depth” approach to ensure protection at every level. Taking protection one step further, Managed Security Services can boost proactive, real-time protection.
- Finally, all of it must be supported by an environment of learning and training – ensuring the business is continuously evolving for what’s next. The right partner can act as both advisor and educator, engineering a culture that focuses on strategic IT delivery and encourages innovation every step of the way.
While a healthy dose of skepticism is normal, today’s leaders must have no fear. The right partner can design and execute a hybrid strategy tailored to your organizational requirements. Time to face your fears – contact our experts and get started!