The more things change, the more things stay the same. An idiom that’s oddly comforting in its assurance that everything will remain balanced and undisrupted, and the winds of change—however ferocious—are somehow futile against the staunchness of the status quo. That said, I would suggest the creator of this idiom hadn’t experienced a year like 2020 (and now 2021).
Indeed, change is here, and it’s here to stay—even the status quo has undergone something of a rebrand (the dreaded “new normal”). For IT pros, the wind of change that blew through last year resembled more of a hurricane. As organizations sought to quickly turn their primarily on-prem businesses into flexible, agile infrastructures capable of catering to distributed workforces, hybrid IT—the tech trend du jour for the past few years—has finally been adopted as broadly as expected.
It would be an exaggeration to say hybrid IT had to wait for the spread of COVID-19 to have its day in the sun. For years, businesses have been moving from on-prem to the cloud and hybrid IT to achieve nimbler operations, and drive transformation. That said, it undoubtedly catalyzed hybrid IT adoption, with the transition to this model accelerating in the past year.
The flip side of this coin, however, is IT pros who have rushed to adopt hybrid IT are still getting to grips with what exactly it means in the new normal. So, what does this brave new world of hybrid IT look like, and how can businesses and their IT professionals ensure operations continue to run butter-smooth, even through the churn of change?
Tackling the Mix of Legacy and Modern Applications
One of the major hurdles to achieving a smooth-running hybrid operation is in finding a way to simultaneously manage legacy and modern applications.
For IT pros looking to do this effectively, focus will need to shift to implementing full-stack application performance management (APM) solutions to best optimize environments and ensure application performance problems can be resolved faster and more efficiently.
The benefits of integrated APM are plentiful, with application-level assessments such as root cause summary, response time, load patterns, and resource usage, making it easier to identify problems and drive peak performance, and freeing up tech pros’ time to empower them to drive efficiencies in other parts of the business.
The ability to successfully manage these applications will also lessen the impact on users and the bottom line—something everyone can get on board with in a post-COVID world.
Learning How to Manage Multi-Cloud
The growth of multi-cloud models is an offshoot of the increasing number of businesses moving operations into the cloud and embracing hybrid IT. Put simply: not all cloud providers offer the same mix of services, especially when it comes to emerging technology, so many organizations are looking toward multiple platforms and providers to manage their distributed operations infrastructure.
The benefits of such a model are clear—with everything from flexibility and reliability to cost-performance optimization representing the positive outcomes of embracing multi-cloud. However, it’s no surprise to learn multi-cloud also poses some serious challenges—not least of which is increased complexity. Indeed, according to a 2020 IDG® survey, 55% of organizations use two or more public clouds, but 79% struggle to achieve synergy across their multiple platforms. It’s no surprise to see early adopters quickly realizing how expensive and complicated multi-cloud can get.
So, with a multi-cloud model now playing a major role in how hybrid IT is embraced in the new normal, how can IT pros and businesses realize its benefits without falling prey to its complexity?
First—and this sounds like a no-brainer—IT pros should assess their organization’s needs and the way the existing cloud infrastructure is managed before opting for this approach. Single-cloud approaches may result in lost opportunity, but that it doesn’t mean they’re entirely wrong for your business. As with any implementations, carefully weigh the pros and cons before diving in headfirst.
If an organization is suited to a multi-cloud approach, they then require either a DevOps-focused team of IT professionals or budget available to outsource multi-cloud engineering and monitoring. This will help them achieve benefits from improving speed and agility and even breaking down silos across the business while avoiding getting lost in the weeds.
Finally, opting for a single holistic solution to manage this environment is vital. The right solution will help streamline tool selection for monitoring and management, while enhancing communication, teamwork, and ITOps productivity. An infrastructure monitoring platform with end-to-end insight into your cost and performance data will help identify which solution is best for your business, and ensure you reap the rewards, regardless of your business IT model.
So, while IT pros and their organizations are fighting to find their feet in the shifting sands of 2020 and 2021, there are tools and approaches available to ensure they can stand firm and thrive when embracing hybrid IT in the new normal.