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By Czarena Siebert
Over the past several years, public cloud adoption accelerated as enterprises wanted to improve agility while moving away from capital-intensive monolithic IT infrastructures. Public cloud looked like the ideal choice to build applications quickly and compete with modern, nimble Internet-scale companies.
While it’s fair to say the public cloud became the platform of choice for many high-growth companies, enterprises are finding recently adopted cloud options are not the panacea they had hoped for. Many are realizing the cloud isn’t an ideal choice for data and compute-intensive workloads or those containing sensitive customer data.
However, solutions are emerging that offer the advantages of the public cloud, while running workloads on-premises. These options make it easier to protect sensitive data and avoid any latency issues associated with the cloud. A move from buy-and-build IT in the traditional sense to consuming IT on-premises with a hybrid IT infrastructure brings three significant benefits.
1. Optimizing your IT operations
In the past, launching a new IT project meant large upfront investments in hardware and software, or months spent getting a new system up and running and training employees. Today, IT departments want to be agile IT service providers for the business side of their companies.
The trouble is, few IT departments are set up this way. According to an analysis by IDC, IT admin and operations staff spend the lion’s share of their time in any given week on mundane tasks such as software updates or troubleshooting technology problems. This leaves very little time to work on developing new projects that can drive the business forward.
Imagine a world where a trusted vendor solves everyday IT headaches, providing an end-to-end solution with one monthly invoice based on your consumption and usage. This service can include equipment maintenance, training and support for your IT staff, and help with your choice of on-premises servers. This team can also help you manage capacity or determine the best resources for you to tackle new business opportunities.
2. Understanding where to place workloads
Another benefit to a consumption-based IT service is obtaining expert advice in determining workload placement, thereby avoiding potential pitfalls. To avoid risk and control costs, businesses need to understand their workload requirements prior to making platform decisions. For example, you may not know you can have a “cloud-like” experience on-premises with a comparable price and lowered risk, while simultaneously retaining control and meeting cost constraints. Using both public and hosted private clouds can also help you avoid vendor lock-in and remain cloud-neutral.
Businesses often choose cloud placement because it provides rapid scalability that IT cannot offer due to lack of ready capacity. However, consumption-based IT on-premises lets you set up an IT solution for a line of business rapidly. Instead of the usual three-to-four month procurement cycle, you can now get IT capacity in a week or two. Best of all, you pay only for what you use, and the costs you incur are aligned with your business needs, so you don’t overspend.
Not understanding where to place workloads is causing many businesses to bring applications back on-premises. According to a recent report, some 40% of organizations with public cloud experience say they have moved workloads located on public clouds back to their on-premises setups. The three main drivers are performance, cost, and security—and often it is a mix of the three.
3. Achieving accurate capacity planning
In the old days of IT capacity planning, you would measure resource utilization, estimate how much you needed for the next few years, look at the applications your users employ every day, and then purchase the requisite servers, storage, and network equipment to cover that demand. Traditionally, IT departments have purchased for peak demands, resulting in extra capacity and overspending for most of the year.
Given that 59% of enterprises wait three months or longer for new capacity to come online, according to 451 Research, it’s not surprising that many IT leaders face capacity issues. By the time they have figured out the amount they need for one scenario, their requirements often change, leading to money spent on unneeded capacity or, worse, a lack of capacity for a much needed new opportunity. Indeed, 451 Research’s survey found that 50% of enterprises have suffered downtime due to poor capacity planning.
There’s a better way to do this. With a pay-as-you-go approach to IT, companies work with an IT provider to determine their current computing capacity needs and continually plan for future capacity requirements.
Supporting your changing business needs
To succeed in an increasingly competitive business environment, IT departments need to become flexible and responsive providers of services to the overall business. A consumption-based IT approach can put you in the best position to achieve flexibility and responsiveness, while securing the most effective use of cloud and on-premises solutions for your workloads.
Czarena Siebert is the program manager for Consumption Solutions for HPE Pointnext. An experienced IT professional with 14 years of experience at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Siebert has held numerous roles, including business development management in the Americas, worldwide marketing for Mission-Critical Services, and worldwide business development management for Multivendor Services.