Hybrid cloud strategy requires on premises consideration

By | 2 minute read | March 16, 2021

From time to time, we invite industry thought leaders to share their opinions and insights on current technology trends to the IBM Servers & Storage blog. The opinions in these posts are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of IBM.

Cloud computing continues to grab all the headlines, but on-premises IT infrastructure remains vitally important and will continue to be well into the future. Even as they move workload to the cloud, most organizations plan to increase investments in their on-premises computing infrastructure.

Although these assertions have long been my opinion, they are also backed up by research. IBM recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey IT decision-makers on their hybrid cloud strategy. You can read the insights obtained in the Forrester Consulting study: The Key to Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Strategy for yourself by downloading it here.

A perhaps unexpected reality is being exposed as organizations trek toward the cloud. And that is that the lowest cost option is not always moving workload to the cloud. Indeed, incorporating existing infrastructure into a hybrid strategy can reduce overall IT costs because it minimizes the need for specialized skills and improves productivity.

Most executives are looking to improve speed and agility as they adopt and embrace agile development and DevOps management into their organization. Adopting a standard toolchain that works across your enterprise for both cloud and on-premises workloads is the smart strategy.

Such an approach can help to assure that your organization does not fall prey to the pitfalls outlined in the Forrester study, where lack of reinvestment can expose your firm to issues such as:

  • Security vulnerabilities
  • Higher costs
  • Compatibility restrictions
  • Diminished performance

In 2021 we are still reeling from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and surely the Forrester study recognizes this fact, but your hybrid cloud strategy needs to be more far-reaching. Cloud adoption is not just a reaction to the work from home requirement imposed on the world by the pandemic. The cloud was growing well before 2019! And we need to be aware that post-pandemic will require a “new normal” that requires a solid hybrid cloud strategy in order to succeed.

So, don’t forget the “hybrid” part of your “cloud” strategy. And as I’ve said before, don’t let cloud exuberance stop other IT infrastructure investments! As organizations move to a hybrid enterprise cloud infrastructure, keeping up to date with technology refreshes is more important than ever before to assure cost-effective, efficient IT. This means continuing to invest in, and keep pace with, upgrades to your existing IT infrastructure. Reasons that on-premises computing will continue to thrive include:

  • Data residency
  • Data gravity
  • Existing on premises capacity
  • Security and compliance requirements

The Forrester study reports that a vast majority of respondents stated that delaying on-premises infrastructure upgrades in the past five years resulted in negative repercussions. That makes absolute sense to me, and it should to you, too! Especially if you rely on IBM Z for your mission-critical work. And if you’ve ever booked a flight, accessed your bank account using an ATM, or used a credit card to buy something, then you’ve relied on an IBM Z mainframe. The IBM Z platform runs the world’s economy and all of the workload is not going to be moved to the cloud any time soon.

So, don’t waste any time creating your hybrid cloud strategy . . . and discover additional insights along the way!