Cloud Computing

How the Move to Cloud Can Drive Enterprise Resiliency

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When the time comes to move to a new apartment or buy a new house, we’re reminded of how painful the moving process can be. But it doesn’t have to be. Although the to-do list can seem daunting, with careful preparation and planning, moving your belongings from point A to point B can be much less challenging.

Similarly, CIOs and data center managers planning to move to the cloud by way of data center consolidation and migration, must consider many variables. Achieving success in these areas has the potential to transform the value of enterprise resiliency in your data center.

The list of benefits and drivers for data center transformation reach far beyond the hardware itself, and present an opportunity to meet IT demands and clear a path for new, unexpected innovations. Here are just a few:

1) Cloud and Hybrid Cloud adoption continues its rise. The benefits of a cloud-first strategy in the enterprise today are undeniable. Gartner has said that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-Internet” policy is today. Cloud adoption has become a catalyst for data center consolidation or migration to help align an organization’s IT systems and workloads to cloud platforms, producing new levels of speed, agility, and innovation. In addition, hybrid cloud has been widely embraced as the new normal for organizations operating with more complex or traditional infrastructure. Data center consolidation provides a bridge during the transition to cloud that helps enterprises optimize the use of current IT assets and determine which parts of their legacy infrastructure to keep going forward.

2) Turning cost reductions into opportunities. While cost reduction is usually a central goal for any organization, achieving it through data center consolidation can do more than simply improve the bottom line. The cost efficiency that comes from building new facilities rather than renovating outdated data centers encourages further acceptance of cloud-first strategies. In the event of a merger or acquisition, consolidating data centers also allows for more efficient facilities management and helps optimize personnel and resources during the onboarding process. In such complex situations, the expectation for always-on operations makes business continuity and resiliency even more important.

3) The smaller the carbon footprint, the better. In the U.S. alone, data center electricity consumption is projected to increase to roughly 140 billion kilowatt-hours annually by 2020. This is the equivalent annual output of 50 power plants, costing American businesses $13 billion annually and emitting nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year. Data center consolidation and migration can go a long way to achieving a reduced carbon footprint and improved regulatory compliance.

Given the accelerated rise and role of Big Data analytics in the enterprise, increased use of social media and mobile devices, and the security and operational risk that comes with phasing out traditional IT infrastructure in favor of new cloud platforms and cognitive solutions, data center consolidations and migrations should not be underestimated.

IDC has estimated that 75 percent of enterprise data centers do not have accurate records of location and connectivity for at least 25 percent of their IT assets. It is also not uncommon for enterprises to discover they had 30-50 percent more equipment than they had records. These alarming numbers put organizations at risk for IT disruptions, as well as increased costs and inefficient operations that can further threaten the integrity of IT infrastructure.

Without necessary IT discovery tools – which help optimize resource usage, make better decisions about aging equipment, and position a data center to support new technologies into the future – organizations are much less likely to capture the full extent of their IT inventory, leading to weaker data center management and overall business resiliency. This leaves the door open for potential downtime in systems and applications, something no enterprise can afford.

According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data center outage rose from $690,204 in 2013 to $740,357 in 2016, a 7 percent increase. During this new digital age, rapid technological progress is forcing enterprises to adapt, innovate, and protect their IT more quickly than ever before. Implementing a cloud-first strategy, turning cost advantages into newfound productivity, and taking steps to reduce things like energy consumption and pollution for the long-term, demonstrates the current and long-term value of data center consolidation and migration on enterprise resiliency in the cloud.

To learn more, please read the full white paper recently published from IBM Resiliency Services: http://ibm.co/2lIfisG

Vice President, Global Offering Portfolio, IBM Resiliency Services

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