Many organizations' IT operations can grow unwieldy over time. It's not as much a problem of design as it is of the natural course of business development. As a company grows, and incorporates exciting, dynamic new services and technologies into its operations, the infrastructure of the support system ends up increasing around it. There may not be the time, resources or inclination to address the way that IT departments and networks are organized after a new technology is added to the mix. If this practice continues for a long duration, however, and the organization doesn't take time to examine the forest for the trees, they could find themselves with a bloated support system that ends up weighing them down.
If legacy IT systems reach this burdensome point, it can be easier to adjust to unnecessary operations redundancy and labyrinthine chains of command, thereby sanctioning lost ROI and eventually shortchanging business windfall, than to address issues head on. Enterprise IaaS clouds, however, can help make this transition a stress-free one. There are certainly some issues that must be resolved to in order to get the ball rolling on this transition.
Enterprise IaaS clouds: The transition
According to CloudTweaks contributor Salman Ul Haq, making sure that IT operations don't suffer in performance during the integration from legacy equipment to the cloud is imperative. For example, Application Programming Interfaces often differ greatly depending on the legacy platform organizations use. Some will be more naturally prepared for a scalable environment like the one that the IaaS cloud offers than others. Additionally, businesses should keep in mind what can and can't be done with the cloud – enterprise clouds aren't intended to replace IT, just to relieve these key personnel of many of the mundane tasks, especially those related to data storage and sharing, that can occupy a lot of their time. IT is still very necessary to keeping track of services in the cloud, but will have more time to devote to new and ambitious projects.
Data centers may be a source of problems
Data storage, especially for organizations jumping on the big data bandwagon, is often one of the major catalysts behind a business' decision to adopt enterprise clouds. While many organizations are looking to transition from on-premises data storage, which can be limited, costly and subject to the same sorts of organizational convolution mentioned above, to data virtualization in offsite storage centers, a new report from PeakColo partner Brocade indicated that many firms may not be ready.
"Many data centers that exist today are based on 20-year-old technologies, and the simple fact is that they can no longer keep up with demand," said Brocade vice president Jason Nolet. "Virtualization and cloud models require greater network agility and performance, as well as reduced operational cost and complexity."
According to their findings, which surveyed 1,750 IT decision makers worldwide, 24 percent of businesses wait over three years before investing in new technology. Sixteen percent admitted to daily network outages and over one third said that outages have caused their organizations to miss their service-level agreements and not deliver services to their own clients on time. Without updating legacy systems and taking advantage of support solutions like IaaS clouds, businesses could continue to suffer from outdated technology.